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maggie rogers on stage
Photograph: Shutterstock | Maggie Rogers

The best summer concerts and festivals in NYC you can’t miss

We’ve rounded up the top summer concerts NYC has including the best free shows and outdoor stadium gigs.

Edited by
Natalie Melendez

Summer in the city means an endless supply of performances from the biggest names in music in NYC's most iconic venues. Here is a chronological list of the top NYC summer concerts you won’t want to miss. We’ve got everything for your country, indie rock, hip-hop, and hyperpop needs—plus a few concert series happening all summer long. 

RECOMMENDED: NYC's best summer music festivals of 2023

NYC summer concerts

Erykah Badu
Photograph: Kenny Rodriguez

1. Erykah Badu

July 8

Both on the stage and off, Erykah Badu has an unmistakable flair. The singer-actress from Dallas, Texas has been stunning audiences since the ’90s with her unique genre-bending sound combining soul, funk, hip-hop and more. Erykah’s eccentric style has also turned her into a modern-day fashion icon, making appearances at Fashion Week and the MET Gala. This summer, she’s embarking on the “Unfollow Me Tour” with a stop at Madison Square Garden.

NYC's SummerStage concert series
Illustration: Lauren Martin, courtesy of Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage

2. NYC's SummerStage concert series

Until September 30

All summer long, you can enjoy performances from big-name musicians at Central Park and beyond as part of this year’s SummerStage concert series. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Garbage, Andy Shauf, Jimmy Eat World, and Regina Spektor are just a few of the musicians gracing NYC’s stages in a variety of free and benefit concerts. A full list of performances is available on the Central Park website.

Shania Twain
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Shania Twain

July 11

Country music enthusiasts will be happy to know that Shania Twain will be gracing MSG this July. The “queen of country pop” has been breaking records since her 1993 debut, in due time becoming the best-selling female country artist with over 90 million records sold. Her latest release, “Queen of Me,” made it to number two on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, solidifying her decades-long star power.

Bryant Park Picnic Performances
Photograph: Chris Lee | Steinway Artists Aaron Diehl and Orrin Evans performs at Bryant Park in 2022.

4. Bryant Park Picnic Performances

Until September 14

From June to September, you can enjoy a free night of music at Bryant Park as part of their Picnic Performances series. With performances ranging from jazz to opera and an Emerging Music Festival, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Now grab your blankets, and get picnic-ing under the summer sky. View the full lineup on the Bryant Park website.

Declan McKenna
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Declan McKenna

July 21

No one does alt-rock quite like the English singer-songwriter Declan McKenna. The singer’s 2017 debut, “What Do You Think About the Car?” catapulted him to fame thanks to its infectious hooks, playful melodies and political messages. Having last toured the US in 2020 in support of his sophomore album, “Zeros,” the singer is now set to embark on “The Big Return Tour” this summer. The 50+ date North American run makes a stop at NYC’s Webster Hall on July 21 for a night full of new music and “big returns.”

Drake + 21 Savage
Photograph: Michael J. Chen

6. Drake + 21 Savage

July 23, 25-26

Hip-hop hasn’t been the same since Drake entered the game. The Canadian rapper has been topping the charts since 2009, earning five Grammys throughout his career and recently becoming the first artist to surpass 75 billion streams on Spotify. With star power of that magnitude, it makes sense that his three upcoming shows at MSG for the “It’s All A Blur Tour” are nearly all sold out—especially when he’s being joined by rapper 21 Savage.

Maggie Rogers + Soccer Mommy
Photograph: Shutterstock | Maggie Rogers

7. Maggie Rogers + Soccer Mommy

July 27

Alt-Pop princess Maggie Rogers has been making groundbreaking hits since her 2019 single “Alaska”—an exquisitely produced track with breathy vocals and a Pharell stamp of approval. Two albums and plenty of critical acclaims later, the singer is hitting the road again this summer with support from Soccer Mommy at the Forest Hills Stadium. Though tickets to the tour began with solely in-person sales to avoid ticketing fees, they’re now also available online.

