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The best summer concerts in NYC

Check out our top picks for this year’s summer concerts in NYC, including info on free and outdoor shows

Photograph: Courtesy Danny Roche
Full Moon Fest

Start hoarding sunscreen and pull your sunglasses out of storage: Here are the top summer concerts (in chronological order) NYC music lovers should not miss! Plan out your summer in New York with our picks for the best warm-weather gigs and summer music festivals, including plenty of indie-rock bands, world-class DJs, hip-hop artists and more.

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Best summer concerts in NYC


Dr. Octagon

More than twenty years after Kool Keith turned hip-hop on its head with his solo debut as deranged extraterrestrial gynecologist Dr. Octagon, he reunites with Dan the Automator and DJ Qbert for a trip back to all things trippy.

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Until Wed Jun 7


Way back in the early 2010s, producer Jerrilynn Patton’s manic tempos and unconventional sonic palettes were a high mark for the Chicago-born sound called footwork. Check out her cutting-edge beats upstairs at Brooklyn Bazaar, Greenpoint’s newish shopping-eating-partying destination

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Until Fri Jun 9


Each June, nearly 300 gigs are held in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick as part of the Northside Festival. But for our money, the show to see is this alfresco affair in McCarren Park, a perfect setting for an “alt-R&B” star whose cuts, like the self-explanatory “Do You,” bask in bouyant, Prince-like psychedelia.

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Until Sat Jun 10


The Minneapolis singer-MC is still building her fan base, but she’s already refined a diva persona that comes through with equal intensity, whether she’s belting out uplifting soul anthems or clubworthy booty-clap bangers.

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Until Thu Jun 15

Julie Byrne

We love us a local favorite who makes a lot out of very little. Most of Byrne’s songs consist of just fingerpicked guitar, soft new-age synths and her bell-like voice, but the end result proves that, sometimes, it’s best to keep it simple, stupid.

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Until Sat Aug 5

Full Moon Festival

The seven-year-old boutique festival lives up to its name: During the day, performers take the stage on Governors Island’s serene waterfront, and at night, the action moves to a not-yet-disclosed, after-hours location in Kings County for sets from Kanye protégé Vic Mensa, next-generation R&B phenomenon Kelela and glitter-folk eccentric Connan Mockasin.

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Waxahatchee + Cayetana + Snail Mail

Katie Crutchfield’s roots are in the DIY punk scene, but with her solo project, Waxahatchee, she’s developed a talent for mixing confessional lyrics and irresistible hooks that have made her a rightful indie-rock It girl.

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Until Sat Jul 15

Fela Tribute with Roy Ayers, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Twenty years after his death, Nigerian singer, multi-instrumentalist and political revolutionary Fela Kuti’s artistic daring continues to be as inspiring as his actual music. Here his torch is picked up by jazz-funk legend Roy Ayers and Fela’s son Seun, who leads one of his dad’s best-loved combos, Egypt 80.

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Until Sun Jul 16

Iron Maiden

Metal trends have come and gone by the dozen in the four-plus decades that Iron Maiden’s been making music, but the band’s talent for over-the-top performances has kept stadiums packed with devil-horn–gesturing fans the entire time.

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Until Sat Jul 22

Hans Zimmer

Zimmer’s bombastic, brass-heavy scores for the likes of The Thin Red Line, The Dark Knight trilogy and Interstellar have not only reshaped the sound of modern cinema, they’ve also influenced pop. Need proof? Just check out how often hip-hop artists lift the blaring horns in Inception’s score. Here’s your chance to experience the German genius’s work firsthand, with a full orchestra in one of NYC’s most majestic theaters.

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Until Wed Jul 26


In just a year, the Chicago vintage soft rockers (that’s actually a compliment) have gone from playing a scrappy DIY venue in Bushwick to headlining an outdoor gig in Brooklyn’s most prized park. See what all the feel-good, country-tinged, horn-laden buzz is about for yourself.

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Until Fri Aug 11

Daphni + John Maus + Moor Mother

The weekly outdoor boozing-and-dancing series Warm Up is back, people! This late-summer gig boasts Dan Snaith, best known for mixing folky songwriting and electronic sounds under his Caribou moniker. But with his side project Daphni, he dives into full-blown floor-filling dance music. He’s joined here on an exciting triple bill by the eccentric singer-songwriter John Maus and the noise-loving protest poet Moor Mother.

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MoMA PS1 , Long Island City Saturday August 19 2017

Mulatu Astatke

In the mid-’60s, Astatke began bending the rules of American jazz to fit the traditional music of his native Ethiopia and ended up launching an entire genre—a profoundly deep and funky one that hasn’t lost a shred of its cool over its 50-year run.

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Central Park, SummerStage , Central Park Sunday August 20 2017

Afropunk Fest

Like the rest of this globe-spanning, fashionable festival franchise, the original Brooklyn edition is a celebration of forward-thinking black music that’s come to span genres far outside punk. This year’s bill is a doozy, including beat-making phenomenon Kaytranada, grime legend Dizzee Rascal and avant-funk hero Thundercat, among many others.

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Ida F

Classical music concerts?

Scott K

Seriously. My blood pressure just went up 50% trying to find any goddamned music for tonight. Clickhole from hell.

jimmy j

this website totally sucks! so much bells & whistles that you have to dig your way to get any actual info

Michael F

@jimmy J Was just thinking this!  Put a simple calendar on the site.  Unreal.


NYC! Jillette Johnson at none other than Joe's Pub 7/16 - come on out. Also you can enter your email for a free song - “Pauvre Coeur” - at: www.jillettejohnson.com