NEW YORK CITY
Next concerts in NYC:
The Music Capital of the World. The center of the American music industry, the dream location of every young musician looking to find their big break, the pot of gold at the end of the musical rainbow…New York City. The small island along the Hudson River is the Shangri-La for every music hopeful! What are reasons for this highly sought after refuge for the creative? It’s because the deep roots of so many genres, bands and iconic music locations start here in the city where musical dreams come true!
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Run by local promoter Bowery Presents, this Williamsburg outpost is basically a mirror image of similarly sized Bowery Ballroom, one upping its Manhattan counterpart with improved sightlights—including elevated areas on either side of the room—and a bit more breathing room. With booking that ranges from indie-rock bands to hip-hop acts, it’s one of the best rooms in New York to see a show.
Upper West Side
This spacious former vaudeville theater, resplendent after a recent renovation, hosts a variety of popular acts, from Steely Dan to Ryan Adams. While the vastness can seem daunting for performers and audience members alike, the gaudy interior and uptown location make you feel as though you’re having a real night out on the town.
Forest Hills Stadium
After extensive renovation, this storied tennis stadium—home to memorable matches and concerts from the ’20s through the ’80s (including the Beatles, Stones and others)—reopened its doors in 2013 with a rowdy Mumford & Sons gig. These days, the venue regularly hosts a wide variety of artists ranging from Chainsmokers to Van Morrison.
Operated by the hip folks behind beloved art and music haven Glasslands, this 24,000 square-foot converted warehouse hosts live shows and DJ nights on three stages: two inside and one rooftop space. Its bookings feature a diverse mix of cutting-edge indie-rock, electronic music and more.
Radio City Music Hall
One heralded as the Showplace of the World, this famed Rockefeller Center venue has razzle-dazzled patrons since the 1930s with its elaborate Art Deco details, massive stage and theatrics. Though best known as the home of the Christmas Spectacular, which stars the high-kicking Rockettes and a full cast of nativity animals, many musicians consider the 6,000-seat theater a dream stage to perform on, including a recent extended stay from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.
This Greenpoint club—moodily decorated with all-black walls and dead roses hanging above the bar—is one of the best places in the city to see metal, rock and more experimental heavy music, with reliably loud bands typically booked seven nights a week.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell)
As home base for the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! series, the beautiful bandshell in Prospect Park is a scenic amphitheater surrounded by lush greenery. Catching a gig is guaranteed to be a highlight of your summer showgoing season, whether you’re seeing a buzzy indie-rock band, a classic soul or funk group, or one of the best hip-hop artists around.
After more than 80 years, this basement club’s stage still hosts the crème de la crème of mainstream jazz talent. Plenty of history has been made here—John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans have grooved in this hallowed hall—and the 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been the Monday-night regular since 1966.
The Blue Note prides itself on being “the jazz capital of the world.” Bona fide musical titans (Chick Corea, Ron Carter) rub against hot young talents, while the close-set tables in the club get patrons rubbing up against each other. Arrive early to secure a good spot—and we recommend shelling out for a table seat.
Madison Square Garden
Big, beloved and not-so-beautiful MSG is perhaps the most famous sports arena in the world. Perched above Penn Station since 1968, the 20,000-seat venue is the best spot in town to catch touring sensations like Phish and Radiohead and countless other amazing concerts.
Once one of Brooklyn’s most elegant movie theaters, the Loew’s Kings Theatre opened in Flatbush as a movie and live performance space in 1929. When multiplex cinemas became popular in the 1950s, the theater lost traction with audiences. It eventually closed in 1977 and the stunning interior fell into disrepair. After an elaborate $95 million restoration, the 3,074-seat theater reopened in 2015 in all its original glory.
After being ousted from its Greenpoint warehouse home in June of 2015, the crowd-pleasing pop-up market reopened inside a sprawling banquet hall in the same nabe the following summer. Modeled after eclectic Asian street markets, the flea features a locally-focused lineup of craftspeople, food vendors and, yes, indie-rock talent and DJs in its second-floor music space.
