The best free summer concerts.
Catch free shows at Celebrate Brooklyn!, SummerStage, Rockefeller Center and more.
New York might be one of the most prohibitively expensive places to live in the world, but every now and then it throws us some solid freebies. Summer concerts is one! Mark your calendars, because here are more than 20 of the best free shows to catch this summer.
New York’s largest annual outdoor summer music festival has its hub at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, but spreads its 100-plus shows across 16 parks throughout all five boroughs. And with the exception of a handful of ticketed benefit shows, the majority are free. Find our recommendations, above right. Complete list at cityparksfoundation.org/ summerstage/
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!
The beloved Brooklynbased summer concert series takes place every year at the Prospect Park Bandshell, with mostly free performances and a few benefit concerts. Find our recommendations, above. Full list at bricartsmedia.org.
Rockefeller Center, “The Today Show”
Early risers (“The Today Show” airs at 7 a.m., but fans are advised to arrive at 5 a.m., as it’s first come, first served) can check big name acts at these free concert tapings at Rockefeller Center. Miley Cyrus performs on May 26,
Halsey on June 9, DNCE on July 21, and Fitz and
the Tantrums on July 28. Full list at today.com/ concertseries
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
In July and August, catch free evening concerts at squares and parks surrounding the world famous Lincoln Center. The series kicks off on
July 13 with NPR Music’s Turning the Tables Live, a concert featuring female musicians (performers to be announced) from NPR’s list of 100 greatest albums by women. On July 29, British songwriter Rumer, featuring special guest Dionne Warwick, will sing oldies from the Burt Bacharach catalog. And rock out to Nick Lowe on Aug. 5, and on Aug. 9, let the Grammy Award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra serenade you. Full lineup at lincolncenter.org/out-ofdoors.
Surf Lodge, Montauk
It’s a hike, but worth the trek for the chance to catch acclaimed artists, for free, at one of The End’s hippest venues. Head out on the L.I.R.R. for one night or make a beach weekend around one of these summer shows, including indie rocker Kurt Vile on June 25, pop-punk outfit Bully on July 2, and ever-beloved crooner Jenny Lewis, Aug. 19. Full list, thesurflodge.com/ concert-series
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! hosts free concerts all summer long at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
SummerStage puts on more than 100 shows in 16 parks across all five boroughs.