Now, what’s worse than missing one of your favorite bands play a show just because you didn’t know about it? I’ll tell you: missing one of your favorite bands play a Free NYC Concert in 2014 just because you didn’t know about it. There are plenty of Free NYC Summer Concerts, as multiple festivals and concert series are bringing these shows to parks in just about every borough. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled the best and most anticipated shows scheduled for the next upcoming months. Here are the Free NYC Concerts that will make your summer, an even better summer.
1. Ty Dolla $ign @ Red Hook Park: June 3, 2014
This show will be kicking off the Summerstage series, taking place throughout 14 NYC parks this summer. Tyrone Griffin, otherwise known as Ty Dolla $ign, has recently made his way into the rap circuit. You will probably recognize the song “Paranoid” feat. B.o.B, the popular hit from his recently released EP Beach House. Ty Dolla $ign is an artist, a musical savant since age 3, with musical influences ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Nirvana. Having already collaborated with artists such as Wiz Khalifa and Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign is right on the cusp of having a wildly successful career. So he won’t be giving free summer concerts for long. Doors open around 6:30PM, and Ty Dolla $ign will go on around 7PM. And the best part about it? It’s free.
2. Janelle Monae @ Prospect Park Bandshell: June 4, 2014
This summer, the Celebrate Brooklyn! concert series is killing it. Seriously, just a few months ago the line-up revealed big names such as Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Neutral Milk Motel, and The National. These shows are not free, but luckily we have cheap concert tickets available for this incredible festival. But even though some concerts are ticketed, Celebrate Brooklyn! is offering a number of free summer concerts to the public, beginning with The Electric Lady herself, Janelle Monae. If you haven’t heard of Janelle Monae, you should know that she’s well on her way to becoming as big as Queen Bey herself. Soul musician, record producer, artist collaborator, composer…the list goes on. The Celebrate Brooklyn! concert will likely filled with music ranging from her early soul influences such as Etta James, to contemporary twists on music echoing Prince and the King of Pop. This R&B rockstar will be kicking off the festival at 8, and we repeat, admission is free.
3. Lyricist Lounge feat. Pro Era @ Red Hook Park: June 5, 2014
Pro Era (in association with Lyricist Lounge) will be performing at Red Hook park at no cost. This Brooklyn hip-hop collective is led by Joey Bada$$. Other members include (but aren’t limited to) CJ Fly, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, A La Sole, Dessy Hinds, and Dirty $anchez. Though we can’t say exactly who will be taking the stage at Red Hook Park, we can definitely say that it would be a shame to miss out on seeing one of the most talked about hip-hop groups of this generation. So come out to Red Hook Park and embrace the change that’s happening with these progressive rappers. The concert will run from 7PM-9PM.
4. Thee Oh Sees @ McCarren Park: June 14, 2014
This psychedelic garage band will be making their way to McCarren Park this June as a part of the Northside Festival. The concert, the first of two free concerts to take place at McCarren Park, will be the first NYC show the band has played since their short hiatus. Thee Oh Sees are the kind of band that will remind you of what you love most about rock music, like the way it makes headbanging feel as standard as clapping your hands. The concert is all ages, rain or shine, with gates opening at 1PM and the opener going on around 2PM. RSVP is required. Besides that, admission is free, at first come first serve basis. So grab your converse and latest purchase from Brooklyn Flea, and catch Thee Oh Sees for a perfect afternoon of rock music.
5. CHVRCHES @ McCarren Park: June 15, 2014
As a part of the Northside Festival set to take place this June, CHVRCHES is headlining one of two free summer concerts happening at McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. What could be better than watching this synth-pop indie band charm it’s audience while the sunset provides a beautiful backdrop to what could possibly be one of the best nights of summer? CHVRCHES have been on a steady incline of success, and let me tell you, hundreds of Brooklyn-ites have already put this free concert in their calendars. Because this show is listed as part of the Northside Festival, an RSVP is required for admission. It’s first come first serve, so I suggest getting there early. Gates open at 3pm, and the music will kick off around 4pm.