Le Poisson Rouge
Situated in the basement of the long-gone Village Gate—a legendary performance space that hosted everyone from Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix—Le Poisson Rouge was opened in 2008 by a group of young music enthusiasts with ties to both the classical and indie-rock worlds. With a top-notch sound system and modular stage that can be set up for in-the-round performances, LPR sounds great whatever the genre is.
Built in 2007, the multi-function Newark, NJ, arena is just a short train or car ride from Manhattan and worth the trip for its top-tier bookings. The venue regularly presents concerts by a variety of pop and rock megastars, on the order of Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac, giving the area’s other big stages like the Garden and Barclays Center a run for their money.
Visitors may think they know this venerable theater from TV’s Showtime at the Apollo. But as the saying goes, the small screen adds ten pounds: The city’s home of R&B and soul is actually quite cozy. Known for launching the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo, among others, the Apollo continues to mix veteran talents like Dianne Reeves with younger artists such as the Roots and Lykke Li. For a taste of classic New York, check out the Apollo’s now-legendary Amateur Night showcase, which has been running since 1934.
Upper West Side
This spacious former vaudeville theater, resplendent after a recent renovation, hosts a variety of popular acts, from “Weird Al” Yankovic to Crosby, Stills & Nash to Blondie. While the vastness can seem daunting for performers and audience members alike, the gaudy interior and uptown location make you feel as though you’re having a real night out on the town.
Radio City Music Hall
Few rooms scream “New York City!” more than this gilded hall, which has drawn Leonard Cohen, Drake, Regina Spektor and TV on the Radio as headliners in recent years. The greatest challenge for any performer is not to be upstaged by the awe-inspiring Art Deco surroundings. On the other hand, those same surroundings lend historic heft to even the flimsiest showing.
The Town Hall
Acoustics at the 1921 “people’s auditorium” are superb, and there’s no doubting the gravitas of the Town Hall’s surroundings. The building was originally designed by illustrious architects McKim, Mead & White as a meeting house for the League for Political Education, a suffragist organisation.
United Palace Theatre
This renovated movie house, which was once a vaudeville theater, dates from the 1930s. It really does feel as if you’ve entered a palace here, with the shimmering chandeliers, ornate ceiling and gold-drenched corridors. Over the past few years, the venue’s bookings have ranged from popular young acts such as Adele, Vampire Weekend and Bon Iver to stalwarts of the music world like Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers Band. Though it’s located at the top end of Manhattan, far beyond the traditional nightlife or tourist zone, the theater is nevertheless easily accessible by subway.
Since it first opened its doors in 1891, Carnegie Hall has been a mainstay of the New York music scene. George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong and the Beatles have all performed here, and to this day, artistic diector Clive Gillinson continues to put his stamp on the renowned concert hall. Whether you catch a show in the Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall or the Weill Recital Hall, you’re sure to be dazzled by the history and ambiance of the place.
Once one of Brooklyn’s most elegant movie theaters, the Loew’s Kings Theatre opened in Flatbush as a movie and live performance space in 1929. When multiplex cinemas became popular in the 1950s, the theater lost traction with audiences. It eventually closed in 1977 and the stunning interior fell into disrepair. After an elaborate $95 million restoration, the 3,074-seat theater reopened in 2015 in all its original glory. Catch classic acts like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as well as indie musicians at the ornate theater.
Built in 1886, Webster Hall has been through several iterations (and names) before settling into its tenure as a high-caliber concert venue. In the 1950s, performers like Tito Puente and Woody Guthrie graced the stage, and when it was known as The Ritz in the ’80s, the same venue hosted rock legends like U2, Eric Clapton and Guns N’ Roses. These days, you can expect to find indie acts like Animal Collective and The Maine, as well as hip-hop artists like Wiz Khalifa and Mobb Deep. Just be sure to show up early if you want a decent view.
After more than 80 years, this basement club’s stage still hosts the crème de la crème of mainstream jazz talent (Joe Lovano, Barry Harris, Lou Donaldson). Plenty of history has been made here—John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans have grooved in this hallowed hall—and the 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been the Monday-night regular since 1966.
