NYC events in September 2018

The best NYC events in September range from last-minute summer excursions to Oktoberfest celebrations and more
Photograph: Matt Marquez
By Jennifer Picht and Time Out New York editors |
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The best NYC events in September include everything from last-minute things to do in summer to early fall celebrations including incredible art and cultural events. Utilize our events calendar for September to help you schedule all the happenings you don’t want to miss like 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 2018

Featured NYC events in September 2018

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Things to do, Literary events

Pop-up Magazine

icon-location-pin Fort Greene
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This live talent showcase invites authors, comedians, scientists and others to present researched stories on a wide range of interesting topics. Presentations include spoken word, musical compositions, photography and more. The fall tour is the biggest one yet, with stops in San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles and other spots. This time, they hit BAM with an excellent lineup and musical support from the Magik* Magik Orchestra. September's edition features multimedia stories from Rebecca Skloot (#1 New York Times bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), Ann Friedman (co-host, Call Your Girlfriend), Ed Yong (The Atlantic), Yowei Shaw (NPR's Invisibilia), Emily Dreyfuss (Wired), Jason Parham (Wired, Spook), Meg Smaker (filmmaker, Boxeadora), and NYC's own Landon Nordeman (photographer, New Yorker, New York Times) among others. They're set to discuss thirst traps through the ages, terrorist rehabilitation centers, small-town American businesses, robot ethics, flower extinction and other interesting topics.

12
Photograph: Courtesy Julie Larsen Maher
Things to do

Boo at the Zoo

icon-location-pin The Bronx
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Lions, tigers and bears—oh my! The Bronx Zoo goes all out every Halloween season, and this weekend kicks of its month of spooky festivites. Drop in to take a hayride through a haunted forest, watch live performances, get wowed by a mentalist, participate in a costume parade and lots more.

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13
Hercules and Love Affair
Photograph: courtesy of artist
Things to do, Performances

Hercules and Love Affair

icon-location-pin Bushwick
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New York's favorite disco and house collective brings its introspective lyrics and floor-pounding beats to Elsewhere behind last year's Omnion. The record finds Andy Butler and Co. reimagining their sound with inflections of ’80s pop, techno and ambient, but one thing hasn't changed: these tunes will make you move.

14
Tribeca TV Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Dia Dipasupil
Things to do, Festivals

Tribeca TV Festival

icon-location-pin Tribeca
icon-calendar

Move over, film. The annual Tribeca TV Festival presents three days of premieres and panels featuring the very best of television. This year's bash toasts two decades of Law and Order: SVU with a panel discussion including Mariska Hargitay, Ice T, Dick Wolf and the rest of the cast. Bryan Cranston looks back on Breaking Bad for the tenth anniversary of its premiere, and Tracey Ullman shows up to preview a new season of HBO zaniness. Along with screening premieres of new series and returning favorites like Ray Donovan and Madam Secretary, the festival will host a viewing of one of Anthony Bourdain's finale episodes of Parts Unknown, followed by a discussion on his legacy with producers and episode guest W. Kamau Bell. Most events run for $20–$30 a pop. It's a golden era of episodics; don't miss the chance to bask in the glow of the small screen.

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15
The World Maker Faire
Things to do, Conventions

World Maker Faire

icon-location-pin Queens
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Once a year, builders and tinkerers of all ages convene at this innovation-centered event to show off their inventions—and teach onlookers how they can make them at home. This edition features talks on wearable electronics, 3D printing, droid-building, costume design and building your own phone, plus, oddly, a dance battle. We guess it truly is a fest for movers and shakers of all stripes.

