Mark your calendars — the Celebrate Brooklyn schedule is out now

Mark your calendars — the Celebrate Brooklyn schedule is out now
Photo by Cameron Wittig

Come on and celebrate.

The schedule for the annual festival of free music, film and dance — Celebrate Brooklyn — is now out, so you can officially start planning your summer.

For starters, the series kicks off at the Prospect Park bandshell on June 10 with a free concert by Andrew Bird.

“We wanted to mix things up and try something different,” said Jack Walsh, festival producer and the director of performing arts programs for BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, which runs Celebrate Brooklyn. “He’s certainly that.”

Indeed, the Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist is hardly the household name that previous opening night performers, like Norah Jones and David Byrne before him, were, but is renowned in certain circles for his visionary folk.

Moving forward, the festival channels the borough’s country affectations with a night of Justin Townes Earle, the Punch Brothers and The Hackensaw Boys on June 30, and then the Court Yard Hounds (featuring two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks) and the Abrhams Brothers on July 7.

“Country music is having a little resurgence in Brooklyn,” said Walsh. “We’ve got American roots music covered really well.”

The festival travels other waters, including a night of Irish music from Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, Liam Ó Maonlaí, and McPeake (July 14), and a night of gospel music with Grammy winner Shirley Caesar on July 15.

“We tried to mix it up and keep it fresh,” said Walsh. “I’m hoping there’s a lot of new discoveries out there for people.”

Other big acts include Latin funk band Los Lobos (July 8), seminal rock band The Feelies (July 23), and, in an interactive element, a “West Side Story” dance and singalong (July 21).

Some of this year’s most-anticipated elements have nothing to do with music, as Ditmas Park-based restaurant Farm on Adderly will be among the food vendors, and Etsy crafters The {NewNew} will be setting up a shop.

“Those two things really resonate with us as very local and very creative and emblematic of the creative community in Brooklyn, other than the performing arts,” said Walsh. “Crafters and food culture in Brooklyn is something we really wanted to bring to the festival.”

The series also expands this year beyond Prospect Park, with a free dance series at Brooklyn Bridge Park, continuing May 19 and 26.

Not all the Celebrate Brooklyn festivities are free – they’ve got bills to pay – so there will also be ticketed concerts featuring the Decemberists (June 14, sold out), Animal Collective (July 12, sold out), Sufjan Stevens (August 2), Bon Iver (August 10, sold out) and Cut Copy (August 11).

Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park bandshell [Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, (718) 855-7882]. For info, visit www.celebratebrooklyn.org.