Free Summer Concerts

Arts & Entertainment

by staff, 05/06/2013

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The best things in life are free, especially when it comes to NYC's summer concerts. This May through August, you can hear live music of all kinds across the City without spending a dime. Whether it's punk on Staten Island, indie rock on the Manhattan waterfront, a classy night outdoors with the Metropolitan Opera or diverse lineups including everything from jazz to world music at SummerStage and Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York City's gratis alfresco performances are sure to please music lovers of all tastes. Read on below for a breakdown of some of our favorite shows, as well as a full list of summer concert series and festivals. Enjoy, and rock on!

Don't mind paying for your live music? Click the image below for a full list of NYC concerts, both free and ticketed.

NYC Concert Calendar


May 24–August 30
Good Morning America Summer Concert Series at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
Such stars as Carly Rae Jepsen, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Alicia Keys play very early sets on ABC's morning show. For dedicated fans, it's a rare chance to see their favorite acts at no cost. For more info, visit

May 24–August 30
Today Concert Series at Rockefeller Center
Rise and shine for early-morning performances that are broadcast on NBC's Today show. The 2013 series includes showcases by Lionel Richie, Michael Bublé and Cher. For more info, visit

July 18, 31; August 15, 29
Vans House Parties at House of Vans
Skate-shoe brand Vans returns for a third year of free shows at 25 Franklin Street in Brooklyn. The lineup includes such cult favorites as the Melvins, Les Savy Fav, Baroness and Kid Dynamite. The parties are free, but you must RSVP in advance; entry to the popular event is on a first-come, first-served basis, so even if you’ve signed up, make sure to get there early. For more info, visit

Full list of summer concert series:
4Knots Music Festival
BAM Rhythm and Blues Festival
Bargemusic Presents: "Music In Motion"
Celebrate Brooklyn!
Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Madison Square Music: Madison Square Kids
Madison Square Music: Oval Lawn Series
Make Music New York
Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert Series (2013 info pending)
The Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival
Metropolitan Opera's Summer Recital Series
New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks
Naumburg Orchestral Concerts
River to River Festival
Seaside Summer Concert Series (2013 info pending)
Shakespeare in the Park
St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble's Subway Series
Summergarden at MoMA
Summer in the Square
Summer on the Plaza Concerts
Today Show Summer Concert Series
Vans House Parties (2013 info pending)
Washington Square Music Festival

related venues/(4)

  1. 1
    SummerStage in Central Park
    Rumsey Playfield, E. 72nd St. at Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10065
  2. 2
    Rockefeller Center
    45 Rockefeller Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10111
  3. 3
    Central Park Bandshell
    Mid-park, 66th to 72nd Sts
    Manhattan – Central Park
  1. 4
    Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell
    Prospect Park West
    Brooklyn – Park Slope

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