central park

NYC SummerStage to Make Full Return with Dozens of Free Shows

New York City's SummerStage will come back with a full season of nearly 90 free and benefit shows across 12 parks in the boroughs.

Merissa Blitz

New York City's largest outdoor performing arts festival, SummerStage, will return this summer in full swing across all five boroughs with dozens of free shows to check out along twelve community parks.

Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage will offer nearly 90 free concerts, dance performances, film screenings, and art workshops in Central Park and neighborhood parks.

The season's programming will celebrate the city's revival and culture with over 200 artists in unique genres, such as reggae, pop, global, indie rock, Afrobeat, soul and more.

"Visiting a SummerStage show is like taking a journey around the world -- we present sounds from as far away as Australia, Ghana, Brazil and France that reflect our city's worldwide perspective, while also featuring local hometown favorites that reflect distinctly New York genres, like hip-hop, salsa and jazz," Heather Lubov, City Parks Foundation's Executive Director, told NBC New York.

With a focus on diversity and inclusion, last year's festival consisted of just over 50% female or non-binary artists and 95% identifying as BIPOC.

Opening night is set for June 11 in Central Park with legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock in association with the Blue Note Jazz Festival.

The three-day Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will also return for its 30th year at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.

“We are so happy to be back in local neighborhood parks after a two-year hiatus and to be able to once again build our newly refurbished flagship concert venue in Central Park,” said Lubov.

This year's highlights include artists Caribou, Waxahatchee, MC Solaar, Carla Morrison, Ana Tijoux and Tony Vega. Benefit concerts to help support these free performances will feature Modest Mouse, Belle & Sebastian, Fitz and The Tantrums, George Clinton and Trombone Shorty.

In addition to the music, SummerStage will have a free outdoor screening at Marcus Garvey Park on June 17 of the Oscar and Grammy award-winning documentary "Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)," remembering Juneteenth.

Partnering with Rooftop Films, SummerStage will play international short films prior to this season's Central Park shows.

Contact Us