The Rukkus Guide to Free Summer Concerts in NYC

Summer is an interesting time for New York City. Everything becomes a little more intense: the heat, the tourists, the smells. One major pro to the warm weather approaching is the barrage of free outdoor concerts around the city. With so many great shows to check out, we have decided to provide you with a list of this year’s highlights. Check it out.

NYC Free Summer Concert Series


This annual summer series features a variety of great events. The bigger shows at Central Park often require tickets, but there are plenty of great free concert throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Free highlights include:

  • 6/22/2014: Tribute to Frankie Knuckles
  • 7/8/2014: Andrew Bird/Luke Temple
  • 7/9/2014: The Beatnuts, Bodega Bamz, more
  • 7/17/2014: Mobb Deep
  • 7/26/2014: Chronixx & The Zinccfence, Junior Reid
  • 8/2/2014: Dr. John & the Night Trippers, Hurray For the Riff Raff
  • 8/7/2014: Mykki Blanco
  • 8/10/2014: Passenger
  • 8/16/2014: Blood Orange
  • 8/17/2014: Musiq Soulchild
St. Vincent

St. Vincent will play a free concert at Prospect Park Bandshell as part of Celebrate Brooklyn.

Celebrate Brooklyn
This series is, naturally, the hipper version of SummerStage. All shows will be held at Prospect Park Bandshell. Though some of the bigger shows require tickets, there are plenty of great free shows to choose from below (St. Vincent!). Free highlights include:

  • 6/21/2014: Dum Dum Girls, Hopitality and TEEN
  • 6/26/2014: Warpaint, Yellowbirds
  • 6/27/2014: Shovels & Rope, Valerie June, Shaky Graves
  • 7/5/2014: Talib Kweli, Glen Kotche and Aja Monet
  • 7/19/2014: Deltron 3030 and Nomadic Massive
  • 7/24/2014: Nickelcreek
  • 8/9/2014: St. Vincent, San Fermin

4Knots Music Festival
This free festival features Dinosaur Jr., Mac DeMarco, Those Darlins and more. This may be the best single free event of the summer.

4Knots Music Festival

The 4Knots Festival will take place July 12 at South Street Seaport.

River Rocks
This concert series will bring some hot up-and-coming acts to Hudson River Park at Pier 84. Check out the lineup below.

  • 7/10/2014: Wild Beasts, Mutual Benefit and DJ Bill Pearis
  • 7/24/2014: Teenage Fanclub, Honeyblood and Saint Rich
  • 8/7/2014: Temples, Here We Go Magic and Spires

The Surf Lodge
Need to get out of the city? Head out to Long Island for this series of free shows at the Surf Lodge in Montauk. Highlights include:

  • 6/22/2014: Real Estate
  • 6/29/2014: Haerts
  • 7/5/2014: St. Lucia
  • 7/12/2014: San Fermin
  • 7/13/2014: Gary Clark, Jr.
  • 7/20/2014: G. Love
  • 8/24/2014: Sky Ferreira

Article by Jason Schellhardt

Add a Comment