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Questlove, Gloria Gaynor and Patti Smith are on the SummerStage lineup this year

The beloved summer festival in Central Park is back in person!

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage in Central Park has become a quintessential NYC summertime ritual for many New Yorkers, and this year, it's back in person with a fantastic lineup.

The concert series, which pivoted to SummerStage Anywhere last year with streamed performances, unveiled its lineup for the 2021 in-person summer season today, which includes concerts by Patti Smith, Questlove, Machine Gun Kelly, Ani DiFranco, Gloria Gaynor and the Indigo Girls among others.

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While most shows are free, there are some benefit concerts that are not free. Those are noted below and we've broken up the lineup based on which location the shows will take place at.

Central Park:

  • June 17: Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis
  • June 20: Chris Botti - the Blue Note Jazz Festival (benefit)
  • June 24: Falu & Film: Monsoon Wedding - screening
  • June 24: George Clinton - the Blue Note Jazz Festival (benefit)
  • July 11: Galactic - the Blue Note Jazz Festival (benefit)
  • July 24: Sun Ra Arkestra and Sistazz of the Nitty Gritty
  • July 25: Dance IS! featuring the Rennie Harris Puremovement, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Parsons Dance, A.I.M., Alvin American Dance Theater & Ailey II with Madison McFerrin and Soles of Duende
  • July 31: The Originals
  • August 1: Tito Nieves
  • August 8: Met Opera Summer Recital
  • August 14: Marc Rebillet, DJ Premier and Brady Watt with special guests
  • August 15: Armand Hammer & The Alchemist with Moor Mother, KAYANA, Fielded and Quelle Chris
  • August 21: Antibalas
  • August 24: Lake Street Drive (benefit)
  • September 4: Dom Salvador Sextet and a screening of Dom Salvador & Abolition in association with the 25th anniversary Inffinito Brazilian Film Festival
  • September 11: Erica Campbell
  • September 13: Machine Gun Kelly (benefit)
  • September 17: Dawes with Erin Rae (benefit)
  • September 19: Patti Smith and her band
  • September 21: Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco (benefit)

Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem:

  • June 19: Summer of Soul screening with Questlove and Friends at Marcus Garvey Park
  • August 28: Charlie Parker with Strings: The Donald Harrison Quartet and the Harlem Symphony Orchestra at Marcus Garvey Park
  • August 29: Willie Jones III - A Charlie Parker Centennial Celebration with Sarah Hanahan, Godwin Louis, Justin Robinson, Erena Terakubo with Donald Vega and Endea Owens in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center

Coney Island, Brooklyn:

  • July 17: Gloria Gaynor at Coney Island with DJ Stormin Norman
  • July 18: La India
  • August 7: Funk Flex Birthday Party with Ginuwine and Friends at Coney Island
  • August 29: Invincible: A Glorious Tribue to Mike Jackson with DJ KS360 at Coney Island

All performances will follow health regulations, including limited capacity, required masks and socially distanced seating. Since guidelines for gatherings are changing, City Parks Foundation will frequently update its audience on its venue safety protocols on its website and social media pages in advance of each show. For the most current guidelines, show updates, and additional venue information and restrictions, please visit

Because of the limited capacity, you'll want to be first in line when tickets are released. And if you're unable to nab tickets, you can watch most performances live on

“We are so thrilled to bring SummerStage back for all New Yorkers to enjoy in-person, outside, in parks again this summer. The artists performing this summer represent a true sense of resiliency in their own art and deep connection to New York City,” said ErikaElliott, Executive Artistic Director of SummerStage. “While we continued to present artists of all genres for the past year with SummerStage Anywhere digitally, we are eager to provide artists the platform to perform to a live audience and to bring communities together to enjoy the live, spirited experience that is truly unique to our city and festival.

Free tickets are required for entry to every free SummerStage show and ticket pod requests must be made in advance online (which will be available three weeks prior to each show). Ticket request forms will open on Mondays at noon at

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