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September 2015 events calendar for New York City

Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, including Oktoberfest activities and our picks from theater, the arts and music

Photograph: Filip Wolak
West Indian-American Day Carnival 2013

New York’s arts and culture scene amps up in the fall, so best to start planning your season early. Our events calendar for September is chock-full of concerts and awesome things to do, including street festivals such as the West Indian American Day Carnival and the Atlantic Antic.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2015

Featured events in September 2015

Electric Zoo Festival

Look out New York City dance clubs, the Electric Zoo Festival is poised to take over Labor Day weekend, briging hoards of EDM fans to Randall's Island for the event's seventh summer. The festival has become an unmissable attraction on the electronic-dance-music circuit, featuring a wide range of artists both top name and underground. Get on your dancing shoes and best festival clothing and enjoy the tunes.

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By: Vivienne van Vliet

West Indian–American Day Carnival

The annual West Indian–American Day Carnival draws close to two million people to Crown Heights in Brooklyn each year. During the seven-hour New York carnival, steel-pan and calypso bands in elaborate costumes march down Eastern Parkway, and vendors sell homestyle island grub along the route. 

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Labor Day weekend in NYC

Before you bid summer adieu, go out with a bang on Labor Day. Whether you want ideas for cool out-of-town spots or just want a staycation, we've listed all the best events and other unmissabale things to do, including ways to have the best summer ever before Labor Day weekend 2015.

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By: Tazi Phillips

Oktoberfest in NYC

One of the top things to do in New York this fall includes two weeks of drinking some of the best beer in NYC during Oktoberfest. Take in the beautiful fall foliage while drinking at one of the best beer gardens and beer halls in New York City. Oktoberfest New Yorkers, take advantage of this glorious holiday to sample fine Bavarian beer and food. Prost!

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Free events in September 2015

NYC Unicycle Festival

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus presents three days of one-wheeled races, games and exhibitions. Demonstrate your cycling prowess on a 13-mile ride from City Hall to Coney Island in honor of Brooklyn Unicycle Day (Aug 31 at 3pm; unibridgetour.info). On September 1 and 2 join New York’s legendary King Charles Troupe for team activities—all on a cycle—including hockey, basketball and even sumo wrestling. Expect attempts to break Guinness World Records, DJ Sky King spinning and plenty of beginner lessons for newbies.

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Governors Island Thursday September 3 2015 - Sunday September 6 2015 Free

West Side County Fair

The Upper West Side gets countryfied with carnival rides, games, music, square dancing, sideshow acts, a petting zoo and a Greenmarket. In the Green Acre environmental corner, young fairgoers get some hands-on schooling in eco-friendly living and animal care. All ages.

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Riverside Park South, Pier 1 Sunday September 6 2015 Free

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit

Every year around Memorial day, hundreds of artists from New York and around the world gravitate to Washington Square to exhibit their wares. A spread of jewelry, metal work, ceramics, graphics, oils and acrylics are laid out for art lovers to choose from. Tourists, collectors, students and teachers crowd this sidewalk show from University Place at 13th St to the West 3rd St to immerse themselves in day full of craft and color.

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Washington Square Park Sunday August 30 2015 - Monday September 7 2015 Free

Music events in September 2015

Electric Zoo Festival

Look out New York City dance clubs, the Electric Zoo Festival is poised to take over Labor Day weekend, briging hoards of EDM fans to Randall's Island for the event's seventh summer. The festival has become an unmissable attraction on the electronic-dance-music circuit, featuring a wide range of artists both top name and underground. Get on your dancing shoes and best festival clothing and enjoy the tunes.

Read more
By: Vivienne van Vliet

Death Cab for Cutie + Explosions in the Sky

Key exponents of the earnest, easy-listening school of indie rock that flourished in the early aughts, Death Cab for Cutie are still going strong. Here, Ben Gibbard and his Washington State crew gig behind their eighth LP, whose title, Kintsugi, references a Japanese art form that, according to Death Cab bassist Nick Harmer, "[makes] the repair of an object a visual part of its history" and also nods to the 2014 departure of DCFC cofounder Chris Walla. In keeping with the bands M.O., fans shouldn't expect too radical a shift; the new material just sounds like good, old Death Cab to us. Texan epic-instrumental-soundtrack-rock specialists Explosions in the Sky set the stage.

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Madison Square Garden Saturday September 12 2015

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

Led Zeppelin may be in the midst of a snazzy, full-catalog reissue campaign, but don't get your hopes up for a U.S. tour. Leonine lead man Robert Plant is on the road with his current cross-cultural concern, the Sensational Space Shifters, touring behind a sensuous African-tinged soul-meets-rock set, lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar.

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Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center) Friday September 18 2015

Arts events in September 2015

"Warriors and Mothers: Epic Mbembe Art"

The Met brings together wood carvings created between the 17th and 19th centuries by the Mbembe people of southeastern Nigeria. These artifacts, which could sometimes measure several feet in height, were believed to have originally adorned monumental drums used in spiritual ceremonies.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Until Monday September 7 2015

"Gilbert & George: The Early Years"

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

More events in September 2015

NYC Unicycle Festival

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus presents three days of one-wheeled races, games and exhibitions. Demonstrate your cycling prowess on a 13-mile ride from City Hall to Coney Island in honor of Brooklyn Unicycle Day (Aug 31 at 3pm; unibridgetour.info). On September 1 and 2 join New York’s legendary King Charles Troupe for team activities—all on a cycle—including hockey, basketball and even sumo wrestling. Expect attempts to break Guinness World Records, DJ Sky King spinning and plenty of beginner lessons for newbies.

Read more
Governors Island Thursday September 3 2015 - Sunday September 6 2015 Free

Richmond County Fair

Grab the fam and head to Historic Richmond Town, a preserved museum-village dating from the late 17th century, for its 34th annual county fair. Three stages of live music, puppetry, dance performances and rides are sure to entertain. Plus, check out the Ultimate Air Dogs: These athletic pups perform tricks while jumping off a dock into water, catching serious air (20 feet!) in the process.

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Historic Richmond Town Saturday September 5 2015 - Monday September 7 2015

West Side County Fair

The Upper West Side gets countryfied with carnival rides, games, music, square dancing, sideshow acts, a petting zoo and a Greenmarket. In the Green Acre environmental corner, young fairgoers get some hands-on schooling in eco-friendly living and animal care. All ages.

Read more
Riverside Park South, Pier 1 Sunday September 6 2015 Free

The Amazing Maize Maze

Assemble clues and solve puzzles to find your way out of this playfully named three-acre corn maze in Queens. On Oct 5 and 12, the cereal labyrinth shuts at 9pm instead of 4:30pm—test your navigational skills and see if you can use the stars to find the exit.

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Queens County Farm Museum Saturday September 19 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015

World Maker Faire

Creators of all ages and stripes convene at this geeky gathering, which is now in its fourth year. More than 650 creators will show off their inventions—such as origami earrings and a battery-less universal remote—while instructing visitors on how to replicate them at home. The super-charged science fair also offers demonstrations of emerging technologies, talks with head honchos from NASA and Disney, and hundreds of DIY projects that you can try yourself, because you never can have too many 3-D–printed water-bottle carriers that convert into dog bowls.

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New York Hall of Science Saturday September 26 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

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Bobby
Bobby

Come see and hear the new MGMT album via playbacks of the "Optimizer," an innovative and immersive audio and visual experience @ The Knitting Factory, tonight - 9/11. Free pizza and drink specials. 21+. MGMT is available September 17. All commercial formats include download of the "Optimizer." Drink Specials: $3 PBR and Rolling Rock, $5 Wells, $6 Beer/Shot Combos