The best NYC events in September include everything from early fall celebrations to incredible art and cultural events, so you better start planning early. Luckily, you can use our events calendar for September as a guide to schedule all the happenings you don’t want to miss, including some of the best things to on Labor day, the West Indian Day Parade, and the one of the best NYC street fairs, Atlantic Antic. Sure, summer is nearly over, but the warm-weather isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So make sure to enjoy all of the wonderful things to outside in New York before the cold front sweeps in!
RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2017
Featured NYC events in September 2017
The annual West Indian Day Parade draws close to two million people to Crown Heights in Brooklyn each year. During the seven-hour New York carnival, steel-pan and calypso bands in elaborate costumes march down Eastern Parkway, and vendors sell homestyle island grub along the route.
Before you bid summer adieu, go out with a bang on Labor Day. Whether you want ideas for cool out-of-town spots or just want a staycation, we've listed all the best events and other unmissabale things to do, including ways to have the best summer ever before Labor Day weekend 2017.
One of the top things to do in New York this fall includes two weeks of drinking some of the best beer in NYC during Oktoberfest. Take in the beautiful fall foliage while drinking at one of the best beer gardens and beer halls in New York City. Oktoberfest New Yorkers, take advantage of this glorious holiday to sample fine Bavarian beer and food. Prost!
The Oscars of street food returns for its 13th annual roving-eats smackdown, where nominated food trucks, stalls and pushcarts post up on Governor’s Island to compete for your final vote. Experience cuisine from all around the world with diverse offerings from top contenders. Public nominations determine the winner, so you get to choose by casting a ballot to crown the next food truck champ.
The company’s fall season includes 14 works by cofounder George Balanchine, including the full-length Jewels and two programs of shorter pieces. Also on the schedule are a collection of dances by Jerome Robbins (including Glass Pieces) and world premieres of ballets by Lauren Lovette, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Justin Peck and Peter Walker.
Look out New York City dance clubs, the Electric Zoo Festival is poised to take over Labor Day weekend, briging hoards of EDM fans to Randall's Island for the event's eighth summer. The festival has become an unmissable attraction on the electronic-dance-music circuit, featuring a wide range of artists both top name and underground. Get on your dancing shoes and best festival clothing and enjoy the tunes.
At this annual porkfest, over 20 of Gotham’s top pitmasters will break down and ’cue up whole heritage hogs from Flying Pigs Farm and other small regional pork farms. Feast on all-you-can-stomach porcine and wash it all down with craft beer and cider, including a myriad of whiskeys and mescals available at their respective pavilions.
Forgive the analogy, but unicycles are the Nickelback of the cycling world: misunderstood by many but cherished by a select few who love them more than anything else. Enjoy four-days of one-wheel madness including a unicycle ride from the Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island, Battery Park to Central Park and a bunch of events that take place on Governors Island. There you’ll find races, freestyle competitions and even unicycle sports including basketball, hockey and even—not making this up—unicycle sumo wrestling.
Selling Fast in September 2017
Talented singers from the Broadway and cabaret worlds sing side by side in this monthly tribute to the master of musical theater that has often featured former cast members of Sondheim shows. Guests in February include George Dvorsky, Annie Golden, Sally Mayes, Sarah Rice, Bruce Sabath, Marissa Mulder, Courter Simmons, Lucia Spina and Alton Fitzgerald White.
With the start of a new year, so comes a new wave of young powerhouses ready to risk their reputations for a chance at eternal glory on the iconic Apollo stage. Your cheers (or boos) will decide who receives the night’s biggest honor—Top Dog—along with a cash prize of $20,000. Consider this your chance to see legends in the making before they become household names.
Theater events in September 2017
Hamilton: Theater review by David Cote What is left to say? After Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s prodigious quill scratched out 12 volumes of nation-building fiscal and military policy; after Lin-Manuel Miranda turned that titanic achievement (via Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography) into the greatest American musical in decades; after every critic in town (including me) praised the Public Theater world premiere to high heaven; and after seeing this language-drunk, rhyme-crazy dynamo a second time, I can only marvel: We've used up all the damn words. Wait, here are three stragglers, straight from the heart: I love Hamilton. I love it like I love New York, or Broadway when it gets it right. And this is so right. A sublime conjunction of radio-ready hip-hop (as well as R&B, Britpop and trad showstoppers), under-dramatized American history and Miranda’s uniquely personal focus as a first-generation Puerto Rican and inexhaustible wordsmith, Hamilton hits multilevel culture buttons, hard. No wonder the show was anointed a sensation before even opening. Assuming you don’t know the basics, Hamilton is a (mostly) rapped-through biomusical about an orphan immigrant from the Caribbean who came to New York, served as secretary to General Washington, fought against the redcoats, authored most of the Federalist Papers defending the Constitution, founded the Treasury and the New York Post and even made time for an extramarital affair that he damage-controlled in a scandal-stanching pamp
In this captivating original musical, Hello, Dolly! scene-stealer Taylor Trensch now plays the title role of a high school student thrust into social relevance after a classmate's suicide. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's score combines well-crafted lyrics with an exciting pop sound, and Steven Levenson’s book gives all the characters shaded motives. Read the full review.
