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CityPASS Home  »  City Traveler Blog  »  Fun in the Sun: Free Summer Concerts in NYC

City Traveler Blog

Fun in the Sun: Free Summer Concerts in NYC

Summer’s the time in New York City to get out of your hotel room, out onto the streets and into the parks and other outdoor venues to enjoy the sights and hear the sounds of the countless concerts and festivals that seem to be taking place in every corner of the Big Apple.

Here’s a short list of summertime fests where the sound is as big as the city. And better yet (most of) the fests are free!


Every Friday morning through late August and early September CityPASS holders on their way to Top of the Rock have the added bonus of a free music concert outside of Rockefeller Center courtesy of The Today Show who hosts the biggest acts both nationally and internationally. Take a break from the variety of NYC attractions to catch the Today Show concerts! Bonus: You might end up on television! Even better: It’s free!


Summergarden: New Music for New York is held Sundays in July. 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. Entitled “New Music for New York,” the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night. Gate opens at 7:00 p.m.; concerts begin at 8 p.m. Free with MoMA admission.


New York’s most beloved playground, Central Park, turns into a full-blown concert venue every summer. SummerStage is the site for top-notch musical acts—from Jennifer Lopez to Joan Baez—as well as more high-minded opera and theatrical events and numerous dance and spoken word performances throughout the summer. Some of the shows are free, while others will require tickets. Visit the SummerStage calendar for a full schedule of shows and events.


If it's July then that means that both The New York Philharmonic (July 10-16) and The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series (July 16-August 1) will be performing concerts in the parks of all five of New York boroughs (the one on Staten Island will take place inside). All concerts are free.


This bustling New York artistic hive busts opens it doors every summer for “Lincoln Center Out of Doors.” For three weeks during July and August the plazas of Lincoln Center hosts at least three dozen different events featuring the best in music, dance and performance art as well as events that are geared toward families. And it’s free!


One of the hottest tickets of the summer is Electric Zoo at Randalls Island Park floating on the East River. This “zoo” features the latest stars in the world of Euro-flavored dance music and is three days of nothing but house, electronic and techno music. Not for everybody but the kids will eat it up!

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