Featured events in June 2018
Whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, it’s time to celebrate Gay Pride in NYC. Party at the Pride March, stand up at the Pride Rally, and get down at Pride Week at great events, including dances and parties.
Head to the New York Botanical Garden for an evening of tropical delights. Take an after-hours look at the garden's new exhibit, Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i, learn how to hula, watch lei-making demos, explore installations by Hawaiian-Chinese sculptor Mark Chai, listen to live music and fuel it all with a poke bowl and a cup (or two) of Passiflora Punch.
For New York music fans, SummerStage is always one of the highlights of the summer-concerts calendar. The City Parks Foundation series is a juggernaut among warm-weather concert presenters, booking everything from classic New York hip-hop artists in outerborough NYC parks to big-name indie-rock bands on the Central Park mainstage.
Those keen on catching summer concerts in NYC have a ton of options, including several big-tent summer music festivals like Governors Ball and Panorama. Northside Festival takes a slightly different approach, presenting shows at several venues around Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The result is a diverse experience that hosts rising local acts alongside big names.
The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is one of NYC’s freakiest, most iconic events. Each year, thousands of spectators flock to Surf Avenue, Coney Island’s main drag, to watch King Neptune and Queen Mermaid lead a procession of beglittered semi-nude marchers in costumes through the neighborhood.
Give pop a hug and laugh at his corny jokes: It’s Father’s Day! Find parent-friendly attractions, from baseball to barbershops, and ideas for things to do. Plus, forget the old boxers-and-socks routine and discover where to get great gifts for Dad.
Governors Ball occupies a unique place in the NYC summer concerts landscape. SummerStage blankets all five boroughs with a mix of well-curated niche acts; Celebrate Brooklyn! carries out a similarly eclectic mission from its Prospect Park home base. And Northside corners the North Brooklyn indie market—or what’s left of it. The Ball, on the other hand, is the closest thing we have to Coachella, the city’s only bona fide big-tent pop fest.
Every summer, the Public Theater produces a beloved NYC democratic tradition and one of the best free things to do in NYC: Shakespeare in the Park, presented at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. There’s nothing quite like hearing the Bard’s immortal words performed outside in New York, with a backdrop of natural splendor and the Belvedere Castle looming in the background like the world’s most impressive set decoration.
Jazz Age Lawn Party is an essential annual summer stop for revelers looking to dance in the open air and find great things to do outside. Governors Island is the perfect venue to leave the 21st century behind for the delights of the Prohibition-era (including “speakeasy” summer drinks). Dress the part with festive, period-appropriate attire, and come ready to dance at the Jazz Age Lawn Party.
Free NYC events in June 2018
Theater review by Adam Feldman “If music be the food of love, play on,” the pining duke Orsino famously says at the start of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. What he says next is quoted much less often: “Give me excess of it that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.” There’s no room for so gloomy a sentiment in Shakespeare in the Park’s crowded, colorful, free-wheeling musical adaptation of the play, conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and songwriter Shaina Taub. The line is cut, and Taub, who plays the accordion-toting fool Feste, instead leads the citizens of Illyria in a jubilant paean to the power of song (“Clap your hands, start to sway / ’Til your worries melt away”). And there are so many citizens to lead! A spin-off of the Public Theater's Public Works wing, the production has partnered with community groups from all five boroughs—including the Fortune Society, Children's Aid and Domestic Workers United—to fill the stage with 70 nonprofessional actors in a pageant of inclusivity. Whereas Shakespeare in the Park's first offering this summer, Othello, was conventional to the point of stuffiness, this one airs everything out and gives it a good shake. Directed by Public honcho Oskar Eustis—assuming the reins from Kwei-Armah, who steered a version of it in 2016—this Twelfth Night is as fast as it is loose: It has been trimmed to a fleet 90 minutes, including the many musical numbers. Not very much of Shakespeare's language remains, but the storytelling is lean and
Take in some sun on Dream Hotel’s PHD Terrace while sipping Italian cocktails and nibbling complimentary treats at this afterwork shindig. Tunes from the ’60s come courtesy of the Nick Palumbo Band.
This year’s edition of the city’s roaming ode to Bird features another boundary-pushing bill, which includes the new lineup of jazz trio the Bad Plus (with Orrin Evans on keys), R&B-inspired trumpeter Keyon Harrold and Adam O’Farrill, the postbopping son of bandleader Arturo (and grandson of the equally legendary Chico).
