Your guide to the best summer concerts

Future so bright eyes: Folk performer Conor Oberst will play Prospect Park on July 20.
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Time to get out and get down! This summer, you can bask in Brooklyn’s full program of outdoor concerts! So say goodbye to the air-conditioner for an afternoon — or an evening — and head out to the parks, where the music will be hot, hot, hot! There are more concerts happening than you can shake a tail feather at, but we have put together a list of some of the season’s must-see performances:


Brooklyn’s beloved quartet Lake Street Dive will kick off the Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival with its ’60s inspired sounds at a free show in Prospect Park’s bandshell. The concert will mark the beginning of the summer series, which boasts free and ticketed gigs.

Prospect Park Bandshell (enter at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, June 7 at 8:15 pm. Free.

Cool like dat

Old school hip-hop trio Digable Planets, best known for its mega-hit “Rebirth of Slick,” will make its return to the stage in a Red Hook park. The band will be joined by disc jockey Natasha Diggs.

Coffey Park (85 Richards St. at Verona Street in Red Hook, June 8 at 6:30 pm. Free.

Get dirty

Spend a night on McCarren Park’s hardtop with indie rockers the Dirty Projectors, jazz virtuoso Kamasi Washington, and dream pop artist Jay Som — all performing on the opening night of the Northside Festival music series.

McCarren Park (N. 12th Street at Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, June 8 at 5 pm. $35–$39.


Rock out at Northside Festival’s free afternoon concert with emo bands Thursday and the Hotelier and punk outfit Pup, who will be joined by Jeff Rosenstock and Tony Molina.

McCarren Park (N. 12th Street at Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, June 11 at 2 pm. Free. RSVP suggested.

Star power

The Metropolitan Opera’s biggest stars will perform an evening of arias and duets under the stars in Kings County’s front yard.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 [enter at Furman and Old Fulton streets in Dumbo, June 14 at 7 pm. Free.

Genuine good time

Smooth crooner Ginuwine will sing his many hits, including “Pony” “Differences,” and “In Those Jeans” at a free show in Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park.

Betsy Head Park (Dumont Avenue and Strauss Street in Brownsville, June 30 at 7 pm. Free.

Party Up

Bad boy rapper DMX headlines this year’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, alongside fellow ’90s phenomenons The Lox. The supergroup of wordsmiths will take over Brooklyn Bridge Park for the annual beat bonanza.

Brooklyn Bridge Park (On Water Street between Old Fulton and Dock streets in Dumbo, July 15 at 1 pm. $65.

Blown away

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and his band will pay tribute to jazz great Louis Armstrong as part of Kingsborough Community College’s Hot Summer Nights series.

Kingsborough Lighthouse Bandshell (2001 Oriental Blvd. at Decatur Avenue in Manhattan Beach, July 18 at 8 pm. Free.

N’awlins in MetroTech

New Orleans horn outfit the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will blow MetroTech away with tunes straight from the French Quarter when it performs a free concert as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s weekly rhythm and blues summer series.

MetroTech Commons (Myrtle Promenade at Bridge St. Downtown, July 20 at noon. Free.

Turn around

Folk hero Conor Oberst will perform songs from his new album “Salutations” and deep cuts from his Bright Eyes days at this fund-raising concert for the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. Philadelphia indie rock band Hop Along and Brooklyn’s Big Thief will be on opening duties.

Prospect Park Bandshell (enter at Ninth Street and Prospect Park West in Park Slope, July 20 at 7 pm. $40–$46.

Burn baby burn

Pull your jumpsuit out of the mothballs and head on down to Coney Island for to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Fever.” The disco shindig will feature appearances from Karen Lynn Gorney — the film’s choreographer — and performances from the Trammps, Tavares, Yvonne Elliman, France Joli, Harold Melvin’s Blues Notes, and many more.

Coney Island Amphitheater (3052 W. 21st St. at Surf Avenue in Coney Island, July 29 at 8 pm. $35–$250.

Roof party

Dance the afternoon away to the eclectic sounds of Dutch disc jockey Young Marco and Australian producer Andras on the roof of Williamsburg club Output. Make sure to grab one of the signature frozen cocktails to beat the heat.

Output (74 Wythe Ave. at N. 12th Street in Williamsburg, July 30 at 1 pm. $20.

Old school

Sing along to Motown hits like “My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” with superstars the Temptations in the People’s Playground. The hit machine will share the stage with the Four Tops, a blast from the past that will get you up and grooving.

Coney Island Amphitheater (3052 W. 21st St. at Surf Avenue in Coney Island, August 24 at 8 pm. $20–$50.

Guitar hero

Guitarist Gary Clark Jr. will shred the Afropunk stage when he headlines the festival’s 17th incarnation in Fort Greene. The yearly celebration of music and art will also boast performances from singer Macy Gray, singer-songwriter Sampha, rapper Dizee Rascal, and loads more.

Afropunk Festival at Commodore Barry Park (Flushing Avenue between Navy Street and N. Elliott Place in Fort Greene, Aug. 26 and 27 starting at 11 am. $45–$90.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 5:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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