Enjoy free concerts (and more) all summer long at NYC’s SummerStage and the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden! Check each website for details on performers, times, locations, and other information.
SummerStage: SummerStage is the largest free performing arts festival in New York City, based on the belief that by presenting artists and genres that reflect the diverse cultures and communities in neighborhood parks across the five boroughs, this event can help to build new audiences and foster a broader interest in the arts. To celebrate the 30th season, organizers have extended the season from May to October, and added more than 20 free shows in Central Park and 16 neighborhood parks across the city, showcasing nearly 200 unique artists. From the iconic to the avant-garde, from opera to hip-hop, film to circus–and everything in between–this is what makes SummerStage a truly only-in New York City festival. Shows are rain or shine, and are only cancelled in the event of dangerous lightning. Please note that the schedule of events and performers subject to change. Admission is first come, first served for free events, and admission to the venue closes for the remainder of the event once capacity is reached. The following cannot be brought into the Central Park venue: glass bottles, cans, coolers, folding chairs, bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, beach umbrellas, video cameras, selfie sticks, professional camera gear or pets. Alcoholic beverages are forbidden in NYC Parks, and the distribution/sale of unauthorized materials is banned. Beer and wine are on sale at the Central Park venue for onsite consumption only. SummerStage is accessible to the mobility-impaired. For additional information please call (212) 360-2789 and ask to speak with our Volunteer Coordinator. To obtain the Parks Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), please call (800) 281-5722.
Summergarden: The Museum of Modern Art established Summergarden in 1971. In keeping with MoMA’s history of presenting jazz and classical music in the Sculpture Garden, this year’s concert series once again welcomes the participation of The Juilliard School and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Titled New Music for New York, the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night. Juilliard concerts are performed by members of The New Juilliard Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Joel Sachs, who has assembled two distinctive programs of recent compositions, all of which are enjoying their New York premieres. Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two up-and-coming jazz ensembles whose concerts emphasize original works, each with one world premiere. Summergarden is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Sculpture Garden may close if attendance reaches maximum capacity. Entrance to Summergarden is through the Sculpture Garden gate on West 54 Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Sculpture Garden opens at 7:00 p.m., and concerts start at 8:00 p.m. and run approximately one hour to 90 minutes. The Sculpture Garden closes at 10:00 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will be held in The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, and the Museum’s 54 Street entrance will open at 7:30 p.m. The exhibition galleries are closed during Summergarden. The Garden Bar sells savory and sweet treats, including baguette sandwiches and homemade soft pretzels with dipping sauces, locally made gelato from Il Laboratorio del Gelato, wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. In the event of rain, refreshments are not available.