Get ready to use our NYC events in August calendar as your guide to finishing the season with a bang! Now that we’re stuck in a heat dome, it’s safe to say that the dog days of summer are here to stay, but don’t hide indoors—there are too many exciting things to do in August. So make sure to check out all the incredible summer concerts, festivals and delicious food and drink opportunities happening this month. And use this month as your last change to take advantage of all the movies in the park and outdoor screenings as well as NYC’s best beaches. This is the last full-month of summer, people—this is not a drill!
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar
Featured NYC events in August 2017
Travel to beautiful Hong Kong without ever leaving the city thanks to this annual event at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, now in it’s 26th year. Around 180 teams gather at the lake to race on long boats while paddling to the beat of their boat’s drummer at this culture fest inspired by Chinese tradition. On land, you can join in on the fun with music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and food-court vendors selling Asian cuisine like steamed dumplings, pork-belly buns and frozen delights such as Sno Biz shaved ice.
Start polishing your wands, people! The biggest event for witches and wizards is here. Original Harry Potter fans might have grown up, but that doesn’t mean they have to act like it. PotterCon brings magic lovers together at Irving Plaza for a day of childish fun, including Butterbeer, costume contests and trivia. Enjoy Hogwarts-inspired activities including a live sorting with the infamous Sorting Hat, a House Cup trivia tournament and a photo booth in front of Diagon Alley’s entrance with Potter-tastic props.
The Jazz Age Lawn Party 2016 is a spectacular summer tradition on gorgeous Governors Island. Step onto the ferry, and back in time, with thousands of others dressed to the 1920s nines and enjoy music from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, learn the Charleston and sip on cocktails in the sunshine.
Four stages featuring electronic music acts, 3D projections, food trucks, vendors, death-defying aerialists, circus performers and a giant inflatable slide: It looks like BangOn!NYC is going all out for this bash. Get pumped for DJs such as Sweater Beats, LE YOUTH, Prince Fox and plenty more. This mind-blowing music and arts festival is not one to be missed, so grab your tickets and keep your eyes peeled for the secret location announcement.
A vegan and vegetarian-friendly event showcasing Africa’s unique and varied cuisines, festival goers can try dishes from rising star chefs, learn how to make African food at home and enjoy live music. $30 regular admission gets you in the door for food, art and music, and a little more secures a spot for special events like the bottomless vegan brunch or a five-course, pan-African meal.
In its sixth year as one of the city’s top summer music festivals, the fest is named for and modeled after the monthly all-night parties on the Thai island of Koh Phangan. This year’s lineup blends pop, hip-hop and dance music presenting more than a dozen acts over two-days. Our highlights to the fest are below.
Break out the stretchy pants, New York, and get ready to taste your way through 20 of New York's best burgers at Time Out's Battle of the Burger. Join us as we crown the 2016 champ on August 18 at Seaport District NYC, where refreshing Budweiser beers flow and tunes will be playing throughout the night. Time Out New York’s Battle of the Burger is presented by Budweiser on Thursday, August 18 at 8pm, South Street Seaport, $50.
For two weeks, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park will be the tennis capital of the world for the U.S. Open tennis tournament. While Wimbeldon has its white, New Yorkers bring the party to the National Tennis Center with a celebrity-studded crowd, international food vendors and live musicians performing on the grounds—not to mention tennis's top pros.
Music events in August 2017
Neo-soul innovator Erykah Badu—whose influence on contemporary R&B can't be understated—has teased the idea of a follow-up to 2010's New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh for years. There's still no definitive plans, but that incredibly dreamy Drake cover that rendered the original obselete (sorry, Aubrey) had us mighty satisfied when she released her last mixtape, But U Cain’t Use My Phone. Tonight, watch the empress touch down upon Times Square, and if you pray hard enough, maybe we'll hear some new tunes.
Two of the most influential voices in rap right now grace the house that Billy Joel built—er, plays all the friggin’ time—with this four-night stretch at Madison Square Garden. Expect to hear cuts from last year’s team-up album, What a Time to be Alive (unavoidable viral hit “Jumpman” is a shoo-in), and plenty from Drake’s latest LP, Views.
Texas expat Alan Palomo's 2011 collection as Neon Indian, Era Extraña, fine-tuned the sun-warped synth-pop that helped him break out alongside fellow chillwave stars Washed Out and Toro y Moi. But while the world soon left chillwave behind in the nostalgic past for which its artists constantly yearn, Neon Indian and his two compatriots turned out to have staying power that transgressed the genre's limitations. At this free show, he'll play from last year's, VEGA INTL Night School, which presented newly flourescent, loose-limbed electrofunk.
The three-fourths of the original Black Sabbath lineup—Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, minus drummer Bill Ward—issued a highly impressive Rick Rubin–helmed comeback, 13, in 2013, followed by a multi-leg world tour. Now, the first and greatest heavy-metal band, plus fill-in drummer Tommy Clufetos, hits the road for what it claims will be its final trek. Prepare to tremble before immortal classics such as "Black Sabbath" and "Iron Man," and hear a few of the new joints as well.
Once again, the city becomes a movable ode to Bird for a weekend in August. While this fest may be named for the legendary Charlie Parker, SummerStage’s jazz program isn’t stuck in the past. This year’s boundary-pushing talent, presented over three days, includes composer Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Sextet, keyboardist Jason Lindner’s Breeding Ground and piano powerhouse Jason Moran.
Last year, young Virginia-bred MC GoldLink received the all-important imprimatur of producer-guru Rick Rubin who proceeded to assist on the rapper's debut album, And After That, We Didn't Talk. Like his mixtape, The God Complex, the record demonstrates a promising knack for innovative hip-hop—he calls his style "future bounce"—which still manages to sound timeless.
Arts events in August 2017
View over 100 works made by creators outside of the artistic community, including inventive self-taught sculptors in New York City and illustrators who found their passion in prisons and psychiatric hospitals. Explore the inner lives of unknown artists through works made in private and often discovered after the artists' passing, with pieces like Steve Ashby's Rocking Bed Cunnilingus Whirligig and Henry Darger's watercolor At Sunbeam Creak/At Wickey Lansinia.