Café Carlyle (at the Carlyle Hotel)
Dinner, drinks and a show in this glittering room can feel like an evening that only an oil sheik could afford, but commit to it: With its airy murals by Marcel Vertès, this elegant spot in the Carlyle Hotel is the epitome of New York class, attracting such top-level singers as Judy Collins, Chita Rivera and Christine Ebersole. Woody Allen often plays clarinet with Eddie Davis and his New Orleans Jazz Band on Monday nights; call ahead to confirm.
The Empire State has been solidified as the stomping grounds for hip hop gods and underground legends alike. Whether it’s Jay-Z cementing his Roc-A-Fella empire or a 17 year old Biggie Smalls killing the free style game on the streets of the Bronx, it is no question that New York is a hub for the hottest hip hop clubs, and that the City is the center for New York’s clubbing scene.
Here is a list of the best hip hop clubs, both upscale and ratchet, in New York City.
Up & Down NYC
Every floor of Up & Down is an adventure, night by night and room by room. The upstairs maintains a high energy club atmosphere, while the downstairs takes on the role of a chill lounge that has the ability to go from chill to wild in 0-60, creating a back alley club feel. Balance is key when programming the club so that both floors are both vibrant.Avenue NYC
Tao group has done it again. A trendy crowd, stunning tapestries and paintings as well as bottle service makes Avenue one of the most desirable nightclub/lounges in all of New York City.
Meet Avenue, the velvet rope, the guest list, the bouncers: it should feel like you’ve earned something when you make it past these gatekeepers. And give Avenue some credit: though it may not come off as inviting, it does make the rigmarole worth it. The self-described gastro-lounge is festooned with wood paneling, aristocratic portraits, tarnished mirrors and other trappings. Guests sashay on the enormous dance floor downstairs while a DJ spins pop and Girl Talk-inspired remixes up top. There’s a surprising menu of eclectic comfort food—everything from waffle fries to Kung Pao Chicken Satay to Pretzel Dogs.
1 OAK NYC
After passing through a coat-check anteroom where lines of cursive are engraved in the wall, patrons find themselves in an expansive room with a ceiling of raw oak slats and a zigzagging black-and-white floor that sets an El Morocco tone. It’s official, you’ve made it to 1 Oak.
The Jane Ballroom, with its grand and eclectic décor, has hosted countless events and film shoots. The Ballroom is versatile and can accommodate smaller events on the Mezzanine level or larger functions in the entire space. The stunning Hudson River views from the Roof are unparalleled, and the interior Roof Bar is ideal for a more intimate gathering.
For over a decade, Goldbar has been a top nightlife destination in New York City. Famous for it’s golden skulls, 12’ vaulted gold leaf ceilings and crystal chandeliers, Goldbar embodies sophistication. The standout team behind Goldbar is dedicated to offering an exceptional and genuine nightlife experience.
This new iteration of the Playboy Club — New York’s original branch closed in 1986 — opened in September, just west of the theater district. With its velvet banquettes, black walls and Sputnik chandeliers it resembles a mid-century bordello. It offers food and drinks 6 PM – 2 AM Monday through Saturday.
Not actually a hotel, Ravi Patel’s LES spot is named after a French World War II safe house. Hotel Chantelle is retro in design as unmarked doors transport you into Patel’s version of 1940’s Paris. The room exudes warmth as dark mahogany wood panels blend with the black leather pin tucked banquettes under the glow of flickering exposed bulbs, candles, and a gold floral pattern that bounces off dark wallpaper.
Occupying the 33rd and 34th floor of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Times Square by Marriott and the Four Points Times Square by Sheraton, the bi-level ultra lounge transports guests to a high energy oasis atop 40th Street. Sky Room offers five distinct spaces: the North Terrace with its retractable roof, the South Terrace with its private cabanas, the Times Square Lounge, the Cube Balcony, and the Candlelight Lounge.