If theater is your religion and the Broadway musical your sect, you've been woefully faith-challenged of late. Venturesome, boundary-pushing works such as Spring Awakening, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Next to Normal closed too soon. American Idiot was shamefully ignored at the Tonys and will be gone in three weeks. Meanwhile, that airborne infection Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark dominates headlines and rakes in millions, without even opening. Celebrities and corporate brands sell poor material, innovation gets shown the door, and crap floats to the top. It's enough to turn you heretic, to sing along with The Book of Mormon's Ugandan villagers: "Fuck you God in the ass, mouth and cunt-a, fuck you in the eye." Such deeply penetrating lyrics offer a smidgen of the manifold scato-theological joys to be had at this viciously hilarious treat crafted by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, and composer-lyricist Robert Lopez, who cowrote Avenue Q. As you laugh your head off at perky Latter-day Saints tap-dancing while fiercely repressing gay tendencies deep in the African bush, you will be transported back ten years, when The Producers and Urinetown resurrected American musical comedy, imbuing time-tested conventions with metatheatrical irreverence and a healthy dose of bad-taste humor. Brimming with cheerful obscenity, sharp satire and catchy tunes, The Book of Mormon is a sick mystic revelation, the most exuberantly entertaining Broadway musical in years. The high
[Note: The review below is for a 2014 version of this show, which was then titled The Imbible. A revised version now plays at New World Stages. A different, brunch-theater edition, titled Day Drinking, plays on weekend matinees.] Remember Bill Nye the Science Guy? Great! Now imagine him as a bartender who is deeply interested in the history of ethanol alcohol, really likes wigs and costumes, and just joined a coed barbershop quartet. That description of Anthony Caporale’s The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking may sound far-out, but the show is both educational and entertaining. (It's also a fine showcase for a cappella classics arranged by Josh Ehrlich and performed by a gifted ensemble that includes the show's director, soprano Nicole DiMattei.) Mixing whimsy and information, Caporale makes the story of our relationship with alcohol remarkably compelling. And the show's lessons—on subjects like the drinks served at Prohibition-era speakeasies, the origin of the gin and tonic, and the difference between a cocktail and a mixed drink—can be washed down with complimentary, thematically appropriate beverages. As Caporale says, “Trust me, I get funnier with every sip.” That makes the show a must-see for anyone who enjoys free booze, which is probably nearly everyone.—Amelia Bienstock
This musical prequel to The Wizard of Oz addresses surprisingly complex themes, such as standards of beauty, morality and, believe it or not, fighting fascism. Thanks to Winnie Holzman’s witty book and Stephen Schwartz’s pop-inflected score, Wicked soars. The current cast includes Jackie Burns as Elphaba and Amanda Jane Cooper as Glinda.
Theater review by Diane Snyder For seven Harry Potter novels, the mediocrities of the Hogwarts house Hufflepuff lived in the shadow of their overachieving schoolmates. Matt Cox’s Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic gives them their due. In this funny and affectionate homage to J.K. Rowling’s world of wiz kids, Harry, Hermione and Ron take a back seat to average American wizard Wayne (Zac Moon), goth gal Megan (Julie Ann Earls) and math genius Oliver (Langston Belton), who is stuck at a school that doesn’t even teach his subject. They may not be at the top of the class, and they’re not wild about Harry, but they persevere through adversity and find power in friendship. A press release asks that the word parody be avoided in describing Puffs, but much of the show’s comedy is clearly aimed at Potterphiles. The 11 cast members play an assortment of characters, from a mumbling potions master to a squeaky house elf, and some of the jokes will be lost on those with no knowledge of the films or books. But even Potter virgins will enjoy the show’s witty wordplay and well-executed physical comedy. At times, the pacing is so frenetic that jokes can’t find a place to land, but there’s heart as well as humor here. In the past two years, Cox and director Kristin McCarthy Parker have shepherded their silly, subversive show from the People’s Improv Theater to Off Broadway’s New World Stages. Like its main characters, Puffs illustrates the heigh
After many years, the sassy and clever puppet musical doesn’t show its age. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s deft Sesame Street–esque novelty tunes about porn and racism still earn their laughs. Avenue Q remains a sly and winning piece of metamusical tomfoolery. Running time: 2hrs 15mins. One intermission.
