Your Summer 2016 NYC Music Festival Guide!
Summer in NYC is by far my favorite season of all. The outdoor cafes for brunching, rooftop bars for toasting at sunset, and the plethora of music festivals (many of them absolutely free!) that will have you tapping your toes and humming your jams all summer long. We promise they’ll make you so happy you won’t even mind waiting on the subway platform on those 95+ degree days. Here’s a few we are really looking forward to:
The Governors Ball (June 3rd-5th): One of the most anticipated music festivals in NYC, oh, EVER, The Governors Ball is a quick sell every year. This year headlines everyone from Kanye to The Killers. As of now, there are only tickets available for Friday or 3 day General Admittance tickets, so act fast!
Tickets: Friday GA is $105, and a 3 day festival GA pass is $305.
Northside Festival (June 6th-12th): This festival features artists from a variety of creative outlets, with over 400 bands, 150 speakers and 100 content creators. Rather than take place at one location, the Northside Festival will take you to a variety of venues – small clubs, outdoor spaces, boutique hotels, local movie theaters and more. It’s a great way to see Brooklyn, for sure!
Tickets: Music badges are $85, or you can purchase single show tickets at varying price points.
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival (August 26th-28th): If there’s one festival on this list I will be sure NOT to miss, it’s this one. For all you jazz aficionados, you’ll recognize this as NYC’s annual salute to the legendary sax player. The festival features both contemporaries of Charlie Parker as well as young jazz musicians that continue to shape and drive the art form.
Afropunk Festival (August 27th-28th): This is the festival the New York Times dubs as “the most multicultural festival in the US,” so you can bet it promises an eclectic line-up and an audience as diverse as the acts they come to see.
Tickets: General Admission tickets for the weekend start at $65. You can also earn a free ticket by volunteering 8 hours to one of the local charities the festival is collaborating with. Give back and get back!
Electric Zoo Festival (September 2nd-4th): We’re gonna go ahead and predict that the NYC club circuit will be empty over Labor Day weekend this year, simply because every single Electronic Dance Music fan in the city (and beyond) will be on Randall’s Island, raving to the sounds of Tiesto. Don’t forget your glow sticks!
Tickets: 3 day festival passes currently start at $229.99 (but go up in price the closer it gets to the festival, so grab your tickets early!)
Summerstage (throughout summer 2016): A music festival that spans the warm months in NYC, Summerstage is put on by the City Parks Foundation, a nonprofit who believes that thriving parks create thriving communities. Indeed, having top notch musical performances played in parks across all 5 boroughs is one of the staples of summer in NYC.
Tickets: While attending Summerstage performances is technically free, be advised that the top shows will have massive lines to get in. In order to skip the line, become a member of The City Parks Foundation. Memberships start at $150.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival (throughout summer 2016): Known for its fantastic array of free cultural programing in Brooklyn, BRIC is dedicated to providing substantial support to artists and media makers in their efforts to develop work and reach new audiences. This summer’s festival, held at Prospect Park Bandshell, is similar to Summerstage in that it presents music across all genres.
Tickets: Many of BRIC’s musical performances are free, while a handful run around $50 the day of the show. Seat Pass memberships start at $150, allowing members to bypass the line and have guaranteed seating.
MOMA PS1’s Warmup (throughout summer 2016): Happening every Saturday this summer starting June 11th in the courtyard of PS1, Warmup is the highly anticipated outdoor music series in Long Island City, continuing its tradition of introducing audiences to the best in experimental music, sound, and DJs—both local and international—across a range of genres.
Tickets: Tickets are required, pricing information will be available soon. If you live in LIC, you’re in luck, as the festival gives Long Island City Residents with proof of residency in ZIP codes 11101–11109 one free ticket on a first-come, first-served basis, pending availability.