The DL is one of the friendliest, least pretentious, and high-energy nightclubs not just in the Lower East Side, but across all of New York City. This bass-rattling multi-level venue is fully equipped with an outdoor rooftop wood deck patio with retractable roof where the main dance floor congregates around a DJ spinning popular open format tunes.
The flagship venue for midtown’s jazz resurgence, Birdland takes its place among the neon lights of Times Square seriously. That means it’s a haven for great jazz musicians (Joe Lovano, Kurt Elling) as well as performers like John Pizzarelli and Aaron Neville. The club is also notable for its roster of bands-in-residence. Sundays belong to the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.
The Blue Note prides itself on being “the jazz capital of the world.” Bona fide musical titans (Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner) rub against hot young talents, while the close-set tables in the club get patrons rubbing up against each other. The late-night weekend sets and the Sunday brunches are the best bargain bets.
Cornelia Street Café
This 30-year-old bistro-cum-clubhouse features a miniature basement cabaret devoted to readings and music, along with a genial dining room that opens wide to the sidewalk in summer. Catch a range of jazzy fare from avant-garde boppers to classic vocalists.
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (at Frederick P. Rose Hall)
Upper West Side
The jazz arm of Lincoln Center is several blocks away from the main campus, high atop the Time Warner Center. It includes three rooms: The Rose Theater is a traditional midsize space, but the crown jewels are the Allen Room and the smaller Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, with stages framed by huge windows overlooking Columbus Circle.
It’s easy to walk right past the inconspicuous steel door that leads to Ibeam. The compact practice-pad-cum-venue is run by trombonist Brian Drye and has become a go-to for Brooklyn’s avant-jazzers. Doubling as a members-only rehearsal space, Drye’s tiny, cozy, art-adorned digs keep overheards down to offer a low-cost alternative to the city’s more lavish jazz venues and highlight the most progressive minds in the local scene.
Iridium lures upscale crowds with a lineup that’s split between household names and those known only to the jazz-savvy. The sight lines and sound system are truly worthy of celebration.
The Jazz Gallery
This beloved haunt, one of the city’s premier incubators for progressive-jazz talent, has relocated from its former Soho digs to a gallery-like space near the Flatiron Building.
At the jazz den below restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke barbecue joint, the room’s marvelous sound matches its splendid sight lines. The jazz is of the groovy, hard-swinging variety, featuring such musicians as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and Larry Goldings.
First-timers at this remote Alphabet City outpost will have to ask the smokers outside if they’ve come to the right place: Only a blue light marks the spot. Inside, the crowd settles in for the offbeat jazz and avant-garde acts like owner Ilhan Ersahin’s Wax Poetic.
Jazz bassist Matthew Garrison’s slick Gowanus performance space hosts nightly performances of live experimental music. During the day, the joint provides state-of-the-art rehearsal, recording and exhibition space to the neighborhood’s artists.
For those looking for an authentic jazz club experience—rather than the cheesy dinner-club vibe that prevails at too many other spots around town—Smalls is a must. The cozy basement space feels like a speakeasy, or more specifically, one of those hole-in-the-wall NYC jazz haunts of yore over which fans routinely obsess. Best of all, the booking skews retro, yet not stubbornly so: You’ll hear classic hardbop as well as more adventurous, contemporary-flavored approaches.
Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
Upper West Side
Owners Paul Stache and Frank Christopher have created a jewel of a jazz joint. On weekends, folks line up around the block to hear a set by one of jazz’s remaining big names, and they are well rewarded: Low-lit chandeliers, comfy sofas, plush carpeting and unobstructed sight lines make it seem like the greats are playing in your living room. Bookings mix internationally renowned jazz talent (Nicholas Payton, Harold Mabern) and promising local musicians.
The Stone at The New School Glass Box Theatre
Since 2005, the prolific composer and improviser John Zorn has operated his nonprofit venue, The Stone, with one-of-a-kind curated lineups and a no-beverages-or-merch policy out of an East Village storefront. That space shuttered in March 2018, but the music keeps going at its new home: the New School’s Glass Box Theatre.
