Summer in the City
New York City is a hub of summer musical festivals. Whether you’re looking for pop music, electronic music, or classical music, there’s a festival for it somewhere in the city at any time. The perfect way to spend your time in the summer sun while listening to your favorite music, here are six music festivals you cannot miss in New York City this summer.
Electric Zoo is one of New York’s largest electronic music festivals, combining artists and sounds from all over the world into a single musical event. First established in 2009, and made possible by Made Event, a company that produces electronic music festivals, Electric Zoo has grown internationally, with festivals taking place in Mexico City, Tokyo, Shanghai, and São Paolo. This year’s theme on Randall’s Island in New York, celebrating Electric Zoo’s 10 year anniversary, is called “The Big Ten.” Acts include Diplo, Afrojack, Bear Grillz, and Zedd, amongst other big name electronic music artists. The festival will run from Friday August 30 to Sunday September 1. You can purchase a variety of ticket options now at their website to enjoy the last days of summer listening to the best electronic music the world has to offer!
Presented by Adidas, The Greatest Day Music Festival and Carnival may very well be the the greatest music festival and carnival in New York City. Taking place on Saturday July 13 and Sunday July 14 at the Ford Amphitheater on Coney Island, the festival not only includes some of the most exciting names in popular music today, but also amusement park rides and games. Listen to artists like City Girls, Pusha T, Carnage, Cashmere Cat, and Armani White while enjoying views of Coney Island either on the boardwalk or on the top of a rollercoaster. The Greatest Day Music Festival is the perfect midsummer pick-me-up music festival whether you’re looking to relax with some music or have an exhilarating ride on rollercoasters. General admission tickets are $65, while VIP tickets are $100 and include perks like access to a private rooftop lounge.
Afropunk is an activist group that advocates for social justice for people of all identities. The group is a safe space where people can go to find freedom in the creation of their own worlds, to live their lives as they want. On their website, they post articles about race, sex and gender, activism, pop culture, and culturally significant international events all with the intention of providing education about social identities and visibility of these groups. Afropunk also hosts music festivals throughout the world in cities like Brooklyn, Atlanta, Paris, and Joburg. Their festival in Brooklyn in Commodore Barry Park on Saturday August 24 and Sunday August 25 is one of their most popular scenes. Acts include Jill Scott, FKA Twigs, Leon Bridges, and Kamasi Washington. Join these artists and activists at the end of the summer and find freedom in the music.
A hallmark of summer music festivals, SummerStage is one no New Yorker should miss. With concerts and events, most of which are free, put on everyday from June 1 through September 24, SummerStage provides accessible and quality entertainment to anyone who wants. And best of all, SummerStage isn’t just limited to music. The series also includes dance parties, live theater, ballet, and opera performances. The breadth of artists that perform includes everything from New York hip-hop artists to indie-rock bands. Hosted by The City Parks Foundation, the event’s main stage is in Central Park at Rumsey Playfield, but venues in all boroughs of New York City host events as well, so you’re never too far from a show. For the complete list of artists and locations, visit their website.
If a traditional music festival isn’t enough for you, try the MoMA PS1 Warmup Series hosted by the Museum of Modern Art, in which you can enjoy a diversity of music outdoors while surrounded by some of the best art in the world. Taking place in the Courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. Created to give a platform to both emerging artists and established artists, MoMA PS1 warmup truly combines global sounds across all genres. With an alumni association including artists like Solange, Cardi B, Lizzo, and DJ Premier, the crowd and the artists it attracts are nothing short of legendary. The Series takes place every Saturday in July and August, and the full schedule of concerts and lineups are available on their website. This is a perfect event for you if you love cutting-edge art of all forms.
No list of summer music festivals in New York would be complete without Woodstock 50, despite it not taking place in the City. Woodstock 50 is the 50th anniversary rendition of the Woodstock Music Festival that took place in August of 1969. Consummated in a time of social and political discord due to the protests of the Vietnam War and the vents surrounding the Civil Rights Movement, Woodstock became an event of peace and harmony amidst the chaos, the apex in the larger American counterculture generation. Now, 50 years later, in a similar time of social and political discord, here is an opportunity to create our own peace and harmony. Taking place on from Friday, August 16 to Sunday, August 18 in Watkins Glen, New York, its lineup includes The Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, and Janelle Monáe, amongst countless others. Join thousands of other music lovers for a weekend of peace, harmony, and music.
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