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The best NYC events in August 2019

Plan your month with the best NYC events in August 2019 including the Jazz Age Lawn Party, street fairs and more

Photograph: Shutterstock
By Jennifer Picht and Time Out contributors |
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Get ready to use our NYC events in August calendar as your guide for ending the summer with a bang! Now that we’re stuck in a heat dome, now’s the time to take advantage of New York beaches before they close for swimming next month. There are many more things to do outside this month, like incredible summer concerts, festivals and delicious alfresco food and drink opportunities too. And use August as your last change to take advantage of all the outdoor movies at the best NYC parks. This is the last full-month of summer—make it count!

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar

Featured NYC events in August 2018

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Photograph: Courtesy Niklas Rhose
Restaurants

Time Out New York’s Battle of the Burger 2018

Battle is back and set to sizzle in 2018. Join us by the water at LIC Landing for a summer cookout of epic proportions. Your Instagram shots will be framed by the Empire State Building on one side and the Chrysler Building on the other, as you dig into some of the city’s most delicious burgers, washed down with icy Budweiser

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Summer Streets NYC
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/NYC DOT
Things to do

Summer Streets NYC 2018

During Summer Streets NYC 2018 around seven miles of Gotham turf along Lafayette Street and Park Avenue is completely car-free in order to create a pedestrian paradise. Hundreds and thousands of revelers descend upon the asphalt for invigorating sight-filled tours, plus free activities including a rock climbing wall, a zipline, outdoor art installations and misting stations. You won’t want to miss this year’s five rest stops which normally include fitness classes, a dog park, arts and crafts workshops, plus walking tours that explore NYC parks and some of the most beautiful NYC buildings. This is one of the best NYC events in August, so make sure to hit the streets for the first three Saturdays. We'll be sure to alert you when it's time to sign up for popular attractions such as the water slide and other hot-ticket items. 

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Photograph: Evan Link
News, City Life

Candytopia

New Yorkers sure do love immersive dessert-themed pop-ups. Last month, the Instagram-opp–heavy Museum of Ice Cream returned to the city, bringing a temporary space to Chelsea specifically designed for people chasing likes on social media. And in August, a similar selfie-oriented exhibit is setting up shop in New York: Candytopia. Marketed as an “imaginative confectionary wonderland,” the space will feature more than a dozen rooms and interactive installations for guests to wander through, phone in hand. 

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Photograph: Courtesy The Color Factory
News, City Life

Color Factory

Color us stoked! The Color Factory—a collaborative and now traveling art exhibition—lands in New York City on August 20, and it promises to give you even more opportunities to flood your Instagram feed with rainbows post-Pride. After a successful run in San Francisco last year, the creators are transforming a 20,000-square-foot Soho space (located at 251 Spring Street) into an immersive selfie nirvana that is meant to help folks explore and appreciate how fun and joyful being surrounded by vibrant colors can be. Not only a sight for sore eyes, the event is also meant to be a fun zone filled with whimsical installations to explore. 

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Jazz Age Lawn Party 2013 at Governors Island
Photograph: Luciana Golcman
Music

Jazz Age Lawn Party

The Jazz Age Lawn Party 2018 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.

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Christina McHale seen playing in the US Open
Photograph: Matthew Stockman
Things to do, Festivals

The U.S. Open tennis tournament

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.

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HO99O9 - Afropunk Fest
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Music

Afropunk Festival 2018

Afropunk Festival is an annual event that takes place in August at Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park (City Park). Over the course of a weekend, the outdoor summer music festival—which celebrates multicultural arts—hosts a wide array of well-known musical artists (including some of the biggest hip-hop artists), as well as “BITES & BEATS” food trucks, live artworks and the SpinThrift Market. Additionally, Afropunk strives to raise multicultural awareness in New York City with its Activism Row initiative.

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Shakespeare in the Park
Photograph: Courtesy Tammy Shell
Theater

Shakespeare in the Park

Created by the late Joseph Papp in 1962, the Public Theater’s series offers free, large-scale productions of works by William Shakespeare (as well as the occasional musical or non-Shakespearean drama). The productions often feature some of the most talented actors of our day. Past casts have included including Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Al Pacino, Blythe Danner, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George C. Scott and Denzel Washington.

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NYC Cocktail Expo
Photograph: Courtesy NYC Cocktail Expo
Things to do

NYC Cocktail Expo

Expect to see the room spinning after your tastings at the cocktail expo. Sample the spirits from craft distilleries, along with cocktails mixed by local bartenders competing in the “Best Cocktail” competition.