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Photograph: Courtesy The Color Factory
Things to do

The Color Factory

icon-location-pin West Village
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The Color Factory NYC is officially open to the public as of Monday, August 20, and the experience is red hot. Actually, it covers a spectrum of hues, and it is guaranteed to be one of the most vibrant, educational and downright enjoyable Instagrammable moments you’ve encountered in New York. It really blue us away. The interactive exhibition, which is located in Soho, was designed and launched by event planner Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day (a crafts and celebrations blog) to help visitors explore the fun and importance of color. There are 16 rooms to explore throughout the 20,000-square-foot space which showcase immersive artwork from local writers, poets and musicians. The event got its start in San Francisco, but the Gotham iteration is very much an ode to New York, as there are various poems and tips for folks who live in the Big Apple throughout. Similar activiations such as a baby-blue ball pit remain in addition to a disco-themed dancefloor, oddball artifacts (think puke-inspired art) presented by the Mmuseumm and more. Best of all, you can wander through the installation phone-free (if you want.) Upon entry, you are given a card to scan at each of the various photographic experiences inside. The photos will be sent directly to your email, so you can focus on enjoying the art versus panicking over taking the perfect picture. That’s pretty convenient, but what we really love is that this ticketed attraction ($38) is worth the price in freebies alone. During your visit

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17
911 Memorial Tour
Viator
Things to do, Walks and tours

Official September 11 Memorial Tour

icon-location-pin Financial District
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An official guide from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum leads this walk around the reflecting pools. You’ll leave with a new understanding of how the memorial was created with the site’s past and future in mind.

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Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color
Photograph: Courtesy Eileen Costa, Museum at FIT
Things to do

Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color

icon-location-pin Chelsea
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The Museum at FIT unleashes the politics and provocations of the color pink at this stunning exhibition, featuring clothing from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Divided into two sections, the exhibition explores how the color has come to play into eroticism, punk rock, activism and gender politics. You'll explore historical ensembles from Japan, India, Africa, Mexico, Great Britain, the U.S. and beyond that played into the lives of commoners and royals alike; then gag at stunning looks from the vaults of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Moschino and Comme des Garçon. Witness the splendor!

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19
Alvvays
Photograph: Courtesy Gavin Keen
Music, Rock and indie

Alvvays + Snail Mail + Hatchie

icon-location-pin Greenpoint
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The celebrated indie-pop upstarts, who first made our hearts flutter with 2014's dreamily delicious single, "Archie, Marry Me," hit town for a pair of dates behind last year's effervescent and thoroughly satisfying Antisocialites. Catch the Toronto quartet at Greenpoint's Polish-community-center-turned-concert venue for a late-summer dose of starry-eyed melodies that'll carry you far into fall.

20
The National
Photograph: Michael J. Chen
Music, Rock and indie

There's No Leaving New York

icon-location-pin Forest Hills
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Brooklyn-via-Ohio alt-rock superstars the National present this two-day fest in Queens, featuring turns from Future Islands, Cat Power, Cigarettes After Sex, Phoebe Bridgers, Bully and more. The National headlines each night, so you'll have ample opportunity to savor singer Matt Berninger's microphone-stand-pounding, collar-tearing abandon on stage.

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Music events in September 2018

Drake
Photograph: Edmond Sadaka/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

Drake + Migos

After pairing on single "Walk It Talk It," Canadian R&B superstar Drake joins forces with hip-hop trio Migos on the Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour. Expect to hear plenty of ubiquitous new tracks from his latest album Scorpion. Here's hoping that Drake and Migos play at least part of the show in the Soul Train-themed attire from their collaborative video. While he's in town for gigs at both the Garden and Barclays Center, Drake will also be hosting an event called "The Day Party" at Brooklyn Mirage on Sunday, August 26. Drake associate DJ Spade is spinning, and you can also expect an appearance by Youtube star Shiggy a.k.a. the guy behind the “Shiggy Dance” from the “In My Feelings” challenge. (No word if Drake himself will be performing or just hanging out.)

Sun Ra Arkestra
Courtesy the artist
Music, Jazz

Sun Ra Arkestra

The world owes a great cosmic debt to time-traveling bandleader Sun Ra. He went back to Saturn and left the funkiest, swingingest band in the Milky Way here on Earth. This afternoon matinee show is your opportunity to travel the spaceways; your captain is 90-year-old Arkestra mainstay Marshall Allen.

