Hear, Hear! Free Summer Shows


This is a microphone. (Joe Shmo/The Observer)


Published: August 4, 2011

One of the best things about being in New York City is that there’s always a concert a few train stops away. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to take advantage of all the shows and still keep some cash in your pocket, but in the summer, there are plenty of free concerts in the city. Make sure to check out these events if you’ve decided to pay rent and buy groceries this week, but still feel like hearing some live music.

Washington Square Music Festival
Aug. 2, 8 p.m.
The Charles Mingus Orchestra

This concert series takes place in the center of Washington Square Park, and features live jazz and classical music performances. This week features the music of one of the all-time jazz greats, Charles Mingus:

Seaside Summer Concert Series
Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Aretha Franklin

The Seaside Summer Concert Series takes place in Coney Island, at Surf Avenue and West 21st Street. Don’t miss your chance to pay your respects to the Queen of Soul this week:

Celebrate Brooklyn!
Aug. 5, 7 p.m.
Ra Ra Riot / Delicate Steve / Buke and Gass

Celebrate Brooklyn! hosts several free events at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn, which makes sense. The venue already boasts a long list of big name performers, and on Aug. 5 the list will include Ra Ra Riot:


Summer Stage
Aug. 7, 3 p.m.
Friendly Fires / The Naked and Famous / Cults

Summer Stage, funded by the City Park Foundation, features free events in various parks throughout the five boroughs. This particular concert takes place on the Mainstage (Rumsey Playfield) in Central Park. Make sure you check out Cults; they’re one of the bands the cool kids like right now:

River Rocks
Aug. 11, doors open at 6 p.m.
Deer Tick / Dom

The River Rocks concert series takes place on Pier 54 right over the Hudson River. Deer Tick will be headlining the final show of the three concert series. Check them out here: