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.
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
Abby Washuta invites you to this hang-out at New York Comedy Club East Village (every first Thursday) and at the Lantern (every third Thursday), where a solid line-up of stand-ups can always be expected. Look out for a raffle, and register early for a free margarita.
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.
Unfriendly ghosts should steer clear of Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Feb 5 when the Better Chinatown Society lights hundreds of thousands of firecrackers to welcome the Year of the Pig and ward off evil spirits. In addition to the pyrotechnics, there are lion dances and decorations giveaways, plus craft vendors and food booths where you can get your fill of traditional delicacies. It’s said that the more dumplings you eat at the celebration, the more money you’ll make in the year ahead, so come hungry.
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.
Show up early and grab a seat for Fumi Abe and Michael Nguyen's always-stacked, always-packed monthly comedy jam. Count on an excellent lineup featuring some of the city's most intelligent comics, with February's bill boasting Gracie Canaan, Luke Touma, Subhah Agarwal, Eagle Witt and Reggie Conquest.
The Irish Arts Center opens its doors for an Irish extravaganza, filled with authentic music, dances, craft workshops and delicious tea. Learn to play the tin-whistle, get your face painted, experiment with tap-dancing, or simply sit back and watch the artists perform at this celebration of Irish culture.
DJ Bright Light Bright Light’s joyous tribute to the still-untouchable heroines of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion delivers a consistent stream of Mariah Carey, Scissor Sisters, Bette Midler and TLC to a merry band of adorable acolytes. Share your favorites on the DJ booth via Post-it and revel in the fact that you look totally cutting edge.
Ski, sled, marvel at ice sculptures and even watch some get carved live at this annual winter sports arena in Central Park. Don't worry about the snow; upstate ski destination Gore Mountain provides all the fresh powder little New York ski bunnies could ever want (minus the slushy sidewalks the next day).
Peter Smith and Sandy Honig—two of the most fantastic beasts in the NYC comedy stable—unleash their wildest friends upon the Slipper Room stage at this weekly stand-up showcase. Count on an always-diverse lineup of marvels from across NYC's alt-comedy spectrum, all giving it to you for free.
When it comes to hands-in-the-air, pretension-free queer joy, DJ William Francis always gives the people what they want. The dashing discaire celebrates divas of every great era at this weekly rager, suited perfectly for Club Cumming's timeless East Village vibe.
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.