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A Guide To The Best Free Summer Concerts in NYC

June 1, 2011 3:29 PM

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Mark your calendars! Some of the biggest names in music will be hitting the Big Apple for a series of outdoor concerts. And the best news: It won’t cost you a thing (except for gas, a Metro Card and the probably over-priced water bottles). By Marta Zielinska.

Summerstage

summer stage A Guide To The Best Free Summer Concerts in NYC

(credit: Flickr/Wally Gobetz)

New York’s largest free performing arts festival brings over 100 shows to 18 parks throughout the five boroughs. The main stage at Central Park will feature free shows by artists including Yo-Yo Ma and Pink Martini plus the Blue Note Jazz festival which includes performances by Medeski Martin & Wood. Some highlights from the outer boroughs include Talib Kweli at Red Hook Park and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival at Tompkins Square Park.

For a full list of performers, dates and locations, click here.

GMA Concert Series in Central Park

beyonce A Guide To The Best Free Summer Concerts in NYC

Beyonce (credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

If you’re an early bird, then this concert series is made for you. Lady Gaga kicked off the event but other big names such as Jennifer Hudson, Florence and the Machine, Beyonce, Brad Paisley and Nicki Minaj will be hitting the stage at Rumsey Playfield all throughout the summer.

For a full list of performers and dates, click here.

Today Show at Rockefeller Plaza

enrique iglesias A Guide To The Best Free Summer Concerts in NYC

Enrique Islesias (credit: Kippa Robert Vos/AFP/Getty Images)

What better place to see your favorite artist than right smack dab in the middle of Manhattan? American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and runner up Lauren Alaina as well as Kenny Chesney, Cee Lo Green, Maroon 5 and Enrique Iglesias will be stopping by Rockefeller Plaza this season for some songs and fun in the sun.

For a full list of performers and dates, click here.

South Street Seaport Concert Series

ted leo A Guide To The Best Free Summer Concerts in NYC

(credit: Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)

The Seaport will be rockin’ every Friday and Sunday this summer. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists have played the festival every year since it kicked off 10 years ago and they’ll be back again this time. Other bands to check out include Lower Dens, The Wake and My Teenage Stride.

To find out who is playing when, click here.

4Knots Music Festival

the black angels A Guide To The Best Free Summer Concerts in NYC

(credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

For those of you who like to say “I knew them when…” the Village Voice is here to bring you some of the best artists in the indie music scene. The Black Angels, Davila 666 and Oberhofer will be playing the Voice’s new festival on July 16 at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17.

For more information, click here.

Met In The Park

metropolitan opera A Guide To The Best Free Summer Concerts in NYC

(credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Can’t get to the opera? No problem, the opera is coming to you! The Metropolitan Opera is bring six performances to parks across all five boroughs this July featuring rising opera stars soprano Angela Meade, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and tenor Dimitri Pittas.

For times and locations, click here.

Marta Zielinska is a senior editor and photographer for CBSNewYork.com.
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