Synonymous with festivity and artistic talent, it comes as no surprise that New York hosts a number of annual cultural festivals that are unparalleled in magic and magnitude. Read on to update your New York bucket-list with the best festivals in town:
Panorama (Randall’s Island Park) – July
Picture this: Coachella unfolding in New York City’s beloved Randall’s Island Park with a hip-hop twist. Yes, as Coachella’s edgy cousin, Panorama is everything you could’ve ever hoped for: killer sets, party goers from all around the country to celebrate with, and a helluva star-studded line-up! From the Killers to The XX, Cardi B to the Weeknd, expect the who’s who of the music scene to put in an appearance. Besides, summer in California’s so cliché, come spend it in New York instead.
Afropunk (Brooklyn) – August
The love-child of rebellious goodness and the celebration of African heritage, Afropunk functions as an artistic safe space for every freak, geek and weirdo with mystique to explore the intersections of culture and music. Lose yourself in the unfiltered joy of discovering a new environment rich with artistic splendor and teeming with unconditional acceptance as you groove to tunes from black musical legends like Jill Scott, Santigold, and Leon Bridges.
SummerStage (Multiple locations) – Summer months
Set against the backdrop of dreamy summer days, SummerStage captures the very essence of music festivals so effortlessly with its come-one-come-all open-air format. Attracting over six million lovely humans from all around the globe since its birth back in the good old ’80s, this show-stopping performing arts festival has redefined the consumption of music and the celebration of artistic expression. With hundreds of spell-binding performances by the likes of diverse artists like Parquet Courts, The Concert, and Lisa Lisa, you’ll want to visit every one of the 18 locations SummerStage has decided to bless with its presence.
Electric Zoo (Randall’s Island Park) – March
From the depths of the Big Apple’s concrete jungle we bring you Electric Zoo – one of the East Coast’s most premier dance music festivals to ever exist! Set against the iconic backdrop of Manhattan, it serves up an exquisite offering of some of the finest artists specializing in dubstep, techno and house. Let the likes of Claptone, The Black Madonna, and Bassnectar blow your mind as you fall in love with this incredible city and the wacky sets on display. And ditch the chicken dance for some king-of-the-jungle worthy moves because it’s about to get wild up in here!
Chelsea Music Festival (Canoe Studios) – June
Calling all music fans, art-enthusiasts and foodies alike, Chelsea Music Festival offers up a delicious taste of the finer things in life that you’ve been craving at your boring desk-job. In a perfectly sophisticated and innovative amalgamation of classical music, ravishing scents and hand-crafted menus customized to match the sights and sounds of each act, attendees are sure to experience a sensory feast like never before. Keep an eye out for renowned and talented musicians like Alex Shiozaki, Amy Galluzzo, and Michael Dahlberg. Think of Chelsea Music Festival as the artistic equivalent of an expensive spa-day, the kind that has you grinning goofily in delight for days.
Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival (Brooklyn) – July
Whether you’re seeking a summer to remember or one to forget, Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival certainly has your back. Branded NYC’s biggest Hip-Hop event of the year, fans await this music festival with bated breath. Stretching beyond musical performances to include interactive exhibitions, block parties and panel discussions, this festival really dedicates itself to raising awareness of the community it has its roots in. Fall head-over-heels for fantabulous artists like Skyzoo, Mister Cee, and Torae while basking in the beauty of New York’s age-old love affair with Hip-Hop.
Governors Ball ( Randall’s Island Park) – June
Ever imagined yourself as a princess at a ball? Well why settle for princess when you can transform into a rave queen this summer at Randall’s Island Park attending the Governors Ball Music Festival, dancing with the breathtaking New York skyline as your backdrop? Watch Randall’s Island come to life with an array of show-stopping performances by fan favorites like Galantis, Wolf Alice and Flume, while you make memories to treasure for a lifetime. With some of New York’s best food trucks and interactive art installations to indulge in as well, I bet you’ll have a ball at Gov-Ball!
Summer Jam ( East Rutherford, New Jersey) – June
Sponsored by New York’s favorite radio station Hot 97FM, Summer Jam brings together Hip-Hop fans from all across the tri-state area for an explosive night of pure unadulterated fun. With a history of absolutely iconic headliners like Nicki Minaj, Migos, and Lil Wayne, you can count on Summer Jam to set itself apart as a truly elite music festival. If quality music is what your heart desires, you know where to head this June.
Pinknic (Randall’s Island Park) – July
Much like the Mean Girls, Pinknic attendees uphold their pink-and-white dress code with great pride. If live performances, pool parties, and gourmet food hailing from the Big Apple’s favorite restaurants strike your fancy, you’re sure to want to sell your soul to the Pinknic gods. Soak your toes in the ‘fairytale pool’ as you sway to the tunes of Moon Boots, Naations, and Mark Ronson. With an array of wines to choose from, head over to watch the stunning firework display with your new favorite drink in hand as you make a mental note to book tickets for next year as soon as you get home.
So for a much-needed musical (and dopamine) fix, plan your trip to New York right here, right now!