Friday, May 22, 2009

Free Summer 2009 Concerts in New York City

With the economic meltdown in full effect, New York's wide range of free summer concerts couldn't have come at a better time. The grandaddy of the free shows is Central Park Summerstage, but there are also good series elsewhere, including Celebrate Brooklyn and the Madison Square Music series. See the links below for dates and performers.

Central Park Summerstage - mid-Park at around 72nd St.
Performers include Josh Ritter and The New York Pops, Juana Molina, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital, Bettye Lavette, M. Ward, and Ginuwine, as well as spoken word and comedy

Celebrate Brooklyn - Prospect Park bandshell
Performers including David Byrne, Femi Kuti and Positive Force, Dr. Dog, Robert Cray, and Los Amigos Invisibles

Madison Square Music - Madison Square Park, between 23rd and 26th Streets and between Fifth and Madison Avenues
Performers include Loudon Wainwright III, The Duhks, Jonatha Brooke, Don Byron, and The John Scofield Trio

Hudson River Park's Riverrocks series - Pier 54, Hudson River and 14th St. Only three free concerts in the Riverrocks series this summer, but they're good ones: Matt & Kim on July 9th; Ted Leo & the Pharmacists on July 23rd; and Yeasayer on August 13th.

Hudson River Park also offers free jazz and classical music concerts, and free movie nights (for adults and for kids); see the link for event dates and times.

The Brooklyn Summer Seaside Concerts in historic Coney Island feature a number of big-name acts in Asser Levy park. Coming up in August: Blondie, Pat Benatar, and The Donnas on August 13th, "Salsa by the Sea" on August 20th, and Donna Summer on August 27th.

The City Parks Foundation presents other concerts in all five boroughs throughout the summer, see the schedule at this link. There are also dance performances, theater, familiy events, and more; check the Web site of the City Parks Foundation for details and listings.

(Another source of information for free concerts: the NYC Free Concerts Web site.)

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