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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

By Jennifer Picht and Time Out contributors |
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Photograph: Shutterstock

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 2019

1
Summer Streets NYC
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/NYC DOT
Things to do

Summer Streets NYC 2019

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. 

2
Photograph: Courtesy The Color Factory
News, City Life

Color Factory

Color us stoked! The Color Factory—a collaborative and now traveling art exhibition—promises to give you even more opportunities to flood your Instagram feed with rainbows post-Pride. After a successful run in San Francisco, the creators have transformed 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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3
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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4
HO99O9 - Afropunk Fest
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Music

Afropunk Festival 2019

Afropunk Festival is an annual event that takes place in late 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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5
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.

6
The Smashing Pumpkins
Photograph: Courtesy Olivia Bee
Music, Rock and indie

Smashing Pumpkins

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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7
Secret Summer
Photograph: Courtesy Secret Summer
Things to do

Secret Summer

It’s a summer blowout disguised as a cocktail party. Yes you can enjoy great drinks made by city mixologists, but you’ll also watch aerialists, listen to live music and chow down on trendy eats in the verdant space.

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Hudson River Park's Blues BBQ Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Sam Polcer

Blues BBQ Festival

Get ready to chow at this 20th annual riverside bash with barbecue from local grillmasters like Dinosaur Barb-B-Que and Mighty Quinn's, while tuned to live blues and roots performances by The Campbell Brothers, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Terrie Odabi, Dumpstaphunk and more. 

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9
Flame Con
LGBTQ+

Flame Con 2019

Now in its fourth year, this epic assembly of queer fandom moves from Brooklyn to Manhattan for its biggest edition yet. Look out for panels, performances, costumes and enough merch to satisfy you for a full calendar year; along with signings and appearances by comics favorites like Kevin Wada, Jen Bartel and Kris Anka. And be sure to stunt in your most outrageous cosplay for the Ignite party at Copacabana club on Friday night. 

Music events in August 2019

Blood Orange
Photograph: Courtesy Stacey Mark
Music, Pop

Blood Orange

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madison Square Garden, Midtown West

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

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

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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