With spring just a whisper away, it’s time to start getting serious about booking the best NYC events in March. The biggest celebration is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. But before you start looking into the best Irish pubs in the city where you can glug endless pints of Guinness, take advantage of some of the other best things to do in the winter, including and then fantasize about packing away that puffy coat and gearing up for the best things to do in spring.
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2018
Featured events in March 2018
Over the course of five decades, David Bowie drafted the new rules of rock & roll—and the rest of us are still trying to keep up. After breaking ticket records at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the touring exhibition “David Bowie Is” hits NYC in March, with more than 400 objects from the celestial pop icon’s life, including costumes, lyric sheets and performance clips. Here’s what you should look (and listen) for in this celebration of all things Thin White Duke.
Grab your sporks and warm up with NYC’s best mac and cheese contenders on Sunday, March 18 at Brooklyn Expo Center. Time Out New York is blowing it out even bigger and better this year featuring the city's best restaurants to battle it out for the ultimate showdown to crown New York’s top mac. Mac + beer + tunes, what more could you need? Follow the fun with #macsmack on Instagram and Twitter.
The annual Flamenco Festival returns to showcase a wide range of variations on the Spanish form. This year's program features performances by Ballet Nacional de España (Mar 2–4), Compañia Eva Yerbabuena (Mar 9, 10) and Ballet Flamenco Jesús Carmona (Mar 11). Ticket holders are invited to attend free preshow dance lessons on March 9 through March 11.
The British first conquered New York City right in Brooklyn Heights, and centuries later the Irish American Parade Committee still commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn (as many of the committee members’ forefathers were involved in that war) and celebrates Irish-American contributions to New York City. At 12:45pm, the procession also honors the heroes and victims of 9/11.
Perhaps the foremost proponent of modern-day glam rock, this outfit from Athens, Georgia does predecessors such as Bowie and T. Rex proud, routinely serving heaping portions of sassy, eccentric art rock. Here, the nearly two-decade-old band—led by the always-flashy, always-amusing Kevin Barnes—hits town in support of its 2018 album White is Relic/Irrealis Mood.
Witness the outsize glory of live Sumo wrestling at this special show, which pits real champions—weighing up to 600 pounds—against each other on the mat. Opt in for a bento box with your show, so you can eat your anxiety while the pros make the earth shake. Or if you're particularly daring, you can step in the ring and take on the big guys. Better start doing some pushups now.
Williamsburg’s premier movie house and eatery is setting up a photobooth and giving out a prize for Best Dressed, which means this is the place to rock that sultry number with the plunging neckline. Your ticket includes a $30 food-and-beverage voucher so you can make use of cheeky specials like the I, Tonya–inspired “The Incident” (shredded pork knee—yikes) and Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri–inspired "Drinkwater Road" (doughnuts).
Bust out your finest green T-shirts: St. Patrick’s Day 2018 is officially upon us! One of the biggest events is the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which marches along Fifth Avenue and passes by venerable New York attractions, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Central Park. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate St. Patty’s Day: Read on for our guide to the best St. Patrick’s Day parades, events, Irish pubs and more.
NYC offers a bevy of ways you can show solidarity for your sisters during Women’s History Month. New York ladies are getting in formation by hosting a series of cool events that range from nabbing beauty services at one of the best blow dry bars to an all-female jazz festival, comedy show and more. You can even attend a global protest to fight for women’s rights!
Free NYC events in March 2018
Theater review by Helen Shaw When someone stages one of the great Greek tragedies, we usually have to search for the reasons. How can we relate to such ancient plays, these 2,500-year-old texts, first sung and danced and chanted under a younger sun? But then, Zeusdammit, there’s Sophocles' Antigone. The ugly old world just keeps making it relevant. Antigone’s story is simple. After a civil war, Thebes chooses to bury its prince Eteocles with “all our rites” and to leave his rebellious brother Polyneices to rot where he fell. Their sister Antigone (Alexandra King) dares to sprinkle earth on Polyneices’ body, and is punished terribly for obeying decency rather than power. A boy left dead in the street, a security apparatus that sees mourning as terrorism: We don’t need the pointed design details in the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s outdoor production—the Black Lives Matter poster on Eteocles’ public shrine, the guards’ SWAT costumes—to make connections. But for all its seriousness of intent, this Antigone is not some grim, eat-your-spinach night at the classics. It is free, an hour long and a summer-evening delight. There’s dance (choreographed by Tiffany Rea-Fisher) and a superb comic turn by Anthony Vaughn Merchant as a soldier touchingly dedicated to self-care. Director Carl Cofield knows that Sophocles’ intensity will land strangely on our ears, so he sometimes redirects it into humor. As king Creon (Ty Jones) tries to dominate Antigone, his attempts at control turn sud
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).