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Music

Sammus

icon-location-pin Lower East Side
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A rapper who keeps company with the indie rock crowd (she's signed to Philly label Don Giovanni), Sammus writes hip-hop paeans to geek culture—gamers, comics fans and so forth. She plays with a rotating cast of openers for this Mercury Lounge residency. Most notably, you'll find multi-instrumentalist Mal Devisa performing Sept 11, who works surprisingly textured tunes from a pared down framework: soulful vocals soaring over loops of understated bass guitar. Her strikingly direct tunes have garnered her quite a word-of-mouth reputation in the local indie scene, exploring resilence, displacement and isolation with a revelatory spirit. Also look out for hectic noise-duo Machinegirl (Sept 18) and self-described "future-soul" quintet Jelani Sei (Sept 25).

Panorama Festival 2017
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Music, Music festivals

Octfest

Pitchfork and October present their second annual pairing of bands and brews. The fest hits Governors Island with a two-day lineup of more than 20 acts, including Vince Staples, Yo La Tengo, Chic, Vagabon, Julie Byrne and the Flaming Lips. Between sets, grab beer samples from over 90 different breweries based near (Blue Point, Circa) and far (India's Bira 91, Germany's Aktien). A single-day ticket includes 45 ounces of beer, a two-day ticket includes 90 ounces and plenty more is available for $1.50 per 3-ounce pour. Come thirsty.

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Grouper
Photograph: Courtesy Alicia J. Rose
Music, Rock and indie

Grouper

Portland, OR, singer-songwriter Liz Harris brings her murky yet lovely tunes to NYC for the first time in over two years. She hits town behind her latest, Grid of Points. A sparse affair à la 2014's RuinsGrid of Points finds Harris once again at the piano, her voice swathed in reverb and drifting among the chords like a slowly curling mist. It's music well worth losing yourself in.

Van Morrison
Photograph: Courtesy Shore Fire Media
Music, Rock and indie

Van Morrison + Willie Nelson & Family

The great bard of Irish R&B turns up in Queens for a rare show. You never know what you're going to get from a Van gig—or what mood the famously prickly singer-songsmith will turn up in—but he remains one of the least contrived performers of his generation. While Morrison's vocals might have diminished over the years, his penchant for thrilling improvisational risk remains very much intact. Outlaw-country figurehead and genuine American institution Willie Nelson brings his road-sharped crew to open the night.

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Rina Sawayama
Photograph: Courtesy Lillie Eiger
Music, Pop

Rina Sawayama

The London singer imbues her sugary music with pop-punk riffs, J-pop nuances and video-gameworthy synths, putting it all together in a very post-internet way. Her debut, Rina, is essentially a study in society’s obsession with new technology, from the imagined life of a blogger on “Ordinary Superstar” to the smart-phone addiction of “Cyber Stockholm Syndrome.”

Riot Fest 2017, Jawbreaker
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan
Music, Punk and metal

Jawbreaker

Seminal ‘90s punk band Jawbreaker came out of retirement last year, which meant two decades’ worth of teenagers who passed around 24 Hour Revenge Therapy CDs finally got to shout along to a live rendition of “Boxcar.” Since reuniting for Riot Fest last September, the trio has gradually expanded its tour and even revealed plans to log some studio time. If you weren't able to catch the band during its sold-out run at Brooklyn Steel in February, consider this Coney Island appearance your shot at redemption.

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Photograph: Courtesy Warwick Baker
Music, Rock and indie

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

The Aussie quintet has peddled bright, bounding indie rock on its two splendid EPs—2016's Talk Tight and 2017's The French Press—and now it's added an equally infectious debut album to its oeuvre. A 35-minute collection of pristine guitar pop, Hope Downs beautifully showcases RBCF's keen melodic sensibilty, chugging motorik vim and clever, impressionistic lyrics.

David Byrne
Photograph: Courtesy Chris Buck
Music, Rock and indie

David Byrne + Tune-Yards

The former Talking Head, active solo artist and avid bicyclist returns to Forest Hills for the first time since his erstwhile band visited in 1983 (he's also doing a two-night stint at Kings Theatre directly afterward). His new show is a choreographed spectacle that echoes his Stop Making Sense heyday. In the opening slot, Merrill Garbus and Co. supply Afrobeat-inspired pop with vocal gymnastics that never fail to impress. 

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See more NYC concerts in September
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