Ben Howard - one of the artists doing free shows in NYC this summer (July 28th Central Park)
Pete Rock with DJ Premier, Flatbush Zombies, Ty Segall's new band Fuzz, Femi Kuti, and Ben Howard (video above) are among the many artists performing for free in the parks around New York City this summer. Yes, it's the beginning of May and that means that all the upcoming summer music concerts and other fun outdoor events for Summer 2013 in New York City are being announced around this time. So for this New York State of Mind Amoeblog I will preview and list many of these great NYC summer (mostly all outdoor) events, which are usually free and typically with artists that you'd happily fork over good money to see. That all follows below. But first a note on something happening this weekend that prequels an event in August.
On August 3rd, but indoors and at a ticket cost, will be the US DMC Finals which takes place around the same time as the Rock Steady Crew's 36th anniversary celebration in New York. But this weekend, Friday May 3rd, at Stage 48 in the Hells Kitchen district of Manhattan be the NYC Regional battle in the DMC competition. Last weekend were both the LA and the Bay Area DMC Regional Battles. As well as the actual battles (for both 2013 DMC NYC Regional DJ Battle and the 2013 DMC Battle for US Supremacy) there will be a partyrocking showcase performance from Philly turntablist legend DJ Cash Money (1988 DMC World Champ).
The DMC NYC Regional features the top six DJs performing six minute battle routines. Meanwhile, the DMC Battle for US Supremacy pairs the top eight DJs going head to head until one champ remains. DJ Esquire will be defending the title. Once again the host will be DITC's ever witty DJ/MC/hip-hop icon Lord Finesse. It is an early show that goes from 4pm to 10pm. 16+ $15 advance or $18 at the door. More battle info and more club/ticket info.
In a nutshell, the main NYC summer concerts and events include the always excellent SummerStage concerts in parks all over including Central Park in Manhattan, Red Hook Park in Brooklyn, and Queensbridge Park in Queens. SummerStage schedule and venue info here and more detailed info follows below. Then there is the Celebrate Brooklyn events at Brooklyn Bridge Park (right across from lower Manhattan), which are sort of a warm up to Celebrate Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell Season - some of which are free and some are ticketed including The Roots, Belle & Sebastian with Yo La Tengo, and Robert Plant. More info here. Another great series at various parks and public spaces downtown from the West to the East sides of lower Manhattan is the more adventurous and always free River to River Festival that includes such things as the fun Bang On A Can Marathon in early June. More general festival info here. Meanwhile uptown at Lincoln Center in the Upper West Side there's a lot of summer events - some indoors but many outdoors too. These include
Lincoln Center Festival with music, theatre, and dance. More detailed info here. There will also be both the Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing and the Lincoln Center Out of Doors. The for hip-hop fans there is no shortage of free concerts (mainly by old school artists) to chose from over the summer ahead including the annual Tools of War produced True School NYC Summer Park Jam series with the "forever host" of hip-hop legend Grandmaster Caz. (more on these park jams as the full line up is announced in the coming weeks). Meanwhile there's lots of other hip-hop scheduled at the SummerStage concerts including Flatbush Zombies (video below) who who, along with The Underachievers, will play Red Hook Park on June 4th. Then there's a great line-up with Black Sheep, Das EFX, and Marley Marl all playing for free at Queensbridge Park on July 18th.
Pete Rock vs. DJ Premier will play East River Park on August 27th - which is pretty much the very end of the concert season.
Among the other acts playing for free in the parks are Ty Segall's new band Fuzz who play Red Hook Park in Brooklyn on June 6th, The Zombies plus Django Django who play Summerstage in Central Park on June 18th where a week later on June 23rd Femi Kuti and Sinkane perform. Another good Central Park show takes place on July 6th when members of REM, The dB's, The Rosebuds and more will all perform in celebration of Big Star's 3rd LP. For more info on concerts click SummerStage and check back here on the Amoeblog in the coming months for more info and updates.
Flatbush Zombies, who will be among the artists doing free shows in NYC