July 2015 events calendar for New York City

Plan your month with our events calendar featuring Fourth of July events, Interpol and "Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks"

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/look@j/Flickr

Summer is at its peak, and there's no shortage of wonderful events. For those yearning to experience some amazing indie rock, snag tickets to Interpol or Modest Mouse. Culture vultures looking to add some art to your summer can visit "Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks" at the Brooklyn Museum. And for a true NYC summer tradition, stop by the annual Nathan's hot-dog-eating contest.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2015

Featured events in July 2015

Fourth of July events in New York City

Independence Day in NYC means fireworks, hot dogs, BBQ, beaches, picnics and other Fourth of July events that make this summer holiday one of our favorites

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Shakespeare in the Park in NYC

Every summer, the Public Theater produces a beloved New York democratic tradition: Shakespeare in the Park, presented for free at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. There’s nothing quite like hearing the Bard’s immortal words performed outdoors, with a backdrop of natural splendor and the Belvedere Castle looming in the background like the world’s most impressive set decoration.

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By: Adam Feldman

Summer concerts in NYC

Start hoarding sunscreen: Your guide to the best summer concerts of 2015 has arrived. Plan out your summer in New York with our picks for the best warm-weather gigs, including free concerts, jazz concerts, hip-hop shows, summer music festivals and more.

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By: Hank Shteamer

Summer music festivals

Music festivals have become as essential a feature of summer in the city as ice-skating and hot chocolate are to winter in New York: It's part of the reason why you live here. What makes New York's summer music festival scene better than anywhere else's? We'll start with the beautiful weather, then add the fact that you'll be watching your favorite bands play in truly iconic surroundings—say, Central Park, or the leafy Celebrate Brooklyn! bandshell.

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By: Hank Shteamer

Bastille Day

Critics' pick

Indulge your inner Francophile during this celebration of French national pride. Held on three avenue blocks closed to traffic, the fest boasts tasty treats like crêpes and cheeses, Macaron Café macarons ($2) and baked goods from patisserie Financier, as well as sets by accordion players and other musicians, cultural dances like the cancan, and kiddie-friendly activities such as face painting. E 60th St between Fifth and Lexington Aves (bastilledayny.com).

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Manhattan Sunday July 12 2015 Free

Taylor Swift + Vance Joy + Shawn Mendes

Critics' pick

T. Swift was always a little more Madonna than Miranda Lambert, so her decision to leave Nashville for NYC—and pop-country for plain old pop—isn't necessarily shocking. What is mind-blowing is that the 25-year-old's latest album, 1989, has broken sales records long held by Britney Spears and Eminem, something unfathomable in today's music world. The Spotify-averse Swifty celebrates her overwhelming success with this good-as-sold-out stadium gig in Jersey. Get ready to "Shake It Off," people.

Read more
MetLife Stadium Friday July 10 2015 - Saturday July 11 2015

Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

Critics' pick

Frankfurter fanatics will again chow down against the clock at this annual Coney Island eating competition. Top speed eaters from this year’s preliminaries, held in 12 cities nationwide, will battle to see who can eat the most buns and dogs in ten minutes at the ESPN-televised finals. Preshow entertainment includes performances by rapper Eric "Badlands" Booker and other local talent.

Read more
Nathan's Famous Saturday July 4 2015 Free

Foo Fighters + Royal Blood

Critics' pick

For two decades, Dave Grohl and his Foos have been America's greatest purveyors of fan-friendly radio rock. Is their output, including the much-hyped new Sonic Highways, blandly middle-of-the-road? Yep. But is it also good for a beer-hoisting night of neo-classic-rock sing-alongs? You bet it is. British grunge-blues types Royal Blood set the stage for these enormo gigs at Citi Field.

