10 Festivals to Attend in NYC | Summer 2016

From Brooklyn to Manhattan, there are plenty of summer festivals to attend in NYC’s boroughs. Whether you’re looking for laughs, a cultural experience, or to see your favorite performer in an outdoor venue, New York City has incredible experiences to offer. Here are 10 Festivals to Attend in NYC, so grab some friends, get out, and have a wonderful summer.

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Brooklyn hip Hop FestivalDate: July 13-16

In 2005, the Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival debuted in the borough of Brooklyn and is now the largest hip-hop festival in NYC. The Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival is more than a concert or outdoor event, but rather a four-day salute to the hip-hop culture and its community. Panel discussions, exhibitions, parties, film screenings, concerts, and a family-friendly block party are scheduled for the festival, in addition to the grand finale concert featuring Talib Kweli, Nas, and Fabulous. If you haven’t heard of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival, we suggest heading over to Brooklyn this weekend to get educated on one of the fastest growing genres in music.

Full Moon Festival

Full Moon FestivalDate: August 20-21

It may be the smallest or most unheard of festival to take place in NYC this summer, but that doesn’t make Full Moon Festival any less amazing. Described as a “boutique approach to the a New York City music festival”, the two-day experience will take place beneath the August blue moon and against panoramic views of the city from Governor’s Island. This year, the Full Moon Festival lineup includes SBTRKT, Pusha T, Santigold, Lola Wolf, and more. If you’re looking to attend a smaller, well-curated music festival with a hipster sensibility, we suggest partying beneath the full moon next month.

Electric Zoo

Electric Zoo NYCDate: September 2-4

Electric Zoo, New York City’s premier electronic music festival, will take place at Randall’s Island Park this Labor Day Weekend. And from the look of the lineup, it seems that the E Zoo promoters have certainly fulfilled fan expectations of upping their game since last year, in addition to creating a “wild” theme for the weekend. The Electric Zoo: Wild Jungle lineup includes Hardwell, Tiesto, Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, The Chainsmokers, and more. If you’re a fan of EDM and don’t mind when things get a little rowdy, Electric Zoo: Wild Jungle is definitely the festival to save up for this summer.

Brooklyn Comedy Festival

Brooklyn Comedy FestivalDate: August 22-28

Much smaller than the New York Comedy Festival and much more difficult to know about, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival continues to rally the funniest people in Brooklyn and their fans together for what should be a very funny week. From August 22-28, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival will showcase every form of comedy, from stand-up, to improv, to web series. Ranging from both established to up-and-coming comedians, the festival aims to generate the news about Brooklyn’s lively comedy scene. Right now, their website has a photo of Late Show host Trevor Noah with the caption “exciting news coming soon”, and if that’s any indicator of who will be performing, we think the Brooklyn Comedy Festival is definitely worth checking out.

Celebrate Brooklyn!

Celebrate Brooklyn FestivalDate: Multiple dates all summer!

Most of us are aware of the summer concert series which takes place in Central Park every year, but did you know that in Prospect Park there is another music festival which is now celebrating its 38th year? The Celebrate Brooklyn! summer music festival continues to bring some of the best live acts to the Prospect Park bandshell, a venue nestled in the south quadrant of the park. This year’s lineup proved to be even better than the last, including Dr. Dog, Tame Impala, Andra Day, Beirut, The Lumineers, and more. With movie screenings and dance performances going on between scheduled concerts, the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival has something to offer almost every weekend. 


SummerStage Central ParkDate: Multiple dates all summer!

Though it’s well known and half-way through this year’s lineup, we thought to include SummerStage because many aren’t aware of the free offerings that occur between the benefit shows. SummerStage, in addition to hosting concerts by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Neon Indian, and Cage the Elephant, the festival will also include nights of DJs, circus performances, and classical music. Not to mention, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will be taking over one weekend in August. SummerStage is home to much more than music, so we suggest heading over just about any weekend to see what’s going on. Follow the link for the full Summerstage schedule.

Afropunk Fest

Afropunk FestivalDate: August 27-28

This year, Brooklyn’s Afropunk Festival is really bringing it. So, if you can’t make the Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival this month, there’s a chance to celebrate hip-hop and afropunk culture in August. This year, the lineup includes Ice Cube, Tyler, the Creator, TV on the Radio, Janelle Monae, Earl Sweatshirt, and more. Known as the best multi-cultural event in NYC, the Afropunk Fest is a mix of music, art, and politics, defining what has been a movement in Brooklyn for decades. If you’re in NYC this summer, we think the Afropunk Fest should be at the top of your lists, as it’s an opportunity to witness and listen to some incredibly important voices.

Mad Decent Block Party

DiploDate: August 6-7

Can you believe that Diplo’s Mad Decent Block Party started out at twenty dollars a person, red solo cup included? Now, the EDM mogul is party host to an incredibly popular traveling music festival that certainly delivered on its lineup one again. The performers are different for every stop of the Mad Decent Block Party, and this year in Brooklyn’s MCU Park, EDM fans will party to the mixes of Diplo, Tory Lanez, Dillon Francis, and more. The festival lasts two days near the beginning of August, so if you’re unable to attend Electric Zoo later that month, we suggest getting your tickets to Mad Decent Block Party soon!

Which summer festivals will you attend this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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