You've gotta love summer in New York. You can't swing a cup of sangria without spilling on a great summer party—from world-class DJs at the best clubs in NYC to pool powwows on rooftop bars to prohibition-era jazz soirees like the fantastic Jazz Age Lawn Party, there's a little something for everyone. So head out and make the most of it! Here's a list of top-notch shindigs to get you started.
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Sharegroove's Steve ShakeWell curates this outdoor postwork Thursday Williamsburg gathering filled with Balearic sleaze, mellow vibes and summer harmonies, no matter the weather. Past guests have included Toby Tobias, Waxist and Phenomenal Handclap Band's Sean Marquand, while this summer’s guests include Takaya Nagase, Sanky, Brian Blackout, Christine Renee and Balearic Social's Andy Pye from the U.K. Come, snack on some food, enjoy drink specials til 7pm and vibe out.
Justin Carter, an avant-garde DJ-composer, and Eamon Harkin, with a flare for Detroit techno, know how to get a party started. This year, the weekly Mister Sunday summer series moves from its previous Industry City location to the outdoor bar-meets-restaurant venue, Nowadays, located on the edge of Bushwick. There’ll be plenty to eat from with Country Boys Taqueria and Nowadays’ vegan and veggie-friendly kitchen, some fresh, locally brewed beer and sangria, sodas from Brooklyn Soda Works and no restrictions on dogs or kids!
The party so nice they now hold it twice! The early-evening, open-air event—once strictly on Sundays, but now expanded to Saturdays as well—features a host of top-notch house, disco and everything-in-between spinners including Function, Daniel Bell, Hercules and Love Affair, Psychemagik, multiple Tiki Disco editions and a July 2 Tuskegee Music blowout with Seth Troxler, the Martinez Brothers, Bas Ibellini, Phil Moffa and hip-hop radio legends Stretch and Bobbito. Watch yourself with those frozen margaritas though. You’ve been warned. For ongoing updates visit outputclub.com.
The U.S. edition of the world’s longest-running dance-music festival takes place June 10–13 in upstate New York, with electronic bands, producers and DJs—including our faves like Jimmy Edgar, Kerri Chandler, Derrick Carter, Claptone, Omar-S and Matthew Dear—taking the stages in Bethel Woods, home to the legendary Woodstock festival. You can either hop on a daily roundtrip shuttle bus or grab a camping pass and spend the night.
Blkmarket Membership, which just celebrated 10 years of proper New York techno parties, returns for another big boat bash to open its summer series. Talented Berlin musician/producer/deep house DJ Sven Weisemann headlines for a special extended set, with support from Blkmarket bossmen Taimur & Fahad.
Almost two decades of packing the Long Island City museum courtyard with NYC's music aficionados and sun-worshiping revelers, MoMA PS1's Warm Up is bigger than ever, with as strong a lineup as it's had in years. This year's highlights includes bands, DJs and producers like Joy Orbison, Skream, Hot Chip, Celestial Trax, DJ Drama, Honey Soundsystem, Brodinski, Ben UFO and the original "Hotline Bling"-er D.R.A.M. This one is as reliable as they come. MoMA PS1. June 11–Aug 27, Sat 3–9pm; $25, advance $22.
Looking for a California-backyard-party vibe, complete with carne asada and élotes on the grill? Well, then head to Str8 West Coastin’, where you’ll find expert selectors Still Life, Eleven and Dopeshoes playing only West Coast treats from the likes of Dre, Snoop, Cube, E-40 and Too Short on the third Saturday of any summer month. This year’s guest DJs include Dstrukt, Meka and Dirtyfinger. Past summers have also featured appearances from top-notch swag like W-shaped foam hands (for Westsiiiiide), beer coozies, California-shaped temporary tattoos and, of course, hologram Tupac! The summer’s best-kept secret! R.S.V.P. here.
Krakow's Unsound Festival returns stateside, combining forces with New York's expertly curated festival Sustain-Release to host some of the most exciting names in techno. Dario and Marco Zenker aren't new to the scene, each having released critically acclaimed productions separately for several years now. Founded in 2007, their label Ilian Tape has released much of the Zenker Brothers' music, including the duo's 2011 EP, Berg 10. The Brothers' debut album, Immersion, made it onto our list of the best dance music albums of 2015, and their genre-traversing DJ mixes continue to impress. Planet Mu's Jlin and 1080p's Via App join in the main room with a sonic exploration of live sets, while White Material's DJ Richard plays in the side Bad Room all night long.
We’re not sure how we would’ve survived the winter without ReSolute's abundant warehouse bashes and after-parties. Transitioning into full-on summer mode, the party collective and record label throws the first boat bash of the season with the German Don of the Deep Roman Flügel and the WNYU wünderkind Tim Sweeney. Float off on some of the best vibes you’re going to find on water this summer.
Sublimate returns for yet another intimate, underground party—this time hosting London-based promoter and record label Electric Minds. Headlining the occasion are perhaps two of the most respected musical tastemakers in house and techno. Ben UFO is one of the few artists known solely for his impeccable DJ sets—sans any productions of his own. The DJ's DJ cofounded the groundbreaking label Hessle Audio in 2007 (with the Hessle Audio show broadcasting weekly on Rinse FM), and he currently keeps himself plenty busy playing unforgettable sets from Tokyo to Croatia. Production phenom Peter O'Grady, better known to fans of the ever-mutating bass-music-meets-house sound as Joy Orbison, is equally excellent on the decks. The two have shared the bill together countless times—sometimes, if you're extra lucky, going back-to-back—and are capable of spinning a wider array of genres than almost anyone in the [insanely competitive] U.K. music scene. Do not miss. Support comes from Electric Minds' Dolan and Sublimate's Sagotsky.
Full Moon, the annual dance-friendly beach bash named for and modeled after the monthly all-night parties on the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan, returns to Governors Island for its sixth edition. This year, the party expands as a two-day festival, presenting a diverse, kickass bill including SBTRKT, Santigold, Pusha T, Black Coffee, Julio Bashmore, Moodymann, Dave Harrington and more TBA.
For ready-to-party New Yorkers, one of the season's best shindigs is Tiki Disco, making occasional forays into Rockaway Beach from its usual location at the Well. If you’ve been there, you know the drill—lots of beer-swillin’ dancey-dance fun, with Eli Escobar, Lloydski and Andy Pry serving up the rhythmic-motion-inducing goodness. Various locations and dates, visit tikidisco.tumblr.com for details. Sun 2–10pm; $TBA.
Another year, another SummerStage! The stalwart outdoor music venue has yet another packed schedule this year with a mix of free and ticketed shows across stages in multiple boroughs with a veritable cornucopia of artists. There’s DJs and MCs like Hard Hittin’ Harry (June 13), Just Blaze and Friends (June 15), Public Enemy (No. 1!) (June 21), DJ Kool Herc (July 10), Nice & Smooth and Doug E. Fresh (July 31), Jungle Brothers (Aug 1), DJ Spinna (Aug 14). Add in danceable bands like funk legends Cymande (June 11), synth-pop music-maker Empress Of (July 30) and indie-disco act Neon Indian (Aug 9), and there’s really no excuse. Central Park. Various dates, visit cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage for details.
Look out indoor dance clubs, Electric Zoo 2016 Festival is here to take over Labor Day weekend, bringing hoards of candy-raved boys and Rainbow Brite gals to Randalls Island for the event's eighth summer. If EDM’s your thing, then E-Zoo’s your place. This year once again features a wide range of artists including big name/big tent DJs like Tiesto, Hardwell, Aoki and Bassnectar. Randall's Island. Sept 2–4, 11am–11pm; 3-day pass $229.99.