Read more
Citi Field Wednesday July 15 2015 - Thursday July 16 2015

Free events in July 2015

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

For this mother of all pyrotechnic displays, Macy's will explode more than 40,000 fireworks choreographed to a 25-minute patriotic score. Stake out a nice spot near the Brooklyn Bridge, and bring your own picnic basket with beverages to toast our country's birthday. Best viewing location: Broad Street and/or Old Slip at Water Street, Brooklyn Bridge entry from St. James Place (Pearl Street) & Wagner Place, Montgomery & South Streets: From the north (viewing along the FDR between Manhattan Bridge and Montgomery Street, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Bridge Promenade RECOMMENDED: All 4th of July coverage

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Brooklyn Saturday July 4 2015 Free

Summer on the Hudson Picture Show: Jurassic Park

Critics' pick

Hold on to your butts, because T. rexes are invading Manhattan. Watch dinosaurs run amok in a science experiment gone horribly wrong as the sun sets over the Hudson, and get excited for the upcoming Jurassic World.

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Riverside Park Wednesday July 1 2015 Free

Bastille Day

Critics' pick

Indulge your inner Francophile during this celebration of French national pride. Held on three avenue blocks closed to traffic, the fest boasts tasty treats like crêpes and cheeses, Macaron Café macarons ($2) and baked goods from patisserie Financier, as well as sets by accordion players and other musicians, cultural dances like the cancan, and kiddie-friendly activities such as face painting. E 60th St between Fifth and Lexington Aves (bastilledayny.com).

Read more
Manhattan Sunday July 12 2015 Free

Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

Frankfurter fanatics will again chow down against the clock at this annual Coney Island eating competition. Top speed eaters from this year’s preliminaries, held in 12 cities nationwide, will battle to see who can eat the most buns and dogs in ten minutes at the ESPN-televised finals. Preshow entertainment includes performances by rapper Eric "Badlands" Booker and other local talent.

Read more
Nathan's Famous Saturday July 4 2015 Free

City of Water Day

Critics' pick

Anyone who’s spent time in landlocked parts of the country will tell you that a city without water is like…erm, a city without water. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance celebrates NYC’s best accessory at Governors Island and Hoboken's Maxwell Place Park, offering activities that remind us just how good we have it. Get gratis access to a plethora of watergoing vessels, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats; or fish, bike or kick back with food and music on dry land. Sign up early to nab a spot on a narrated boat tour of the harbor. Locations vary; visit cityofwaterday.org for details.

Read more
Various locations Saturday July 18 2015 Free

George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic

Critics' pick

George Clinton, the one and only Uncle Jam and author of the recent memoir (deep breath) Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?, lands the mothership for a night of ass-liberating funk.

Read more
Queensbridge Park Wednesday July 15 2015 Free

Soul Summit Music Festival

Critics' pick

A nicely mixed crowd (all races, ages and sexualities), a park, a sound system—and the Soul Summit spinners playing deep house, Garage classics and Afro- and Latin-laced rhythms: What more could you want out of life? Well, how about some great spinners, including Soul Summit residents DJ Sadiq, DJ Tabu and DJ Jeff Mendoza? Visit soulsummitmusic.com for details.

Read more
Fort Greene Park Sunday July 12 2015 Free

Vieux Farka Touré + Tamikrest

Critics' pick

Vieux Farka Touré is the son of late, great Malian bluesman Ali Farka Touré, but in no way does he linger in his famous father's shadow. Esteemed in his own right as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and social-consciousness raiser, Touré turns up here to air his shimmery, engrossing guitarscapes.

Read more
Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Thursday July 16 2015 Free

Rock Steady Crew 38th Anniversary Concert: Whodini + Big Daddy Kane

Critics' pick

Though their "boy" days might be behind them, legendary B-boys the Rock Steady Crew will still wow you with their mind-boggling choreography. Brooklyn hip-hop royalty Whodini and Big Daddy Kane bring additional old-school delights to this unbeatable Sunday matinee.

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Central Park SummerStage Mainstage Sunday July 26 2015 Free

Punch Brothers + Sarah Jarosz

Critics' pick

A-list newgrass group the Punch Brothers, led by übertalented mandolinist, singer and songwriter Chris Thile, brings its new disc The Phosphorescent Blues to Prospect Park. Count on hearing traditional string music performed with insane chops and plenty of whimsical asides.

