Top Free Concerts in NYC Summer 2016
When it comes to arts and culture, New York City is surely the greatest city in the world. Best of all, to score tickets to some great shows this seasons, you won’t need to break the bank — or even open your wallet. Here’s our guide to the best free concerts happening this summer in NYC, all of which are family friendly.
SummerStage Central Park
Year after year, the hot weather brings SummerStage to Central Park, along with thousands of people from the city and beyond visiting to check out the great lineup of free live shows. Located at Rumsey Playfield, just off the 5th Avenue and 69th Street entrance to Central Park, the outdoor venue welcomes a long series of summer concerts throughout June, July, August and September. The lineup always runs the gamut from family shows to punk rock, spoken word to world music, and everything in between.
The highlights of the SummerStage concerts in NYC this year include the low-key indie-rock group The Feelies (7/18), psych rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra with indie dance diva Empress Of (7/30), the classical take on the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration (8/8), and the Chicago the musical 20th anniversary performance (8/31).
SummerStage is also holding concerts in New York July 2016 at other locations including Crotona Park and St. Mary’s Park. Be sure to check out the full lineup so you don’t miss any great music! Almost all of SummerStage’s concerts are free, but not all — proceeds from some of the bigger-name acts fund the rest of the year’s programming.
Free Classical Concerts
Whether you’re a die-hard lover of classical music or just like to get a regular dose of culture, New York City’s frequent free orchestra and symphony performances make it easy all summer long. There’s the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra show at the Lincoln Center (7/20), the Young Composers Concert Series featuring Claire Chase on flute at Hearst Plaza (7/28), and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra at the Naumberg Bandshell (8/2), just to name a few.
Likewise, the Met Opera’s Summer Recital Series puts on opera performances gratis all over the five boroughs. Locations include Central Park, Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Free Summer Festivals in NYC
What’s better than one free concert? A whole day of free concerts! This year, New York is also hosting several totally free musical festivals featuring a range of great performers. The Roots are headlining the Lowdown Hudson Music Fest alongside Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers; many other diverse acts will join them at this great free two-day festival at the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza (7/12 and 7/13). The Queen’s Library Battle of the Bands is a great opportunity to discover some talented, yet undiscovered acts (Kupferberg Center for the Arts, 7/14), while the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series will devote a whole day to celebrating the late great Lou Reed with tons of cover performances and readings of his lyrics (7/30).
Interested in checking out some NYC summer concerts in 2016? You have no excuse not to with this jam-packed schedule of free events! Get out there and have a great summer full of awesome live music.