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. On July 16 you can catch Amy Miller, Ashlynn Salzano, Dwayne Cullen, Geoffrey Asmus, Lev Fer, Mary Cella, Rachel Parenta and Peter Revello; and July 23 boasts Aminah Imani, Colum Tyrrell, Eric Furer, Jill Silva, Lucie Steiner, Luke Touma and Maria Heinegg.
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.
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, on the street. On June 7, catch DJs Woof and Joey Carvello spinning dope tracks, all on vinyl.
This free weekly getdown from Carolyn Busa, Julia Shiplett, Chelsea Taylor, Ben Wasserman and Emily Winter is a reliable night for solid laughs and surprise stars in Crown Heights. For the Memorial Day special, count on happy hour drink specials and giddy sets by Jono Zalay, Sharron Paul, Noa Osheroff and Michael Svetich.
It’s a free comedy show...with crêpes. Need we say more? Fumi Abe and Michael Nguyen bring together some of the city’s most diverse and reliably solid lineups every month at this sweet show. June's edition is a banger, with Paris Shashay, Andrew Casertano, Jordan Mendoza, Carmen Lagala and Norlex Belma 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.
Music events in March 2018
Indie-pop duo Diet Cig, hailing from New Paltz, New York, plays refreshingly upbeat tunes with a pop-punk core, singing about parties, college and boys. It’s seriously catchy stuff laced with just the right amount of twee. They'll bound through selections from their debut album, Swear I'm Good at This, which surfaced last year and was greeted with a scathing Pitchfork review—which was in turn greeted with an equally-scathing Twitter riot.
Katy Davidson's indie-folk project Dear Nora gained a cult following in the wake of 2004's superb Mountain Rock. Orindal Records reissued the bare-bones effort last year and Davidson, for her part, revived the band to play its first shows in over a decade. Here the outfit sits atop a fantastic bill including Kath Bloom, the striking Connecticut folksinger who taught herself guitar in a graveyard and released a string of albums in the 1970s and ’80s, and rising local songsmith Emily Yacina.
Within months of releasing her debut album, No Burden, Lucy Dacus signed to Matador Records, adding her name to an artist roster including Yo La Tengo, Kurt Vile, Cat Power and Perfume Genius. The fast-rising Virginia songsmith trades in country-inflected indie rock, which provides a warm backdrop for her voice, though she could just as easily apply her velvety alto to jazz standards. Dacus hits the stage in Brooklyn just as her sophomore effort, Historian, sees the light of day. Brace yourself for her performance of the album's first single, the barefaced breakup ode, "Night Shift."
Bob Weir and Phil Lesh—longtime rhythm guitarist and bassist, respectively, for the Grateful Dead—are typically truckin' with their own outfits these days: Weir helming Dead & Company and Lesh touring with his Terrapin Family Band. For this limited string of dates, the two are playing in the same band once again, and though we don't know exactly what kind of deal will go down, you can likely expect some special guests, extended jams and a long, strange setlist of classics.
Over the past ten years, Brooklyn four piece the Men has cranked out loping country-rock, noisy psychedelic sprawl and fuzz-blasted melodic punk, as last heard on 2016's furious Devil Music. The crew just announced a new LP, Drift, due out March 2 on Sacred Bones. Judging by the effort's first grumbling, industrial-tinged single, "Maybe I'm Crazy," the Men's sonic wanderlust is as fierce as ever.
Fans of dance floor–ready post punk à la Gang of Four and Bush Tetras will find much to love in U.K. three piece Shopping. There's very little invention here, but the band's unfailing directness and unadorned vigor save it from being a flat retro act. At its core, this is music to dance to. Show up ready to move.
Composer-pianist Philip Glass’s annual fete and fund-raiser for NYC Buddhist center Tibet House US draws a characteristically diverse range of contributing artists. This year, Glass is joined by the wry Magnetic Fields indie-rocker Stephin Merritt, omnitalented alt-pop visionary Blood Orange and folk-tinged songwriter Angel Olsen, among others.
Formed in the South Bronx in 1978, the immeasurably influential ESG is a (rightly) revered No Wave–era dance unit that defined a sort of skeletal funk that has guided countless bands and producers from the early ’80s through this very minute. The outfit hits the stage at Bowery Electric in celebration of its 40th anniversary.
Japanese producer Keigo Oyamada has crafted multiple sounds as Cornelius: frantic indie rock, loungey electonic and what could only be described as whimsical sound collage. He returned from an eleven-year hiatus last year with Mellow Waves, a warm and relatively understated effort. He's lauded as much for the visual element of his live performances as the sonic, so prepare for a spectacle.
Merrill Garbus airs offbeat party-starters from her recent, fourth LP, I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life. Though the artist describes the new record as turning "inward," we nonetheless anticipate a sweaty dance party to ensue once the irrepressible art-pop diva kicks into new effervescent, hair-raising tunes like "Look At Your Hands."