Events

Every Free Outdoor Concert in NYC This Summer

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn | Ryan Muir
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn | Ryan Muir

You can actually save money during summer in New York City -- if you play your cards right. Date nights in Prospect Park, weekends at Rockaway Beach, workday lunches on farmers’ market and food festival samples can all save you some cash. But nothing compares to laying down a blanket in the middle of the city and catching free concerts by some of your Spotify guilty pleasures. Whether you want to catch a before-work Top 40 concert, or unwind on a summer’s night and fall in love with a new sound, add these completely free outdoor concerts to your summer schedule. And be sure to check back for new listings!

MAY

May 24
Hozier
Sounds like: Contemporary Irish earworms
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

May 31
Ciara
Sounds like: Modern R&B you’ll want to dance to
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

Today show Summer Concert Series - Lineup to be announced -- check back here for updates!

JUNE

June 1
Emily King / Durand Jones and the Indications
Sounds like: A cool downtown musician who moved upstate
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 4
Patti LaBelle
Sounds like: Iconic R&B
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 8
Ibeyi, Sudan Archives, Orion Sun
Sounds like: A badass crew of international female artists
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 8
Parquet Courts / Sachiko Kanenobu / ARP / Prince of Queens
Sounds like: Vintage Brooklyn rock
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 10
The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Sounds like: Opera
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 11
Kes The Band
Sounds like: Tropical R&B
Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk

June 12
New York Cantors
Sounds like: Yiddish and traditional Jewish music
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 12
Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Sounds like: Opera
Brooklyn Bridge Park

June 13
Big Freedia / MikeQ / BATEKOO / Gina Yashere
Sounds like: A celebration of LGBTQ people of color, plus comedy
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 13
Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Sounds like: Opera
Jackie Robinson Park

June 15
Rich Medina / Shareef Keyes & the Groove
Sounds like: A funky family dance party
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 15
Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Sounds like: Opera
Williamsbridge Oval Park

June 15
DeJohnette – Coltrane – Garrison Trio / Brandee Younger
Sounds like: Jazz
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 17
Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Sounds like: Opera
Socrates Sculpture Garden

June 19
Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
Sounds like: Opera
Clove Lakes Park (Staten Island)

June 19
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Sounds like: All-male ballet troupe in drag
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 20
Tank and the Bangas / Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles
Sounds like: Gospel hip-hop
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 20
Pharoahe Monch and Friends / Miss Mocha Sunflower The Rhythm Goddess
Sounds like: Underground NYC rap
Von King Park

June 21
Calexico and Iron & Wine / Adia Victoria
Sounds like: Collaborative indie pop
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 21
Ronald K. Brown
Sounds like: Contemporary dance performance (and workshop)
Von King Park

June 22
Tortoise: TNT / Emily Wells with Metropolis Ensemble
Sounds like: Experimental rock (but in a good way)
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 22
The Aussie BBQ
Sounds like: Contemporary Australian music
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 22
Everyday People & Special Guests
Sounds like: Daytime dance party
Von King Park

June 23
Sheila E. / Musiq Soulchild
Sounds like: A Prince protégé, plus neo-funk
Flushing Meadows Corona Park

June 23
Fête de la Musique
Sounds like: Parisian pop
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 23
Jesse Royal / Kabaka Pyramid / Max Glazer
Sounds like: Dancehall hip-hop
Von King Park

June 24
Japanese Breakfast / Hatchie / House of Nod
Sounds like: Contemporary indie pop
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 26
Chucho Valdés - Jazz Batá / Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet
Sounds like: Cuban jazz
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 26
Alvvays / The Courtneys / Ellis
Sounds like: Female-fronted Canadian pop
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

June 27
Protoje / Jah9 / Yoga on Dub / DJ Top Notch & MICRO DON
Sounds like: Reggae dancehall
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 27
Duck Down BBQ
Sounds like: 90s soul (plus a cookout)
Betsy Head Park

