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Central Park at SummerStage

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This post is about SummerStage, a series of free concerts held in Central Park every summer, and is updated for 2022.

We include information on how to attend a show, a list of who is performing, and other free music options throughout NYC.


SUMMERSTAGE

Every summer since 1986, a series of free concerts called SummerStage has been held in Central Park.

Though most of the shows are in Central Park, there are also concerts in Harlem at Marcus Garvey Park, Coney Island's Amphitheater and other locations over all 5 boroughs.

The SummerStage line-up is diverse and includes everything from afro-punk, Latin jazz, soul, hip-hop, avant-garde, and good old rock and roll.

They also have stand-up comedy, dance performances, and sometimes Broadway musical performances.

A few shows are benefit concerts and require tickets, but those are benefit shows to raise money to keep the rest of the concerts free.

If you are heading to a show, why not make time beforehand to explore Central Park?

Consider joining us on one of our pay-what-you-wish tours. We also have a GPS-led Audio Tour of Central Park which you can take any time.


Where is SummerStage?

The stage is located in Central Park at Rumsey Playfield near 5th Avenue and 72nd Street.

Where is Summerstage NYC

How To Get There

The easiest way to get there is to take the subway. Take the 6 train to “68th St-Hunter College” station and enter the park at Fifth Ave and 72nd St.

You can use this Google Maps link to get exact directions from your point of departure to Summerstage.

To learn more about using the subway check our guides


Are Tickets Needed?

No tickets are necessary if it is a free show. Admission is given on a first-come, first-served basis, so entry is not guaranteed.

Benefit shows require a ticket. These shows cost around $40 - $80 Some extra spectacular with multiple top performers, shows may cost $100 and up.


When Should I Arrive?

  • Free weekend shows - gates open 90 minutes prior to the show-time
  • Free weekday shows - gates open 60 minutes prior to show-time
  • Benefit concert times vary

Food and Beverages

  • At the free shows, food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted
  • However, glass bottles, coolers, and alcohol are not permitted
  • You can purchase food and drink at the concert

Items Not Allowed in Concerts

Your bags will be searched on entry. You cannot bring:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • any kind of glass bottle
  • ice coolers
  • pets
  • bicycles
  • video cameras
  • recording devices
  • flash cameras

TIP: If you have large bags, a bicycle, luggage, or anything else you can't bring to the concert, you can find inexpensive hourly storage in the area.

See our post about where to store luggage and more in NYC.


LINE-UP OF PERFORMERS IN 2022

The 2022 line-up is awesome! There are more than 90 shows! That is too many to list here, so we have listed the best Central Park, Harlem and Coney Island shows.

Benefit shows that require tickets are noted. Otherwise, all these shows are free!

To see the full summer line-up see the SummerStage website. See the full benefit concert line-up here!

Shows in Central Park

  • Jun 8 6:00 pm Modest Mouse / The Cribs *Benefit, tickets required
  • Jun 11 7:00 pm  Herbie Hancock / Keyon Harrold 
  • Jun 13 6:00 pm  Trombone Shorty's Voodoo Threauxdown / Tank & the Bangas 
  • Jun 15 6:00 pm  George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic *Benefit, tickets required
  • Jun 16 6:00 pm Belle & Sebastian *Benefit, tickets required
  • Jun 17 7:30 pm  Summer of Soul Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem
  • Jun 18 4:00 pm Baker Boy / Electric Fields / G Flip / Haiku Hands 
  • Jun 20 8:00 pm  The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital 
  • Jun 21 7:00 pm  Fête de la Musique: MC Solaar / Bon - Entendeur 
  • Jun 22 6:00 pm  Waxahatchee / Swearin' / Ohmme / - Delphine Blue DJ 
  • Jul 2 6:00 pm  Patrick Watson w/ Attacca Quartet / Elisapie / 
  • Jul 9 3:00 pm  Carla Morrison / Love of Lesbian / Dannylux / Canyon Cody DJ Set 
  • Jul 13 8:00 pm  Art Move Concept/ Passionfruit Dance 
  • Jul 16 7:00 pm  Revive Big Band feat. Thaïs Lona and Friends 
  • Jul 17 6:00 pm  Ney Matogrosso / Francisco El Hombre / Fado Bicha 
  • Jul 23 3:00 pm Everyday People featuring WurlD 
  • Jul 24 6:00 pm  Black Midi / Sal Valentinetti / Alisa Ali DJ Set 
  • Jul 28 7:00 pm  Caribou / Ela Minus / Toribio DJ Set
  • Jul 30 6:00 pm  Saba / Eryn Allen Kane / the MIND 
  • Jul 31 6:00 pm  Sons of Kemet / Makaya McCraven / DJ - Lindsey
  • Aug 3 6:00 pm  Doris Muñoz / Film Screening: Mija / Helado 
  • Aug 4 6:00 pm Andy Grammar and Fitz & the Tantrums *Benefit, tickets required
  • Aug 6 3:00 pm  Basement Bhangra 25th Birthday Bash 
  • Aug 7 3:00 pm  "El Rey Supremo" Luis Vargas 
  • Aug 13 7:00 pm Dancehall meets Hip - Hop 90s style: 
  • Aug 14 6:00 pm  Patoranking / Flavour / Juls / Superhero DJ 
  • Aug 20 + 21 6:00 pm  The Wild Hearts Tour with Sharon Van Etten *Benefit, tickets required
  • Aug 23 6:00 pm  The Decemberists - Arise from the Bunkers *Benefit, tickets required
  • Aug 31 8:00 pm  Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with - Wynton Marsalis

Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park

  • Aug 18 7:00 pm  The Last Poets / Impact Repertory Theatre & The Harlem Bomb Shelter DJ 
  • Aug 19 6:00 pm  OMAR Edwards | Tap Master / LaTasha 
  • Aug 26 7:00 pm  CPJF - Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force 
  • Aug 28 8:00 pm Hubbard St Dance Chicago

Coney IslandAmphitheater

  • Jun 25 7:00 pm Stephanie Mills / Keni Burke / Ted Smooth / - DJ J-Ronin 
  • Jul 10 7:00 pm Puerto Rican Power / Domingo Quinones / - Lower East Salsa
  • Aug 11 7:00 pm Spread Love Hip-Hop Jam Hosted by Ralph

See the SummerStage website for other shows and any other details.

If you can't make the live shows, many of the 2022 SummerStage shows will be live-streamed via SummerStage Anywhere.


MORE FREE MUSIC

Look at our guide to Summer in NYC and our monthly posts:

Also, see our post on hundreds of free things to do in New York.

Don't forget that NYC Street & Subway Performers are always free!


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About The Author

Courtney

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.
Updated: May 2nd, 2022
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