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The Smashing Pumpkins
Photograph: Courtesy Olivia Bee
Music, Rock and indie

Smashing Pumpkins

icon-location-pin Jones Beach, Wantagh
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What better way to endure the dog days of summer than with a good dose of ’90s angst? The alt-rockers hit town on their reunion tour, which has an almost-complete original lineup. (Alas, bassist D’Arcy Wretzky will be absent because of a feud with Billy Corgan.)

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Music events in August 2018

Blood Orange
Photograph: Courtesy Stacey Mark
Music, Pop

Blood Orange

icon-location-pin Damrosch Park (at Lincoln Center), Upper West Side
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Albums like last year's stunning Negro Swan, and 2016's Freetown Sound, a complex, swirling affair have cemented Dev Hynes's status as a multi-talented alt-pop visionary. Expect songs from across his discography as he takes the stage for Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Florist
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rock and indie

Florist

icon-location-pin Baby’s All Right, Williamsburg
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Pastoral and tender in tone, Emily Sprague’s hushed tunes as Florist trade in poignant, unadorned imagery rendered with heart-on-the-sleeve intimacy.

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Nosaj Thing
Photograph: Courtesy The Windish Agency
Music

Nosaj Thing

icon-location-pin Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park
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This LA beatsmith, who's remixed just about everyone (Drake, Radiohead, Little Dragon, Daedelus and many more), makes sinister, glitchy, instrumental hip-hop that's as indebted to Warren G as it is to Flying Lotus. He plays a free outdoors gig here for BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

The Rolling Stones
Photograph: Courtesy Mark Seliger
Music, Rock and indie

The Rolling Stones

icon-location-pin MetLife Stadium,
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The world's grayest…er, greatest rock & roll band is back to get its rocks off with its first stateside shows since 2015. The reason to hit the road is, well, because they still can. The most recent album is 2016's covers collection Blue & Lonesome, and they seem to have fun adding a few blues numbers into their set of rock & roll smashes. Expect some harp-shredding solos by Mick, as well as the strutting and shimmying you've come to know and love. Here the band plays a show postponed from June due to Jagger undergoing medical treatment.

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Mac DeMarco
Photograph: Brad Elterman
Music, Rock and indie

Mac DeMarco

icon-location-pin Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park
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It's 2019 and the reigning hooligan jester of indie pop is up to all his same antics—this time, announcing a new album titled Here Comes the Cowboy alongside a new single "Nobody," both of which he claims bear no relationship to Mitski's acclaimed 2018 release, Be the Cowboy, nor its main single, also titled "Nobody." The video for (Mac's) "Nobody" features the singer in a hauntingly elaborate lizard-man (or, lizard-cowboy) costume, which is none too out of place in an oeuvre of music vids that includes the artist surrounded by VR humanoid dog creatures or drowning in a bathtub of cabbage heads. Catch all the madness at this outdoor Celebrate Brooklyn! gig.

The Smashing Pumpkins
Photograph: Courtesy Olivia Bee
Music, Rock and indie

Smashing Pumpkins

icon-location-pin Jones Beach, Wantagh
icon-calendar

What better way to endure the dog days of summer than with a good dose of ’90s angst? The alt-rockers hit town behind a newie, Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1/LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun (a title that ostensibly indicates a continuing album series on the horizon), with an almost-complete original lineup. (Alas, bassist D’Arcy Wretzky will be absent because of a feud with Billy Corgan.)

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Lollapalooza 2017, Chance the Rapper
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Chance the Rapper

icon-location-pin Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
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Chicago MC Chancelor Bennett has built a tidy following the past several years with witty, joyful, freewheeling mixtapes like 2013's Acid Rap and the follow-up, Coloring Book. Add to that a series of collaborations with Donnie Trumpet, confounding fringe-rapper Lil B, and soulful singer and keyboardist Francis Farewell Starlight and you have an impressively prolific series of mixtapes and singles to expect tunes from at this free early morning Good Morning America gig.

Desaparecidos
Photograph: Zach Hollowell
Music, Rock and indie

Joyce Manor + Saves the Day

icon-location-pin Webster Hall, East Village
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To the chagrin of some and celebration of others, the last two albums from these Cali emocore types skew toward the former half of their "pop-punk" moniker—consider such divisive lines as "[she was] singing 'What do you think about Kanye West? I think that he’s great / I think he’s the best.' Unexpected namedrops aside, the band's newest developments continue to mature the same brand of jaded irony that makes frontman Barry Johnson's writing so effective. Don't miss them as they pop up with genre vets Saves the Day.

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Music, Dance and electronic

Flying Lotus

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Mirage, Bushwick
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Brainfeeder honcho Flying Lotus has been masterminding the LA instrumental hip-hop scene for the better part of a decade. Catch his lush, forward-thinking electronic sounds at this massive open-air gig.

See more NYC concerts in August

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