Punk icon Patti Smith to kick off this summer's Rockaway Arts Fest

The 2014 festival will open with a bang, thanks to Patti Smith's free concert

Patti Smith at the Bowery Ballroom

Patti Smith at the Bowery Ballroom

The director of MoMA PS1, Klaus Biesenbach, has been dropping hints for months that something cool just might go down come June 29, but now we know for sure. Are you ready? Are you sitting down? Okay, here we go: June 29 from noon to 8pm at Fort Tilden marks the Rockaway! Opening Day event for the Rockaway Arts Fest.

For an artsy festival like this, it's only fitting that punk-rock royalty will be kicking off opening night with a free (that's right, free!) concert. Patti Smith left a mark on the heart of many a New Yorker with her unforgettable debut album, Horses, which arguably changed history in the New York punk scene back in 1975. Nowadays the singer-songwriter is still going strong with music and activism, as well as being a highly sought-after visual artist in her own right. She was also recently recognized for influencing the band Pussy Riot in their fight for equal rights in Russia. 

Fort Tilden’s Gateway National Recreation Area had to close back in 2012 after the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy. It took two years, but what better way for the former military base to make a comeback than with an amazing festival? This arts extravaganza is happening due to the efforts of Jamaica Bay–Rockaway Parks Conservancy, MoMA PS1, Rockaway Artist Alliance and the National Park Service, who all combined into a super team to make this event a reality. The fest will run from late June through Labor Day, and is set to include "existing and new, site-specific works by local and internationally acclaimed artists." You've got the whole summer to make your way out to Queens and check out the awesomeness that is the Rockaway Arts Fest.