6. Amos Lee + Lake Street Dive @ Prospect Park Bandshell: June 20, 2014
Known as one of the biggest voices in the hybrid R&B/folk genre, singer/songwriter Amos Lee will be headlining at the Bandshell this summer. Amos Lee will be following Lake Street Dive, the indie-folk collective led by vocalist Rachel Price. This night at the Prospect Park Bandshell will be filled with soul, swing and blues. With two acts that can seamlessly blend several genres and decades of music, this could possibly be one of the best free concerts you have a chance to see this summer. Doors open at 6:30PM, and the show will start around 7:30. The venue probably won’t reach capacity, but we suggest getting their early to snag a good view of the stage.
7. Dum Dum Girls + Hospitality + TEEN @ Prospect Park Bandshell: June 21, 2014
What do you get when you combine a 60’s girl group and garage rock? The Dum Dum Girls, led by Kirstin Gundred (otherwise known as Dee Dee), are one of those bands where when you attend one of their shows, you can expect the unexpected. You’ll hear moments of bubblegum pop occur just before the drop of a heavy, emotional lyric, or a brash guitar and drum duet. Alongside the Dum Dum Girls are two bands, Hospitality and TEEN, who are on the rise in the Brooklyn indie music circuit. The show is one of the many free concerts through the Celebrate Brooklyn! series. Doors open at 6PM, and music starts at 7PM. Rain or shine, the Dum Dum Girls will be taking the stage in their grungy girl band glory.
8. Andrew Bird & The Hands of Glory + Luke Temple @ Central Park Summerstage: July 8, 2014
Chicago-based music prodigy Andrew Bird is making his way to the Central Park stage to give a free concert to the public. Why is this a big deal? Well, this man can do, and does, pretty much everything. From developing his own film core, to putting out 11 studio albums, to helping develop a kid’s TV show, Andrew Bird could be the renaissance man of our generation. Typically, Bird performs sold out shows, with ticket prices ranging from 50-200$. So thank the summer music gods for this treat, pack a picnic, and head to Central Park for a free concert you won’t want to miss. The show will start around 9PM, but we suggest getting there early.
9. Nickel Creek @ Prospect Park Bandshell: July 24, 2014
Because it is the 25th anniversary of this bluegrass combo’s formation, and because we are oh so very lucky to be living in a city where free concerts are in bloom this summer, Nickel Creek will be performing at the Prospect Park Bandshell as a part of the Celebrate Brooklyn! series. In lieu of their upcoming tour and album release, Nickel Creek will undoubtedly be in a celebratory mood. Along with being a joy to listen to, this trio is impossibly precise. Their music is smart, entertaining, and downright rowdy. If you think that Brooklyn is too…Brooklyn to enjoy bluegrass, then you’re wrong. Nickel Creek is one of those bands that can appeal to anyone who calls themselves a music lover. Why? Because it’s good music. Doors will open around 6:30PM, with Nickel Creek going on around 7:30PM.
10. St. Vincent + San Fermin @ Prospect Park Bandshell: August 9, 2014
This summer’s Celebrate Brooklyn! series of free shows will conclude with this heavily anticipated concert where St. Vincent will take the stage, following the orchestral folk-pop artist San Fermin. Annie Clark, known by her stage name St. Vincent, has made it to becoming indie rock royalty. Unlike most indie rock artists, St. Vincent is highly regarded in both the selective independent music industry as well as mainstream music. Having the appeal of emotionally intricate songs alongside catchy pop melodies, St. Vincent is a strong case against any music critic. Doors to the show open at 6:30PM, and San Fermin will take the stage around 7:30. The concert is free, happening rain or shine, and nothing should stop you from going.
Free concerts this summer in NYC are still being announced each week. The Today Show has announced their 2014 Toyota Concert Series @ Rockefeller Plaza which will include free concerts by performers such as Usher, Neon Trees, and Aloe Blacc. Good Morning America will also be bringing incredible performers to SummerStage with the 2014 GMA Summer Concert Series, including Jason Derulo, Kings of Leon, and Luke Bryan. In terms of what’s new and upcoming, the 4Knots Music Festival at Southstreet Seaport includes free concerts by Mac Demarco, Dinosaur Jr., and Dead Stars. More free concerts, as well as ticketed concerts with cheap tickets available, are being listed almost every day. So stay in touch with us, and we’ll make sure you don’t miss a free concert this summer.