Portugal. The Man
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Portugal. The Man

July 27

The success of Portugal. The Man’s 2017 single “Feel It Still” was only the beginning of the band’s quick rise to international fame. The track would go on to win the group a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and spent 20 weeks at the top of the alternative radio charts. Six years after the release of the global hit, “Woodstock,” the band has released their ninth studio album, “Chris Black Saved My Life.” Their supporting tour this summer makes a stop at Radio City Music Hall on July 27.


9. Pepe Aguilar

July 29

When it comes to regional Mexican music, Texas-born, Mexican-American singer Pepe Aguilar is your guy. He’s a staple in present-day Mexican households just as his father—the ranchera music icon, Antonio Aguilar—was back in his day. Pepe Aguilar continues to build on the legacy of his family, earning four Grammy Awards throughout his career and redefining the regional Mexican genre itself with his critically acclaimed records. The singer returns to MSG this July, where he first performed at the age of three alongside his father.

Fall Out Boy
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Fall Out Boy

August 1

Whether you know who they are or not, chances are you’ve probably heard a Fall Out Boy song or two out in the wild. From “Centuries” to “Dance Dance” and “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark,” the 2000s-formed pop punk band from Chicago has been around long enough to have a rock-solid list of iconic hits. Listen to these tracks and more at the band’s show at Forest Hills Stadium on August 1 in support of their eighth studio album, “So Much (For) Stardust.” For the emo kids out there, you won’t want to miss “Bring Me The Horizon” opening the show.

Sam Smith
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Sam Smith

August 8-9

Sam Smith takes the stage at MSG from August 8-9 this summer in support of “GLORIA,” their fourth studio album. The London-based artist rose to fame with their feature on Disclosure’s 2012 single “Latch” and has since then taken the pop world by storm. A five-time Grammy Award-winning artist with booming vocals and an immersive set full of glitz and glamor, this is bound to be the show of the summer—made all the better with support from R&B singer Jessie Reyes.

12. glaive

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A post shared by glaive (@1glaive)

August 12

Hyperpop enthusiasts, rejoice! 18-year-old sensation glaive (Ash Guitierrez) will headline Webster Hall this August with support from Oso Oso and Polo Perks. The artist made his first big splash onto the scene in 2020, when quarantine rendered him to online schooling and left him with more than enough time to explore the distorted sounds of the online-based hyperpop. He was 16 when he first uploaded his creations to SoundCloud. Shortly after he landed a deal with Interscope Records, and the rest is history.


13. The National + Patti Smith and Her Band

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A post shared by The National (@thenational)

August 18

Ohio-based, Brooklyn-formed alt-rock band The National has afforded themselves a great deal of fame thanks to their broody sound and introspective lyrics. Their latest album, “First Two Pages of Frankenstein,” is a testament to their success, complete with orchestra-tinged tracks that evoke a sense of wonder and features from Taylor Swift, Sufjan Stevens and Phoebe Bridgers. This summer, the band is joining forces with the iconic Patti Smith and Her Band at MSG for a show you won’t want to miss.

The Strokes
Photograph: Michael J. Chen

14. The Strokes

August 19

The Strokes will be joining the Forest Hill Stadium 2023 Centennial concert series on August 19 with support from Angel Olsen. The NYC-based band from the late ’90s paved the way for modern-day indie rock with their playful sound and catchy lyrics. Leading the early 2000s revival of the genre, The Strokes are now one of the most legendary bands in the scene and the inspiration for many newer artists.

Photograph: Shutterstock

15. Madonna

August 23-24, 26-27

Madonna takes over Madison Square Garden this summer with a four-show run as part of “The Celebration Tour” — an appropriate commemoration for a career spanning over four decades. An unforgettable pop icon, Madonna is also the highest-grossing female touring artist with over 700 performances worldwide. Her latest release, “Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones,” looks back at the greatest hits of her lengthy career and reimagines them as new remixes.

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