Summer music festival guide: The best shows in NYC

The best concerts, most stylish festival accessories, hottest festival looks and dazzling live-music photos



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Afro Punk Fest

Afro Punk Fest Photograph: wagz2it

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 at Williamsburg Park with the Manhattan skyline looming, or Randall's Island. Then there's the people—check out any of our street fashion slide shows for proof that New Yorkers are a snappy-ass bunch when it comes to festival gear. And then assemble your own look with our essential accessories guide.

RECOMMENDED: Summer concerts in NYC

You're spoiled for choice with this year's summer music festival lineups. Go see Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar at the Governors Ball, check out the arty Vision Festival, chill out at the Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival or work up a sweat at River to River's Brazil Summerfest. Big stars playing big outdoor shows this year include Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, and Pitbull with Ke$ha, while indie sweeties like She & Him light up SummerStage in Central Park. Wherever you decide to hang, just don't forget that '80s sun visor.

Best summer music venues

  1. Prospect Park West, (at 9th St)
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  1. Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, (enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St)
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  1. Enter park at Fifth Ave , (at 69th St)
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  1. Kent Ave, (at North 12th St)
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  1. Jones Beach
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  1. Bay St, (between Clinton and Henry Sts)
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