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Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Thursday July 9 2015 Free
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Music events in July 2015

Billy Joel

Erstwhile angry young man Billy Joel—now an official Madison Square Garden franchise, like the Knicks and Rangers—is tacking on date after date in what's threatening to become an endless run. Tonight may be sold out, but you can grab tickets for...September.

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Madison Square Garden Until Thursday December 17 2015

Punch Brothers + Sarah Jarosz

Critics' pick

A-list newgrass group the Punch Brothers, led by übertalented mandolinist, singer and songwriter Chris Thile, brings its new disc The Phosphorescent Blues to Prospect Park. Count on hearing traditional string music performed with insane chops and plenty of whimsical asides.

Read more
Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Thursday July 9 2015 Free

Taylor Swift + Vance Joy + Shawn Mendes

T. Swift was always a little more Madonna than Miranda Lambert, so her decision to leave Nashville for NYC—and pop-country for plain old pop—isn't necessarily shocking. What is mind-blowing is that the 25-year-old's latest album, 1989, has broken sales records long held by Britney Spears and Eminem, something unfathomable in today's music world. The Spotify-averse Swifty celebrates her overwhelming success with this good-as-sold-out stadium gig in Jersey. Get ready to "Shake It Off," people.

Read more
MetLife Stadium Friday July 10 2015 - Saturday July 11 2015

Romeo Santos

Critics' pick

The Dominican community will be out in force for Bronx bachata overlord Anthony "Romeo" Santos, the former lead singer of Aventura. Despite having sold millions of records—and rubbed elbows with Drake, Kevin Hart, Carlos Santana and Nicki Minaj, all featured on his latest, Fórmula, Vol. 2—the King of Bachata is still little known outside the Latin community. Come see what the fuss is about here.

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Barclays Center Friday July 10 2015

Soul Summit Music Festival

Critics' pick

A nicely mixed crowd (all races, ages and sexualities), a park, a sound system—and the Soul Summit spinners playing deep house, Garage classics and Afro- and Latin-laced rhythms: What more could you want out of life? Well, how about some great spinners, including Soul Summit residents DJ Sadiq, DJ Tabu and DJ Jeff Mendoza? Visit soulsummitmusic.com for details.

Read more
Fort Greene Park Sunday July 12 2015 Free

Idina Menzel

Original Rent girl, Wild Party crasher, Wicked witch and Frozen treat Idina Menzel makes to stops in the NYC area on her global summer tour.

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PNC Bank Arts Center Sunday July 12 2015 - Friday July 17 2015

Foo Fighters + Royal Blood

For two decades, Dave Grohl and his Foos have been America's greatest purveyors of fan-friendly radio rock. Is their output, including the much-hyped new Sonic Highways, blandly middle-of-the-road? Yep. But is it also good for a beer-hoisting night of neo-classic-rock sing-alongs? You bet it is. British grunge-blues types Royal Blood set the stage for these enormo gigs at Citi Field.

Read more
Citi Field Wednesday July 15 2015 - Thursday July 16 2015

Vieux Farka Touré + Tamikrest

Critics' pick

Vieux Farka Touré is the son of late, great Malian bluesman Ali Farka Touré, but in no way does he linger in his famous father's shadow. Esteemed in his own right as a singer, guitarist, songwriter and social-consciousness raiser, Touré turns up here to air his shimmery, engrossing guitarscapes.

Read more
Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Thursday July 16 2015 Free

George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic

Critics' pick

George Clinton, the one and only Uncle Jam and author of the recent memoir (deep breath) Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?, lands the mothership for a night of ass-liberating funk.

Read more
Queensbridge Park Wednesday July 15 2015 Free

Rhiannon Giddens + Joe Henry

Critics' pick

Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an excellent young roots-music trio from North Carolina whose members trained under traditional-fiddle legend Joe Thompson, supports her solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn. As you'll hear here, Giddens's mighty voice gives her retro-styled folk and blues fare a palpable bite and urgency. Also on board is brooding roots-noir songsmith and busy music-biz veteran Joe Henry.

