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The best NYC concerts and music festivals in July 2014

Jay Z, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Flume and Neutral Milk Hotel headline July’s sizzling NYC concert schedule

Photograph: Jon Klemm
Jay Z

Sky Ferreira | Music Hall of Williamsburg; July 9

Everyone's favorite downtown pop wunderkind headlines a benefit for the David Lynch Foundation, which stages Transcendental Meditation programs for veterans, battered women, and people who are homeless and incarcerated. Smart move, Sky: After posing topless on your album cover, getting arrested for drug possession and befriending Miley, this is the only thing that could surprise us—and pleasantly so. Ladies Night and the Rapture's Vito Roccoforte handle DJ duties.

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Jay Z + Beyoncé | MetLife Stadium; July 11, 12

Lately Mr. and Mrs. Carter have been hitting headlines more for the infamous Solange elevator incident than for their pop prowess, so these On the Run shows should act as a reminder of how great they are at, you know, making music. We can't even imagine how insane "Drunk in Love"—or "Crazy in Love," for that matter!—is going to get.

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Phish | Randalls Island Park; July 11–13

The peerless jam band has come back with a vengeance since re-emerging five years ago, and Trey Anastasio & Co. have plotted yet another epic summer tour. The Vermont quartet’s East Coast run includes this trio of gigs at Randall’s Island, where they’ve never played before. The shows are sure to feature some new songs from the group’s upcoming album, tentatively entitled Wingsuit.

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4Knots Music Festival | South Street Seaport; July 12

The Village Voice has long played a major part in free music fests. Now that its Coney Island Siren Music Festival has been retired, 4Knots is its standard-bearer. This year, South Street Seaport puts on its party hat and rolls out the indie-rock carpet for a female-heavy lineup that includes garage rockers Those Darlins, pictured, and noise-doused buzz band Speedy Ortiz, as well as impish neo-lite-rocker Mac DeMarco and fuzz-pop overlords Dinosaur Jr.

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Bruno Mars + Pharrell Williams | Madison Square Garden; July 14, 15

Critics' pick

Hear one Bruno Mars hit and you might dismiss it as sentimental fluff; hear a handful (the "Beat It"–gone-Police groove of "Locked Out of Heaven," the timeless piano ballad "When I Was Your Man"), and you start to realize: This 28-year-old Hawaiian (born Peter Gene Hernandez) is a serious talent—and maybe even our era's consummate pop showman. Another rakish chart-topper safe enough for Mom, Pharrell Williams—the voice behind Daft Punk smash "Get Lucky" and Despicable Me 2's irresistible "Happy"—sets the stage for this stop on Mars's so-called Moonshine Jungle Tour.

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Flume | Terminal 5; July 16–18

Flume is a young beatsmith from Sydney who has spent the past few years making luscious and emotive head-nod material, both on a series of beautiful remixes (for Junior Boys, Onra, Lorde and others) and in original work, notably on a self-titled album of ethereal and hazy bass-informed synth-pop on the Future Classic label. Judging by this trio of Terminal 5 dates, the man born Harley Edward Streten is clearly doing pretty well for himself.

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Full Moon Fest 2014: Our favorite photos

Based on a series of monthly all-night dance parties on the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan, Full Moon Fest took place on the balmy Friday before August's full moon this year, the very peak of summer.

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Firefly Music Festival 2014

OutKast, Weezer, Beck and the Foo Fighters had the crowds surfing all weekend long at the third edition of the East Coast music blowout

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