June 28
Celso Piña / Dos Santos / Riobamba
Sounds like: Latin orchestra groove
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 28
Young M.A. / Funk Flex
Sounds like: Hip-hop DJ
Betsy Head Park

June 29
Liz Phair / Ted Leo and the Pharmacists / Caroline Rose
Sounds like: 2003 (get a load of me, get a load of you, etc.)
Prospect Park Bandshell

June 29
Jonathan McReynolds
Sounds like: Contemporary gospel
Betsy Head Park

June 30
Buika / A-WA / Blick Bassy / DJ Tara
Sounds like: Flamenco, soul, pop fusion
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

JULY

July 5
Mick Jenkins / Leikeli47 / Leven Kali / Joy Postell
Sounds like: Progressive hip-hop and soul
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 5
Mighty Sparrow / CASYM Steel Orchestra
Sounds like: Calypso
Springfield Park

July 6
Oddisee / 47SOUL / NARCY
Sounds like: Arab rap
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 6
Ralph McDaniels Soul Jam
Sounds like: Classic hip-hop
Springfield Park

July 7
Tabou Combo / Lakou Mizik / DJ Sabine Blaizin
Sounds like: Gospel-inspired soul
Springfield Park

July 7
Mr Eazi / Efya / Blinky Bill / DJ Mohogany
Sounds like: Afropop
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

July 10
Ximena Sariñana / iLe / Nathy Peluso
Sounds like: Jazzy Latin dance pop
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

Aterciopelados
Aterciopelados | Joe Mabel/Flickr

July 11
Aterciopelados / Diamante Eléctrico / DJ Dayansita
Sounds like: Latin Rock
Queensbridge Park

July 12
Gaby Moreno and Van Dyke Parks: Spangled / Enjambre / El David Aguilar
Sounds like: Latin indie folk
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 12
A Palo Seco
Sounds like: Flamenco dance with a live band
Queensbridge Park

July 13
Salif Keita / Courtnee Roze
Sounds like: Afro-French pop
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 13
León Gieco / Kevin Johansen / El Mató a un Policía Motorizado /  Silvina Morena / Juan Ingaramo
Sounds like: A celebration of Argentinian music
Queensbridge Park

July 13
20th Anniversary Latin Grammys Celebration
Sounds like: The best in Latin music
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

July 14
Avery*Sunshine
Sounds like: Rhythm and soul vocalist
Queensbridge Park

July 14
Railroad Earth / Ranky Tanky
Sounds like: Bluegrass for the whole family
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

July 17
Merce Cunningham: SummerCool
Sounds like: Dance companies celebrate the iconic choreographer
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

July 18
I’m With Her / Darlingside
Sounds like: Feminist and literary folk
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 18
Lisa Lisa / Cover Girls / DJ Lucy Euclid
Sounds like: Latina freestyle
Corporal Thompson Park (Staten Island)

July 19
Burna Boy / Sampa the Great / DJ Tunez
Sounds like: Afro-pop
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 19
Jody Watley / Mobile Mondays / Princess Lockerooo / DJ Joey Carvello
Sounds like: Eclectic R&B
Corporal Thompson Park (Staten Island)

July 20
Alloy Orchestra: Varieté / LAVA
Sounds like: Orchestra and acrobatics
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 20
Ana Tijoux / L'Unicorns / DJ Shame Hosted by Jen and Magie
Sounds like: French fusion hip-hop/pop
Corporal Thompson Park (Staten Island)

July 21
Force M.D.s and U.M.C.’s with Red Alert / DJ Xcel & DJ Thrilla
Sounds like: 90s R&B
Corporal Thompson Park (Staten Island)

July 25
Surprise Headliner / Nilüfer Yanya
Sounds like: British pop opening for a surprise headliner
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 25
Grand Wizzard Theodore & Uptown Vinyl Supreme with DJ Perly
Sounds like: 1970s original Bronx hip-hop
Soundview Park  

July 26
Jidenna / Anik Khan / DJ MOMA
Sounds like: Worldly rap
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 26
Lalo Rodriguez / Los Hermanos Moreno / DJ Lucho
Sounds like: Salsa
Soundview Park

July 26
Fela! The Concert
Sounds like: Afrobeat goes Broadway
Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk

July 27
Compagnie Hervé KOUBI
Sounds like: French-Algerian dance performance
Prospect Park Bandshell

July 27
Slick Rick / DJ Chuck Chillout
Sounds like: Hip-hop & rap
Soundview Park

July 27
Alceu Valença / Cordel do Fogo Encantado / Labaq/ DJ Grace Kelly
Sounds like: Afro Brazilian
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

July 28
The Tedsmooth Oldschool Jam
Sounds like: An iconic NYC hip-hop DJ  
SoundviewPark

July 28
Magic System / Smarty / Selma Uamusse / DJ Birane
Sounds like: Afropop
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

July 31
Ray De La Paz / Edgar Joel and Anthony Colon / DJ Kamala
Sounds like: Salsa
Crotona Park

July 31
Fela! The Concert
Sounds like: Afrobeat goes Broadway
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

AUGUST

August 1
Samini / Efya
Sounds like: Ghanaian pop
Crotona Park

August 2
Nosaj Thing DJ Set / Kimbra / Bells Atlas
Sounds like: Diverse electro-pop
Prospect Park Bandshell

August 2
Garifuna Collective
Sounds like: Caribbean dance
Crotona Park

August 3
EPMD 30th Anniversary
Sounds like: 90s funk
Crotona Park

August 3
Taiwanese Waves: Wan Fang, Tizzy Bac, A Bao, 9M88
Sounds like: Contemporary Taiwanese
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

August 4
Corrine Bailey Rae / Jose James / DJ Natasha Diggs
Sounds like: Girl, put your records on
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

August 8
Ailey II
Sounds like: Legendary modern dance
Prospect Park Bandshell

August 8
Crumb / Phony Ppl/ Purr
Sounds like: Freeform pop and hip-hop
East River Park  

August 9
What’s Going On featuring Felicia Collins, Toshi Reagon, Siedah Garrett, Kecia Lewis, and others
Sounds like: Today’s artists covering Marvin Gaye
Prospect Park Bandshell

August 9
Elisa Monte Dance
Sounds like: Contemporary dance
East River Park

August 10
Bomba Estéreo / Delsonido
Sounds like: Electric cumbia
Prospect Park Bandshell

August 10
VP Records 40th Anniversary
Sounds like: Dancehall
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

August 10
Mountain Goats
Sounds like: Your hipster Bushwick neighbor started a decent band
East River Park

August 11
Lila Downs / Lido Pimienta / DJ Ripley
Sounds like: Ranchera soul
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

August 11
Eddie Palmieri / Baby Power / DJ Sonni
Sounds like: Salsa
East River Park

August 14
Omar Lye-Fook / Nakhane / DJ Wildcat
Sounds like: Mash-up funk
Marcus Garvey Park

August 15
The Clark Center 60th Anniversary
Sounds like: A celebration of modern dance
Marcus Garvey Park

August 17
Black Woodstock 50th Anniversary
Sounds like: Decades of black pride through music
Marcus Garvey Park

August 18
The Wailers’ Julian Junior Marvin / DJ Queen Majesty
Sounds like: Bob Marley’s band
Marcus Garvey Park

August 18
La Sonora Ponceña
Sounds like: Old school salsa
Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk

August 23
Harlem 100
Sounds like: Multimedia music celebration
Marcus Garvey Park

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Dee Dee Bridgewater | GYG Studio/Shutterstock

August 24
Dee Dee Bridgewater / Ravi Coltrane
Sounds like: Jazz
Marcus Garvey Park

August 25
La India / Cimafunk / DJ Sonni
Sounds like: Latin freestyle
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

August 27
The Originals
Sounds like: Hip-hop you can groove to
Rumsey Playfield, Central Park

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Melissa is a writer living in NYC who once slept in Central Park to see Beyonce for free. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.