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BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
Photograph: Ryan MuirBRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

NYC's best summer music festivals of 2022

Get the scoop on all the best summer music festivals happening this year (and don't forget the sunscreen)

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Andrew Frisicano
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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There's more than one kind of New York City music festival. The first events that come to mind might be the big-tent fests like Governors Ball, but just as important are staple series like CityParks SummerStage and BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, which keep crowds coming out to our beloved green spaces all season long. Overwhelmed by all the choices? Check out our hand-picked this guide to the very best summer music festivals hitting town this year. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to summer concerts in NYC

Best summer music festivals in NYC

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

May 8—September 22

The Seaport's summer concert series under the stars will feature more than 60 shows including from artists like Simple Plan, Sum 41, The Offspring, Pusha T, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Blondie, DEVO, Deftones, The Head and the Heart, Flogging Molly, Bikini Kill, Mayday Parade, Jason Mraz, Rise Against, The Used, Dashboard Confessional, Franz Ferdinand, Jason Isbell and more.

  • Music
  • Music

May 14—October 21

In its 99th year, Forest Hills Stadium is presenting one of the most exciting outdoor summer concert series yet! With acts like Leon Bridges, Bon Iver, The Lumineers, Death Cab for Cutie, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Phoebe Bridgers, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor LL COOL J, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, Lil’ Kim and Jadakiss, the series will lure music lovers to the Queens venue all season long, from May 14 to October 21. 

 

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  • Theater
  • Theater & Performance

May 27—September 17

The season, comprised of 26 live and free performances, kicks off on May 27 with the New York City Opera's production of Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville. The opera is also scheduled to put on its annual "Pride in the Park" concert (June 17) alongside its take on Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" (August 12) and Gaetano Donizetti and Salvadore Cammarano's "Lucia di Lammermoor" (September 2). Throughout the summer, New Yorkers will be treated to a slew of other shows, including contemporary dance performances, jazz concerts, collaborations with Joe's Pub and more. The programming concludes on September 17, with the American Symphony Orchestra's 60th-anniversary concert.

 

  • Music
  • Music

June 1—August 3

Hudson Yards announced the launch of its very own free outdoor summer concert series in collaboration with The Bowery Presents with a focus on "today's emerging artists." The concerts—which will take place every Wednesday in the Public Square & Gardens—are the newest addition to the venue's beloved Backyard at Hudson Yards program, which includes immersive play experiences in an outdoor yurt, outdoor SoulCycle classes, movie nights, live sports tournaments on the 30-foot big screen and more.

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  • Music

June 8—August 6

You can set your watch by how reliably awesome the annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is. Unlike SummerStage, which spreads out across the five boroughs, all BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! shows, most of which are free, take place at the beautiful bandshell in Prospect Park. This year, Saxophonist, producer, and composer Kamasi Washington will kick things off on June 8 and she'll be followed by artists such as Phoebe Bridgers (ticketed), Erykah Badu (ticketed), Kamasi Washington, Vic Mensa, Davido (ticketed), Yemi Alade, Maxi Priest, Chicano Batman, Fantastic Negrito, Crumb, Fonseca, John Cameron Mitchell, Kronos Quartet and Sam Green, The Beths, Khruangbin (ticketed) and more.

  • Music

June 10—12

Governors Ball is one of the most-anticipated summer concerts in NYC and this year's Governors Ball will bring big-name rappers, beloved veteran acts, rising pop stars and more to Citi Field this year. Held outside Citi Field there will be more than 60 performing artists across the weekend by performers including Kid Cudi, Halsey, J. Cole, Flume, Aly & AJ, Soccer Mommy, Playboi Carti, Roddy Ricch, Glass Animals, Migos, Jack Harlow, Kaytranada, Joji, Louis The Child, Clairo, Jazmine Sullivan, Still Woozy, 100 Gecs, Japanese Breakfast, Becky G, Black Pumas and more.

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  • Music

June 11—October

The iconic SummerStage mainstage in Central Park, situated at Rumsey Playfield, houses plenty of gigs. But the series is by no means a Manhattan-centric affair, with concerts taking place all summer at parks and outdoor spaces throughout NYC like Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. Frankly, there are too many acts to list here, but the schedule includes a staggering range of performers such as Modest Mouse, The Barenaked Ladies, Trombone Shorty, Belle & Sebastian, The Decemberists, Andy Grammer, Fitz and The Tantrums, Sharon Van Etten, Lucy Dacus, Angel Olsen and Julien Baker.

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  • Music
  • Classical and opera

June 23—28

The nine-day Chelsea Music Festival commemorates its 13th season with the theme "Not Without You" honoring siblings Fanny and Felix Mendelssohns’ legacy of kinship, connectivity, and collaboration. The theme is "inspired by an excerpt found in the rich, loving lifelong correspondence between the brother and sister which reveals a shared artistic support, criticism, and passion," organizers say.

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  • Music

August

The Afropunk festival takes place every August in Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park. Afropunk is the most inclusive festival of the year, both on stage and in front of it. Seemingly every genre of music is represented in the massive lineup, and the vibe that is cultivated is one of love with zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia or hatred of any type. Over the course of a weekend, Afropunk 2022—NYC's outdoor summer music festival celebrating multicultural arts—hosts a wide array of well-known musical artists (including some of the biggest hip-hop artists), as well as food trucks, live art, a craft market and more. Additionally, Afropunk strives to raise multicultural awareness in New York City with its Activism Row initiative

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