The Central Park SummerStage in New York City hosts numerous dance, spoken word, and music events throughout the summer. Many of the events are free, although others require advance tickets.
SummerStage is an outdoor venue located at Rumsey Playfield (East 72nd Street off Fifth Avenue) inside Central Park. The closest subway is the 6 train to 68th Street. You can easily enter the park on 69th Street and 5th Avenue.
What to Bring to Central Park SummerStage
Consider bringing the following items to make your time at SummerStage more comfortable.
- Picnic dinner (check out places to buy picnic food)
- Sunscreen and hat for daytime shows
What Not to Bring to Central Park SummerStage
Make note of these items that aren't allowed inside the venue.
- Glass bottles
- Video cameras and SLR cameras with lenses 100 mm and bigger
- Skateboards, scooters, bikes, rollerblades
- Bags and containers larger than 16 inches tall by 16 inches wide by 8 inches deep
What to Know About Central Park SummerStage
Review these tips to ensure a smooth time at SummerStage events. For more detailed information, visit the SummerStage website.
- There are no tickets for free events, but space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. For some of the most popular shows, lines form more than an hour before the gates open.
- There is an open area where many people spread out blankets so they can sit during the show or between sets.
- There is also bleacher seating, some of which is available to the public. Some bleacher seating is reserved for SummerStage members.
- If you're attending a show during the daytime, keep in mind that there is little shade, so bringing sunblock and a hat is highly recommended. Also, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Entrance to the Central Park SummerStage area begins one houre before showtime.
- If you want to get into events more easily, consider purchasing a SummerStage Membership. Members get express entrance to shows, seats on the bleachers, and more.
- If you're not into battling crowds and are content to just hear the music, there is plenty of space on the grass outside of the Central Park SummerStage area. From there, you can easily hear the concert while lounging on the grass.
- Concessions including beer, wine, soda, and water are available inside Central Park SummerStage. There are also food vendors if you don't plan to bring a picnic.
- All events are rain or shine.
- For special news, updates, and even "skip-the-line" passes, follow SummerStage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Central Park SummerStage 2018 Schedule: Free Shows
Here's the events lineup of free shows for this summer.
- Saturday, June 2, 7 p.m.: Gregory Porter / Victory
- Saturday, June 9, 7 p.m.: Bowie Symphonic Ensemble performs David Bowie's "Blackstar"
- Monday, June 11, 8 p.m.: The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series featuring Latonia Moore, Mario Chang, and Joshua Hopkins
- Wednesday, June 13, 7 p.m.: Yiddish Under the Stars
- Saturday, June 16, 7 p.m.: Rhiannon Giddens / Son Little
- Wednesday, June 20, 6 p.m.: Fête de la Musique: Vianney / Chassol / Joakim
- Saturday, June 23, 6 p.m.: Mariza / Noiserv / Renato Diz
- Sunday, June 24, 7 p.m.: Nicky Siano's Hallelujah Disco with the Harlem Gospel Choir and Melba Moore / The Illustrious Blacks
- Monday, June 25, 6 p.m.: Rock Rubber 45s film premiere with live DJ sets from Rich Medina, Stretch Armstrong, Spinna & Bobbito Garcia, special performance by lyricist Pharoahe Monch, and appearance by Rosario Dawson
- Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m.: 3 Sides of Damien Sneed: Classical, Jazz and Sanctified Soul with Brandie Sutton, Stefon Harris, and Keke Wyatt / Jazzmeia Horn
- Sunday, July 1, 3 p.m.: Northern Beat: Broken Social Scene / Melissa Laveaux / The East Pointers
- Saturday, July 7, 6 p.m.: Taiwanese Waves: Soft Lipa / Sheng Xiang Band / Elephant Gym
- Monday, July 9, 7 p.m.: Oh Wonder / Sasha Sloan
- Wednesday, July 11, 6 p.m.: Gabriel Garzón Montano / Nicola Cruz / Tomasa del Real / DJ Bitman
- Saturday, July 14, 3 p.m.: Jorge Drexler / Trending Tropics / ÌFÉ
- Sunday, July 15, 3 p.m.: Family Day: Rebirth Brass Band / Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
- Wednesday, July 25, 8 p.m.: Alonzo King LINES Ballet
- Saturday, July 28, 3 p.m.: Pete Rock & The Soul Brothers / Hannah Williams & The Affirmations / DJ Emz
- Sunday, July 29, 3 p.m.: Femi Kuti & the Positive Force / Jupiter & Okwess / DJ Geko Jones
- Tuesday, July 31, 11 a.m.: Special Youth Dance Matinee and Workshop
- Wednesday, August 1, 8 p.m.: Special Guest to-be-announced / Movement of the People Dance Company
- Saturday, August 4, 6 p.m.: The Originals (Stretch Armstrong, Clark Kent, D-Nice, Rich Medina, Tony Touch)
- Sunday, August 5, 3 p.m.: BaianaSystem / Hamilton de Holanda Trio feat. Roberta Sá / Xênia França
- Saturday, August 11, 6 p.m.: KOREA GAYOJE: TOKiMONSTA / Kero One
- Sunday, August 12, 7 p.m.: Music + Revolution: Greenwich Village in the 1960s, hosted by Richard Barone
- Sunday, August 19, 7 p.m.: Mura Masa / Jessy Lanza
- Wednesday, August 22, 8 p.m.: “Mr. Gaga” with GALLIM
- Sunday, August 26, 6 p.m.: Eddie Palmieri La Perfecta / Tony Vega
- Tuesday, August 28, 8 p.m.: Voices of A People’s History featuring Staceyann Chin, Rachel Dratch, Michael Ealy, Laura Gómez, Celisse Henderson, and Viggo Mortensen
- Thursday, September 27, 7 p.m.: Angelique Kidjo's Remain in Light / Resistance Revival Chorus
Central Park SummerStage 2018 Schedule: Benefit Shows
The following SummerStage shows require a paid ticket.
- Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.: Liam Gallagher / Richard Ashcroft
- Friday, July 6, 6 p.m.: Trey Anastasio Trio
- Sunday, July 8, 6 p.m.: Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era Present: 4th Annual Steez Day
- Wednesday, July 18, 6 p.m.: Dispatch / Nahko and Medicine For the People / Raye Zaragoza
- Thursday, July 19, 6 p.m.: Dispatch / Nahko and Medicine For the People / Raye Zaragoza
- Thursday, July 26, 6 p.m.: Old Crow Medicine Show
- Wednesday, August 8, 6 p.m.: Voodoo Threauxdown featuring Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue / Galactic / Preservation Hall Jazz Band / New Breed Brass Band / special guests Cyril Neville, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, and Kermit Ruffins
- Thursday, August 9, 7 p.m.: Good Vibes featuring Jason Mraz / Brett Dennen
- Monday, August 13, 6 p.m.: O.A.R. with special guests Matt Nathanson and The New Respects
- Saturday, September 8, 6 p.m.: Mac DeMarco
- Wednesday, September 26, 6 p.m.: Blood Orange