Read more
Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Saturday July 18 2015 Free
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Arts events in July 2015

Bridget Everett: Rock Bottom

Critics' pick

The astonishing, totally fearless Amazon of alt cabaret and raunchy comedy (Inside Amy Schumer) returns to Joe's with a new show commissioned for the venue. Cocreated with Broadway's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) and Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, this is full-contact New York magic, and not to be missed. 

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Joe's Pub at the Public Theater Tuesday July 7 2015 - Saturday July 11 2015

"Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks"

This show presents some 160 pages culled from the artist’s notebooks—sketches, but also examples of the artist’s poetry and other writings—along with related paintings and works on paper.

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Brooklyn Museum Friday May 29 2015 - Sunday August 23 2015

"Andy Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Cans and Other Works, 1953–1967"

Critics' pick

On July 9, 1962, Andy Warhol made his one-person debut at a Los Angles gallery called Ferus, founded five years earlier by curator Walter Hopps and artist Edward Keinholz. It represented the first showing of Warhol's Campbell's Soup Can paintings, an image he became indelibly linked with. Often installed in a grid, they were originally hung in a single line at Ferus, an installation MoMA revives here in its look at Warhol's early years, when he turned the art world upside down.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Monday October 12 2015

Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two

Critics' pick

Despite its title, there are more species than just Canis lupus scurrying and lurking along the margins of Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s triumphant, blockbuster adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor-history novels. It’s a regular illuminated manuscript up there: quivering rabbits standing in for doomed courtiers; clucking hens supplied by gossipy ladies-in-waiting; and warthogs and goats in the form of odious, snobby lords. So many beasts, and only one man their zookeeper: Thomas Cromwell.

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Winter Garden Theatre Until Sunday July 5 2015

"Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in Gold"

This show is timed to coincide with the release of the Helen Mirren vehicle, Woman in Gold, which tells the true story of Maria Altmann, who successfully sued Austria to repatriate 5 Klimt paintings looted by the Nazis. Altmann was also the niece of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the only subject Gustav Klimt painted twice. His Adele Bloch-Bauer I serves as centerpiece for this round-up of 50 works, including paintings, related drawings, vintage photographs, decorative arts and archival material.

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Neue Galerie New York Until Monday September 7 2015

"Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette"

Critics' pick

Corsets, girdles and hoop skirts are just a few of the ways humans have used clothing and fashion to change the way their bodies appear. This exhibition looks at understructures from the 17th century to the present day, including moving mannequins that show how inventions like panniers (wires that gave you giant hips) and bustles work.

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Bard Graduate Center Until Sunday July 26 2015

"Gilbert & George: The Early Years"

Critics' pick

MoMA delves into its holdings of the early career of the famed Brit "living sculptures" for a show of works completed between 1969 and 1980. Photos, videos, drawings and assorted ephemera are on tap.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Sunday September 27 2015

"Frida Kahlo: Art. Garden. Life."

Examine the influences of plants and wildlife in Kahlo’s work while surrounded by flora and fauna yourself. Twelve original paintings, including her lesser-known still lifes, will be on display, as well as a revocation of her home garden at her Casa Azul in Mexico.

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New York Botanical Garden Until Sunday November 1 2015

Richard Serra, Equal

Critics' pick

On view is a major new installation in forged, weatherproof steel by the art world’s god of heavy metal.

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David Zwirner Until Friday July 24 2015 Free

"Van Gogh: Irises and Roses"

Critics' pick

Van Gogh painted two versions each of the eponymous still life subjects near the end of his stay in Provence at the asylum at Saint-Rémy. One pair of canvases resides at the Met, the other at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. They're reunited here for the first time since Van Gogh's death.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Until Sunday August 16 2015

More events in July 2015

Bastille Day

Critics' pick

Indulge your inner Francophile during this celebration of French national pride. Held on three avenue blocks closed to traffic, the fest boasts tasty treats like crêpes and cheeses, Macaron Café macarons ($2) and baked goods from patisserie Financier, as well as sets by accordion players and other musicians, cultural dances like the cancan, and kiddie-friendly activities such as face painting. E 60th St between Fifth and Lexington Aves (bastilledayny.com).