After more than 80 years, this basement club’s stage—a small but mighty step-up—still hosts the crème de la crème of mainstream jazz talent (Billy Hart, Andrew Cyrille, Vijay Iyer). Plenty of history has been made here: John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans have grooved in this hallowed hall. The 16-piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra has been the Monday-night regular for more than five decades years.
Summer in NYC is filled with so many events that it can get pretty overwhelming. Summer is obviously the busiest season in New York City. There’s always something going on and at any given time. These events include music festivals and summer concerts in NYC. There’s numerous free concerts and outdoor concerts. There are also music festivals which draw in numerous people. These big music festivals are usually held at Randall’s Island, Central Park and Governors Island. It usually turns into a huge, loud and fun party.
When: August– September
New York’s Premiere Electronic Music Festival
“Established in 2009 by Made Event, the internationally renowned Electric Zoo Festival is one of New York City’s largest music festivals and features the top names in electronic music, bringing a wide variety of acts from around the world and across the spectrum of electronic music’s various sub-genres.
Governors Ball Music Festival
When: May – June
Where: Randall’s Island Park
“We started all this 8 years ago because we were music lovers who lived in a city that needed – that deserved – a contemporary music festival. Music is always our primary focus, and with 60+ artists of all genres across 4 stages, there is something for everyone.”
Panorama Music Festival
Where: Randall’s Island Park
“A celebration of the city’s unique creative community, the critically-acclaimed festival pairs a diverse lineup of top-notch talent with immersive art and innovative technology for an unparalleled live music event.”
The Greatest Day Ever Music Festival
Where: The New York Expo Center
“THE GREATEST DAY EVER! FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY ADIDAS ORIGINALS IS BACK THIS SUMMER FOR THE SIXTH YEAR WITH INCREDIBLE MUSIC ARTISTS, CARNIVAL RIDES AND SO MUCH MORE!
AFROPUNK is an influential community of young, gifted people of all backgrounds who speak through music, art, film, comedy, fashion and more. AFROPUNK is a voice for the unwritten, unwelcome and unheard.
Afro: as in, born of African spirit and heritage; see also black (not always), see also rhythm and color, see also other, see also underdog.
Punk: as in, rebel, opposing the simple route, imbued with a DIY ethic, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and open curiosity; see also other, see also underdog.
AFROPUNK is defining culture by the collective creative actions of the individual and the group. It is a safe place, a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see fit, while making sense of the world around you.
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!
Where: Prospect Park, Brooklyn
ONE OF NEW YORK CITY’S LONGEST RUNNING, FREE, OUTDOOR PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVALS.
“Launched in 1979 as a catalyst for a Brooklyn performing arts scene and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival was an early anchor in the park’s revitalization and has become one of the city’s foremost summer cultural attractions.
Where: Bethel Woods, NY
“Mountain Jam is a four-day, multi-stage event, featuring over 40 bands on 3 stages. This year, the festival will take place at the site of the original 1969 Woodstock Festival – Bethel Woods. Rolling Stone Magazine, along with many other noteworthy national publications, consistently rates Mountain Jam as one to the top music festivals in the country. In 2011, Pollstar recognized Mountain Jam with a nomination for Music Festival of the Year.
Blue Note Jazz Festival
Where: Various venues across NYC
“The Blue Note Jazz Festival in New York City is the city’s premier jazz celebration and focuses on bringing the big-name artist to intimate crowds and up-and-coming acts to the masses. The month-long event takes over 15 venues across the city and boasts 150 globe-trotting, world-class performers.”
The Meadows Music & Arts Festival
“The Meadows Music & Arts Festival is New York City’s newest rock, pop and urban music festival. The Citi Field stadium is reimagined into a dancefloor fit for thousands, with the very biggest artists in the world taking charge from four stages.”
Full Moon Music Festival
Where: Governors Island
“Taking place beneath August’s blue moon, backlit by panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline, Full Moon will transform Governors Island into an oasis of live music, art installations, and international culinary delights.”
Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival
The Annual celebration of Hip-Hop music and culture.
“Established in 2005, The brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, is New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event that showcases the positive aspects of Hip-Hop culture by highlighting Hip-Hop’s legacy as an agent of artistic progression, community building and social change. In addition to musical performances, the Festival offers a number of activities for its audience, including: panel discussions, exhibitions, parties, an award show and a family-friendly block party.
New York International Salsa Congress
When: August– September
Where: New York Marriott Marquis
“The New York International Salsa Congress brings the world together on the dance floor every year on Labor Day weekend. Featuring live bands concerts, dance showcases, instructional workshops, and non-stop social dancing all in the center of the world’s greatest city, come see why the NYISC brings thousands of attendees from New York and over 40 countries worldwide for an annual celebration of Latin dance, music and culture.
When: June – October
Where: Various locations across NYC
“SummerStage is New York’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents approximately 100 performances in 15-18 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin, world music, dance and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception 34 years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage.
Gather Outdoors Festival
Where: Monticello, NY
THE EARTH HAS MUSIC FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN
“For the love of dance music, we come together in nature. Gather will take place in upstate New York in the Catskills on Memorial Day weekend 2019.
Featuring three stages, GATHER will showcase sounds from some of the industry’s most innovative selectors. Situated in the idyllic serenity of the catskill mountains, the festival will offer a refreshing break from the big city. GATHER with us.”
Where: Stephentown, NY (30 mins East of Albany)
“4 days and nights of cutting edge live music, 24hr on site disc golfing, beautiful grassy camping, flow arts and fire performers, installation and live artists, food vending, mini golf course, ice cream parlor, kids tent, late night sets, 4 unique stages, silent disco party…and a whole lot more!!
Where: Hannibal, NY (Upstate New York)
New York’s Official Regional Burn…
“PortalBurn is an event like nothing you have experienced. Each year, we design and set up a temporary community where everyone is a participant. There are no vendors; nothing can be bought or sold. Items are freely gifted. The entire event is run by volunteers. Everyone, from Board Members and Organizers to Leads to Medics and Rangers, is volunteering, because Portal Burn belongs to them, and you…
Where: The New York Expo Center | The Bronx
“After our 25YRS celebration in Mannheim, we’re expanding the festivities by returning to New York City for another edition of Time Warp US!
Four years after our last US edition we are finally back in the city that never sleeps. Join us in November for a celebration of all things Time Warp with a full weekend show. For this very special occasion we will be bringing some of our dearest Time Warp family members with us, along with some fresh and exciting new faces. Get ready to lose yourself in sound and visuals for two unforgettable nights.
Don’t miss out on this unique experience where music, dance and technology collide for a celebration right out of the heart of the underground of electronic music.”
Taste of Country Festival
Where: Hunter NY
Taste of Country Music Festival is produced by Townsquare Media, and is the only multi-day camping country music festival in the Northeast. The festival featured top acts in country music in its inaugural year of 2013, including Lady Antebellum, Willie Nelson, Trace Adkins, Billy Currington, Montgomery Gentry, Hunter Hayes, Joe Nichols, Gloriana, Justin Moore, Dustin Lynch, Blackberry Smoke and many more.
Where: East Aurora, Knox Farm State Park
“The Borderland Music + Arts Festival celebrates the rich history and renaissance of the region with a two-day music and cultural festival set in one of the most scenic and storied grounds in all of New York State, Knox Farm State Park. Located just 16 miles south of Buffalo, Knox Farm State Park is a beautiful, historic 633-acre grounds, located in historic East Aurora—the birthplace of the Roycroft Arts & Crafts movement.
Rocks Off Concert Cruises
When: May – September
Come aboard one of our amazing vessels for a 3 hour concert cruise experience with world class live music and breathtaking views of the most iconic harbor and skyline in the world.
Good times, great music, amazing people in a setting you just won’t get from any other venues, EVER. Treat yourself to a Rocks Off Concert Cruise this summer, New York City. You deserve it!!”