Summer concerts in NYC: Music festivals and outdoor concerts

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The Bamboozle

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

You need a word as cartoonish as bamboozle to describe this proudly schizo grab bag of a music fest. Look beyond this year’s headliners—Skrillex, Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance and Bon Jovi, among them—and you’ll find everyone from sass-rap upstart Kreayshawn to emo faves Jimmy Eat World and foulmouthed comic Andrew Dice Clay. Let that animated hammer smack you upside your noggin and enjoy the shiny stars.

Enter to win two tickets.

  1. Asbury Park Beach 1300 Ocean Ave, at Fifth Ave
  2. Fri May 18 - Sun May 20
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The Great GoogaMooga

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Music lovers and foodies unite in a blissful sandwich at this new summer weekend extravaganza in Prospect Park, taking place over two days. An eclectic smorgasbord of talent includes the Roots, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Holy Ghost!, Unchained (a Van Halen tribute act) and Fort Lean on Sat 19; and Charles Bradley, Escort, and Daryl Hall and John Oates on Sun 20. All this and brisket? We can go for that.

Enter to win two VIP tickets: May 19 | May 20

  1. Prospect Park, Nethermead Enter at Prospect Park Southwest, at 16th St
  2. Sun May 19
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103.5 WKTU's KTUphoria

  • Price band: 2/4

Muscle-bound Miami lover-boy Pitbull heads up this outdoor dance fest, which also features pop hunks Enrique Iglesias and Adam Lambert, party-rapper Flo Rida, dance hero Calvin Harris and Somali-Canadian song man K'Naan. Appropriately, this dazzling sweatfest is sponsored by Century 21.

  1. PNC Bank Arts Center Exit 116, Garden State Pkwy
  2. Fri May 31 - Sat Jun 1
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Governor's Ball

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Having recently returned to action with a pair of instantly sold-out club dates, Fiona Apple commandeers Randall's Island June 24 to properly celebrate the release of her new album, which naturally has a 23-word title. Beck, Modest Mouse and Explosions in the Sky are among the major acts that share the Sunday bill; on Saturday you can catch Passion Pit, Duck Sauce, Chromeo, Santigold, Special Disco Version and more.

Enter to win two weekend passes.

  1. Randalls Island Park Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, at Randalls Island
  2. Fri Jun 6 - Sun Jun 8
More info

Orion Music + More

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This two-day, Metallica-curated blowout, featuring indie-rock darlings such as Best Coast and Fucked Up alongside cool metal undergrounders Charred Walls of the Damned, seems like a better fit for the hard-rock legends than last year’s Big 4 package: Let’s be serious, Metallica long ago outgrew the subgenre that named it. James Hetfield & Co. headline both evenings, playing their self-titled commercial breakthrough (you know it as the Black Album) on Saturday and their early classic Ride the Lightning on Sunday.

Enter to win a pair of two-day passes.

  1. Bader Field, Atlantic City
  2. Sat Jun 23 - Sun Jun 24
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Hot Chip

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The electropop band returns with a house-heavy new album, In Our Heads—a follow-up to 2010’s rightfully lauded One Life Stand. Expect to leave the show with a huge smile on your face and nary an inch of dry T-shirt on your back.

  1. Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) Prospect Park West, at 9th St
  2. Wed Jul 23
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Refused + OFF!

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It once seemed unthinkable that we'd ever hear from these arty Swedish hardcore types again, but what's this? Yes, folks, it's the third local show in three months by Refused, a band that (like so many others) accrued a serious cult following after breaking up in the late ’90s. What makes this gig extra enticing is that it doubles as the debut of Williamsburg Park, a snazzy new outdoor venue in the former Williamsburg Waterfront locale. Given the headliner's angsty angularity, this one doesn't exactly promise fun in the sun, but you won't hear any complaints from us. Setting the stage is OFF!, an awesomely obnoxious punk outfit featuring former Black Flag shouter Keith Morris.

Enter to win two tickets.

  1. Williamsburg Park Kent Ave, at N. 12th St
  2. Wed Jul 23
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Catalpa NYC

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

It seems like the Black Keys and Snoop Dogg are headlining every festival on the planet this year, but we’re still on board for Catalpa. You can check off just about any genre with the rest of this lineup. Catch Brooklyn art-rock darlings TV on the Radio, jam-band kingpins Umphrey’s McGee, quick-fingered beat maker AraabMuzik and more.

Enter to win two weekend passes.

  1. Randalls Island Park Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, at Randalls Island
  2. Sat Jul 28 - Sun Jul 29
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Carolina Chocolate Drops + Buckwheat Zydeco + Abigail Washburn

  • Critics choice
  • Free

One of the season’s most intriguing roots-music lineups, this SummerStage value pack includes Carolina Chocolate Drops, a rural-roots trio rustic enough to sound for real, hip enough for hip-hop and chic enough to snag a deal with Nonesuch Records. Arty banjoist Abigail Washburn helps you muster all the stamina you’ll need for dancing your ass off to Buckwheat Zydeco’s down-South bounce.

Enter to win two express entry tickets.

  1. SummerStage Mainstage Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St
  2. Until Sat Aug 11
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My Morning Jacket + Shabazz Palaces

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Bearded, beloved outfit MMJ has found that sweet spot where jammy looseness meets eclectic indie rock. As if sipping a cold brew by the water at this refurbished venue weren’t enough of a reason, get there early for futuristic and utterly engrossing hip-hop outfit Shabazz Palaces.

Enter to win two tickets.

  1. Williamsburg Park Kent Ave, at N. 12th St
  2. Sun Aug 24
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