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15 epic things to do in NYC this weekend

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Fri 15

Dead & Company Citi Field; 7pm; $75–$525
More than fifty years after forming the Grateful Dead, longtime members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir are still out there truckin'. As Dead & Company, the crew teams up with Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge and ax slinger John Mayer to bring its exploratory jams and time-tested Americana to the masses. Expect a tie-dyed parking-lot scene and a party atmosphere at these outdoor shows.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend

Alt-J + Kamasi Washington Forest Hills Stadium; 7:30pm; $56.50–$69
Leeds, England–based outfit Alt-J traffics in a distinct sound, combining clever songwriting and colorful, jazzy instrumentation with world beats and skittering drops for a quirky brand of alt pop. The trio teams up with saxophone superstar Kamasi Washington for a stadium show in which speakers are situated around the audience to create a surround-sound effect. Prepare to be immersed.

Cereal Milk Friends and Lovers; 8pm; free
How apt for Ben Wasserman and Brantley Brice's sweet new stand-up show to go down at Friends & Lovers, as their room will most certainly be packed with their best buddies. Join the two adorable whackjobs as they welcome funny friends Farah Brook, Sydnee Washington, Brendan Eyre, Alexis Guerreros, Sonia Dennis and Liza Treyger to chill on stage.

Retro Factory: 1983 The Plaxall Gallery; 9:30pm; $20–$35
Immerse yourself in the opulence and sleaze of 1980s NYC at this gay bacchanal, featuring thumping dance beats from DJs David Scott and Bright Light Bright Light, drag from Chelsea Piers and Donkey Show-style visuals. Plan on stripping down to your skivvies and dancing to recreations of your favorite videos from the era. You've got the look!

Fire Island Underwear Party Cherry Grove Beach; 10pm; $20
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in Fire Island will be at the Underwear Party. The gold standard of the island and the start to any wild weekend, this lit tradition from Daniel Nardicio guarantees a wild, nasty time for all involved.

Sat 16

Str8 West Coastin’ Project Parlor; 2pm; free
It's summertime in the LBC—er, Brooklyn, whatever. Get loose in Project Parlor’s backyard like you’re at a Southern California house party with this summer rager featuring DJs Still Life, Tara and Dopeshoes. Jam to Tupac, E-40, Salt-N-Pepa, Dr. Dre and more while partaking of eats from Bowie's BBQ and, if you show up early enough, free beer (cans of Old Blue Last are gratis from 2pm–4pm, or until supplies last).

Coney Island Mermaid Parade; 1pm; free to watch
Now in its 36th year, Coney Island’s epic procession of wild floats and barely clad revelers is as kitschy, campy and fabulous as ever. Those who are serious about their scales can register to win coveted titles like Best Sea Creature, Best Motorized Float, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, while the rest of us bask in the glow of a blinding array of sequins and engage in some much-needed beachside celebrating.

Paul Winter’s Summer Solstice Dawn Concert Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; 4:30am; $40
Set your alarm for the wee hours of the morning. Since 1980, the seven-time Grammy Award–winning saxophonist has led his “Consort” in a two-hour performance of jazz, beginning in complete darkness. Grab a seat near the Great Rose Window to bask in 10,000 panes of color as the sun comes up, while musicians wander through the audience, harmoniously beckoning in the day.

Party to Protect Our Lives Littlefield; 7pm; $10–$15
This fund-raiser for Moms Demand Action delivers just about everything you like in NYC—with bands, burlesque performers and tattoo artists taking over Littlefield for an excellent night of culture and activism. Hosts Marie Faustin and Sydnee Washington—two of our favorite comedians in NYC–welcome to the stage burlesque goddesses Bunny Buxom, Mina Minou and Rhoda Dendron; bands Fielded, Crazy Pills, Elliot and the Ghost and Alexander F and many more. Bring cash for some excellent raffle prizes.

Ladies Who Ranch The Brick; 9:30pm; $10
We have good news. NYC's supreme sixsome of silliness—Kelly Cooper, Caitlin Dullea, Rachel Kaly, Maya Sharma, Caroline Yost and Sophie Zucker—are holding court monthly at the always-lit Brooklyn Comedy Collective. This month, the power posse throws a party chock-full of demented sketches, songs and sets, with an opening set from gonzo comedy icon Ana Fabrega.

Big Queer Pod Fest The Bell House; 7:30pm; $20, at the door $25
An all-star alliance of NYC-based queer podcasts assemble at this fund-raiser for the Trevor Project. Join your favorite hosts from WNYC's Nancy, Tobin Low and Kathy Tu; the boys of Food 4 Thot; LGBTQ&A's Jeffrey Masters; and the folks behind the stimulating Making Gay History.

Your Love, Our Musical Caveat; 6:30pm; $15
As musical comedians, Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman have played just about every room in NYC, and at their beloved monthly show, they play your heartstrings. Watch as the manically inventive duo interviews a couple in the audience about how they met, then spins their love story into an epic, totally-improvised musical extravaganza. Prepare to be gagged!

Sun 17

Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival Museum at Eldridge Street; noon; free
Immerse yourself in the cultural delights of the Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities of Chinatown and the Lower East Side at this block party. While Peking Opera performers and klezmer bands take the outdoor stage, you can catch free language lessons, master your mah-jongg game and, best of all, learn how to prepare empanadas, Chinese dumplings and kreplachandchallah bread. Endless grub will be available for sale.

Rubin Museum of Art Block Party The Rubin Museum of Art; 1pm; free
The Rubin looks ahead with this "We Are the Future" edition of its annual free outdoor get down. Relax in a mobile garden, construct an imaginary future city, attend a drone demo, watch dance and sand mandala performances and more at this three-hour event. Van Leeuwen ice cream and Brooklyn Popcorn Truck will be on hand to keep you fueled.

Garcia Peoples Wonder of Nature; 4pm; $10
These New Jersey noodlers hole up at Williamsburg venue Wonders of Nature for a monthlong residency. The band—which has a clear Dead influence in its interlaced playing—previews tunes from its forthcoming LP, Cosmic Cash, as it invites like-minded improvisatory folk-rockers to join in on the fun.

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