If you’re getting baked on the beach, time your sunbathing to coincide with Carter Van Pelt’s monthly skankathon, which welcomes local selectors and legends. Stake out a spot on the sand and you’ll still be able to hear the ska, rocksteady, dub, lovers rock and early dancehall emanating from the booming speaker stack.
Whether you're visiting town and looking for laughs or a jaded New Yorker who needs a break, you can count on Jeffrey Emerson and Jill Weiner to deliver excellent comedy at this free weekly East Village stand-up night. Look out for some of our favorite all-star performers to hit up the low-key show.
The Mobile Monday's crew takes over Thursday nights with a free outdoor dance party. DJs play funk, soul, disco, pop, house, hip hop and salsa while you cut a rug to nonstop vinyl on the street. Look out for apperances by storied DJs like Joey Carvello, Woof, Misbehaviour, Natasha Diggs, Operator Emz, host Rebecca Lynn and many others.
This free weekly getdown from Carolyn Busa, Julia Shiplett, Ben Wasserman and Emily Winter is a reliable night for solid laughs and surprise stars in Crown Heights. August 20's edition is a banger, with Ziwe, Moon Choe, Lucas Connolly, Perri Gross and Claire Parker hitting the stage.
This Lower East Side flea hosts one of Manhattan’s best collections of vendors, with more upstarts joining the fray every week. Standouts from recent years that have gotten their start at the fair include Macaron Parlour, Petee’s Pie Company, Melt Bakery, La New Yorkina, Arancini Bros and Cheeky Sandwich.
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft. The show takes place on University Place starting at E 13th St.
Music events in June 2018
Now on its eighth year, the annual Randalls Island event that is Governors Ball brings the goods for three days straight, with headliners Eminem, Jack White and Travis Scott leading daily lineups that include Khalid, Halsey, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Post Malone, Diplo, Mark Ronson and many more. Single day or three day passes are available as well as VIP packages.
The Chicago rap vet—who recently joined Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins under the moniker August Greene for a joint LP—returns to the city to kick off BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!’s 2018 season. Whether he plays upbeat hits like 2005’s kinetic “Go!” or sensuous newer singles like “Love Star,” you can expect a silky-smooth, danceable start to your summer.
This mind-boggling guitarist's idiosyncratic touch with the fretboard has left indelible marks on King Crimson, the Talking Heads, David Bowie and Frank Zappa, all of whom he's played stints with. Here the pioneering guitarist headlines with his prodigious young trio.
The vital veteran synth-pop trio hits the NYC area for two shows in support of its lean, slick and tightly coiled recent LP, Spirit, its second release for Columbia Records. Expect to hear a strong assortment of DM classics—yes, "Enjoy the Silence"—alongside the new tunes.
Indie-metal MVPs Stephen Brodsky (Cave In) and Ben Koller (Converge) fire up their collaborative venture, Mutoid Man, whose output is a raw, wildly exhilarating collision of psych-fried hard rock and proggy post-hardcore.
Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas plays with his other band, the Voidz, a group's that released two albums of unabashedly weird indie-rock. The crew settles in for a monthlong weekly residency at Elsewhere, with opening sets by rising indie bands including Surfbort, Dilly Dally and Priests.
Awash in boy-girl harmonies and wry, sentimental lyricism, Scottish act Belle and Sebastian has been the reigning champion of twee-pop ever since the release of its sophomore album, If You're Feeling Sinister. Recently, frontman Stuart Murdoch changed the formula with 2015's Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, a buoyant comeback record with synth-driven beats and dance floor aspirations. Expect both modes here as the band headlines one of the summer's most promising gigs, with emotive, dazzling balladeer Perfume Genius and local indie-pop heroes Frankie Cosmos opening.
The Thin White Duke is always in season. Ensemble LPR hits Central Park for a reimagining of Bowie’s catalog with an appearance by the Donny McCaslin Group, which served as the backing band on his swan song, Blackstar.
Two of the most versatile, eclectic and prolific bandleaders to emerge in the ’90s and flourish in the aughts, saxophonist Lovano and trumpeter Douglas, join forces in a freewheeling all-star quintet—inspired by the great Wayne Shorter—featuring pianist Lawrence Fields, bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Joey Baron.
West Coast posthardcore quintet Hot Snakes—fronted by Rick Froberg, formerly of Drive Like Jehu and currently of Obits—airs its loud, wiry anthems in the wake of its first new album in fourteen years, Jericho Sirens. The band's first three studio albums were reissued on Sub Pop at the start of this year; consider it an invite to reignite your devotion before the well-loved outfit cuts loose on stage.
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