New York SketchA fun and free thing to do in NYC is to attend one of the many free summertime concerts. Good Morning America and The Today Show host free concerts. There are new ones every week.

The big free concert series in Central Park is SummerStage, which features a wide variety of acts from June – August. Summer Stage puts on concerts in other locations throughout the city too.  See the full SummerStage 2013 Concert Calendar.

Here’s the run-down on what’s scheduled. Check the official websites to confirm the performers and dates.


Central Park Summer Stage 2013

Concerts are held a Rumsey Playfield, located right off the 5th Avenue and 69th Street entrance to the park. A few of the concerts charge a fee, but most are free.  Gates open 90 minutes before showtime on weekends and 60 minutes before showtime on weekdays. Show go on rain or shine but may be cancelled for dangerous lightening. There are food and drink concessions available, or you can bring a picnic (no glass containers or alcoholic beverages).

June 15 – The Zombies/Django Django/Adam Green & Binki Shapiro/DJ Sets by Modest P

June 17 – Joan Baez and the Indigo Girls (Fundraiser for Summer Stage)

June 18 – The Airbourne Toxic Event

June 21 – IAM with Special Guest Rakim

June 22 – Joshua Nelson, the Prince of Kosher Gospel and Special Guest Della Reese + Screening of Mahalia Jackson: The Power and the Glory

June 23 – Femi Kuti & The Positive Force/Sinkane/DJ set by King Britt

June 24 – Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def)

June 26 – Comedy Central Stars Under the Stars

June 29 – Joel Plaskett/Spirit of the West/Brasstronaut

June 30 – Big Star’s Third: An Orchestrated Live Performance of the Legendary Album

July 2 – The Freedom Dance Party with Special Guest Cameo

July 3 – Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited

July 6 – She & Him/Camera Obscura ($40)

July 7 – The Carpetbog Brigade & Nemcatacoa Teatro/Elizabeth Mitchell (SummerStage Kids concert)

July 10 – Cuarto Poder/Los Rakas and others

July 11 – Lila Downs/Natalia Clavier/Pamela Rodriguez/Raul Campos

July 13 – Julieta Venegas/Carla Morrison/Alex Andandter

July 14 – Fanfare Ciocarlia/Red Baraat/DJ Sets by Joro-Boro

July 16 – The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series

July 20 – Planet Hemp/Gaby Amarantos/Emicida/DJ Sets by Greg Caz

July 21 – Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits/Fatoumata Diawara/Krar Collective

July 22 – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue & Soulive

July 23 – Martha Graham Dance Company

July 24 – Martha Graham Dance Company

July 27 – Lianne La Havas/LP/Quadron/DJ Sets by DJ Center

July 28 – Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth and Special Guest

July 29 – Ben Howard/Michael Kiwanuka

July 31 – World Premiere of “RSC Ghetto Made”

August 3 – Gospel Explosion: Shirley Ceasar/Donald Lawrence/James Fortune & F.I.Y.A/Erica Campbell/Ricky Dillard

August 4 – R&B Fest: Raheem DeVaughn/Lyfe Jennings/Donell Jones/Erica Campbell and Special Guests

August 5 – “King Kong” Hip-Hop themed theater remake of the classic.

August 6 – Disclosure/Tnight/Juilo Bashmore

August 7 – Jimmy Eat World ($35.00)

August 10 – DJ Kook Herc and Special Guests

August 11 – Shuggie Otis/Jose James/Hiatus Kaiyote/DJ Sets by OP!

August 17 – Twin Shadow/Autre Ne Veut/Elliphant/DJ Sets by Mano

August 18 – La Mega 6th Annual Tropical Fest

August 19 – Diablo Love (Theater)

August 20 – Bobby McFerrin



Good Morning America Summer Concert Series

GMA will host free live music every Friday morning at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. 7:00 – 9:00am. GMA recommends that people arrive via the 72nd Street entrance to the park at 6:00am.

GMA’s Summer Concert Series webpage

May 24 – Mariah Carey

May 31 – Pitbull

June 7 – Little Max and Emblem3

June 21 – John Legend

June 28 – Demi Lovato

July 5 – Imagine Dragons

July 12 – OneRepublic

July 19 – Jennifer Lopez

July 26 – Selena Gomez

August 2 – Ne-Yo

August 9 – Kenny Chesney

August 16 – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

August 23 – The Wanted

August 20 – Alicia Keys

Hotels near the Good Morning America studios.


Today Show Summer Concert Series

Concerts are held at Rockefeller Plaza, outside Today’s studio at 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza, starting at 7:00am. Today recommends that people arrive by 6:00 for best viewing.

Today Toyota Concert Series web page

May 24 – Fun (on the Jersey Shore)

May 31 – New Kids on the Block/98 Degrees/Boyz II Men

June 7 – Lionel Richie

June 14 – Maroon 5

June 21 – Phillip Phillips

July 5 – John Mayer

July 12 – Ed Sheeran

July 19 – Fall Out Boy

July 26 – Train

August 2 – The Band Perry

August 9 – Michael Buble

August 16 – Luke Bryan

August 23 – One Direction

August 30 – Chris Brown

(Additional performances may be scheduled – check the Today schedule)

Hotels Near the NBC Studios in New York.