Director-designer Julie Taymor takes a reactionary Disney cartoon about the natural right of kings—in which the circle of life is putted against a queeny villain and his jive-talking ghetto pals—and transforms it into a gorgeous celebration of color and movement. The movie’s Elton John–Tim Rice score is expanded with African rhythm and music, and through elegant puppetry, Taymor populates the stage with an amazing menagerie of beasts; her audacious staging expands a simple cub into the pride of Broadway, not merely a fable of heredity but a celebration of heritage.—Adam Feldman Running time: 2hrs 40mins. One intermission.
One of the more unlikely musicals on Broadway this season, Come from Away is the tense but humane story of an airport in Gander, Newfoundland, where 38 planes and more than 6,000 passengers were forced to land on September 11, 2001. The book, music and lyrics are by the Canadian team Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Read the full review.
Three deadpan blue-skinned men with extraterrestrial imaginations carry this tourist fave, a show as smart as it is ridiculous. They drum on open tubs of paint, creating splashes of color; they consume Twinkies and Cap'n Crunch; they engulf the audience in a roiling sea of toilet paper. For sheer weird, exuberant fun, it's hard to top this long-running treat. (Note: The playing schedule varies from week to week, with as many as four performances on some days and none on others.)
Music events in September 2017
In recent years, Seattle-based alt-hip-hop outfit Shabazz Palaces has consistently explored the most engrossing sectors of lush, spacey futurism. This summer sees Tendai Maraire and Ishmael Butler releasing not one, but two new albums, Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and its "extra-spatial twin" Quazarz Vs. the Jealous Machines. Prepare to have your mind expanded.
The blues master has been dealing with health issues and threatening retirement for a while now, and while nothing is certain, these dates at the Garden comprise half of his U.S. shows this year. Take a tour of 20th-century rock & roll with “Crossroads,” “Layla” and “Cocaine,” and listen for tunes from his latest album, 2016’s I Still Do, which mixes tender ballads and scorching barn burners.
No doubt Waters took the most recent presidential election as a kind of bat signal for his unique ability to skewer those in power. Accordingly, the ever-political rocker has emerged with an audio-visual spectacle that takes on fascism and greed with a soundtrack of Pink Floyd classics and tunes from his new record, Is This the Life We Really Want?
Over the past few years, the tireless Beatle has turned into something of a road warrior, much to the pleasure of anyone who’d like a full-stadium “Hey Jude” sing-along in their life. For this tour, sets stretch from early-career hits like “A Hard Day’s Night,” last performed live by Sir Paul in 1965, to “FourFiveSeconds,” his 2015 Kanye-Rihanna collaboration.
“Let me get that bacon, egg and cheese right quick,” shouts rapper Wiki on his debut album, No Mountains in Manhattan, and just like that, a vital new entry in NYC’s rap canon is born. Here the MC, known as one-third of hip-hop crew Ratking, celebrates the release, which itself celebrates the sights and sounds of the city.
The L.A. rap crew visits NYC this week on the strength of two recent razor-sharp mixtapes: Saturation and its sequel. Along with the solo work of founder Kevin Abstract (pictured far left), those projects showcase the young collective's wide-ranging taste and infectious energy.
If you see music regularly in New York, odds are good that you've caught the reigning baroness of punk rock, Patti Smith, before—and odds are also high that you've gone home impressed. The uncompromising, defiant songstress honors her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith, at this SummerStage benefit show, with help from Fred's children, Jesse Paris and Jackson.
The crackling aura surrounding Father John Misty extends beyond his past life as a Fleet Foxes member to the music he’s now releasing as a solo artist. His 2012 Sub Pop debut, Fear Fun, featured soaring, soulful folk-rock lysergically spiked with energy and intelligence. This year's, Pure Comedy, is a sometimes-brutal look at modern life that should provide plenty of fodder for Misty’s scenery-chewing live show. Opening this gig is Brooklyn-via-Alabama song man Matthew Houck, a.k.a. Phosphorescent; show up early to catch his heartbreaking yet hopeful rendition of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land."
One of the most sought-after drummers of the new-jazz generation, Sanchez made the rounds with stars such as Pat Metheny and Michael Brecker before turning 30. Here this deft player—best known for the jaw-dropping solo-drum score he contributed to Best Picture winner Birdman—draws equal attention to his writing and bandleading chops, heading up a star-studded combo (versatile saxists Chris Potter and Donny McCaslin, and leading contemporary bassist Matt Brewer).
This fest boasts over 60 artists on four stages, plus eats from local mainstays like Roberta's, Dough and Bareburger, a Tito's Bloody Mary Bar and tons of cool art from local creators. Day one features Jay-Z, Run the Jewels, Tegan and Sara, Joey Bada$$ and Blood Orange; September 16 brings Gorillaz, Erykah Badu, Future, M.I.A., Big Boi and Badbadnotgood; and closing out the festivities on September 17 are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nas, Ghostface Killah, Broken Social Scene and Weezer. Rest up: it's going to be a long weekend—in the best possible way.