Read more
Manhattan Sunday July 12 2015 Free

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

Critics' pick

For this mother of all pyrotechnic displays, Macy's will explode more than 40,000 fireworks choreographed to a 25-minute patriotic score. Stake out a nice spot near the Brooklyn Bridge, and bring your own picnic basket with beverages to toast our country's birthday.

Read more
Brooklyn Saturday July 4 2015 Free

City of Water Day

Critics' pick

Anyone who’s spent time in landlocked parts of the country will tell you that a city without water is like…erm, a city without water. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance celebrates NYC’s best accessory at Governors Island and Hoboken's Maxwell Place Park, offering activities that remind us just how good we have it. Get gratis access to a plethora of watergoing vessels, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats; or fish, bike or kick back with food and music on dry land. Sign up early to nab a spot on a narrated boat tour of the harbor. Locations vary; visit cityofwaterday.org for details.

Read more
Various locations Saturday July 18 2015 Free

First Sundays at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Every Sunday, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is packed with fun, eco-friendly events for you and your friends to enjoy, with the peace of mind that you're doing something nice for Mother Earth. This Sunday, learn traditional hula and Tahitian ori with Polynesian cultural ambassador Kaina Quenga from 3:30 to 4:30pm, become one with nature on a Tropical Plant Stroll in Steinhardt Conservatory at 11am or 2pm and browse sustainable Swedish items at Gudrun Sjödén Pop-up Shop throughout the day.

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sun Apr 5 - Sun Dec 6

Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

Critics' pick

Frankfurter fanatics will again chow down against the clock at this annual Coney Island eating competition. Top speed eaters from this year’s preliminaries, held in 12 cities nationwide, will battle to see who can eat the most buns and dogs in ten minutes at the ESPN-televised finals. Preshow entertainment includes performances by rapper Eric "Badlands" Booker and other local talent.

Read more
Nathan's Famous Saturday July 4 2015 Free

Warm Up at MoMA PS1

Critics' pick

After a decade and a half of packing MoMA PS1's courtyard with NYC's music aficionados and sun-worshipping revelers, Warm Up is bigger than ever, with as strong a lineup of bands, DJs and producers as it's had in years. Last year's awesome DJ talent included Yeezus producer Evian Christ, Dâm-Funk and the electropop duo Cibo Matto, so we're sure this year's will be bigger and better than ever.

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MoMA PS1 Saturday June 27 2015 - Saturday September 5 2015

Mobile Mondays! 45s

Start your week with funk, soul, rock, punk, new wave, pop, salsa, calypso, reggae, rhythm & blues, disco and anything else that's danceable, spun (on 45rpm vinyl) by Just Blaze, Misbehaviour, $$$ Mike, Operator EMZ, Joey Carvello, Natasha Diggs and guests.

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The Bowery Electric Monday June 1 2015 - Tuesday December 29 2015

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Remember Bill Nye the Science Guy? Great! Now imagine him as a bartender who is deeply interested in the history of ethanol alcohol, really likes wigs and costumes, and just joined a coed barbershop quartet.

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SoHo Playhouse Until Thursday December 31 2015

Music Video Night

Every first Monday of the month, Bossa Nova Civic Club's professional juicer/bartender/VJ/DJ Chris Video hosts Music Video Night—complete with happy hour sets, movie screenings and live DJ sets. But wait! Make sure to stick around late for your nightcap; Chris Video runs the music video request line from 1-4am to satisfy everyone's latest YouTube wishes.

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Bossa Nova Civic Club Monday June 1 2015 - Tuesday January 5 2016 Free

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