FREE Summer Music Festivals and Concerts in NYC

photo: Jonathan McPhail

Siren Festival 2009 (photo: Jonathan McPhail)

One of my most favorite things about summer in New York, is the amazing music performances that happen throughout the entire city, and all for FREE!!

From May to August, you can hear live music of all kinds across the City without spending a dime. No genre is left out! We’ve got rock, indie, hip-hop, classical, opera, you name it!

So, grab your flip-flops, a blanket and something to nibble on and check out any (or all) or these venues for a classic NYC experience.

CONCERTS IN THE PARKS
From Manhattan to Queens, Andrey Boreyko conducts the legendary New York Philharmonic in the return of Concerts in the Parks. Kicking off on July 13, enjoy a relaxing evening while watching any one of these events throughout the summer. For a complete calendar, click here.

SEASIDE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
Nothing compares to Coney Island in the summertime! Take a trip out of the city and hit each side while watching performances by Gladys Knight, Pat Benetar, Donna Summers and Blondie. Full schedule here.

RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL
This summer-long art marathon transforms downtown waterfront spaces like Rockefeller Park, World Financial Center and South Street Seaport, into open-air venues, where you can catch free performances by Burning Spear, Yacht or the Rochester City Ballet. Visit www.rivertorivernyc.com for complete information or follow them on Twitter @R2RFestival for updates!

CENTRAL PARK SUMMER STAGE
SummerStage has been NYC’s #1 outdoor concert series for years. This year’s performers include the John Butler Trio, The Flaming Lips, Hot Chip, Pavement and more. For more information, visit www.summerstage.org or follow @SummerStage.

CELEBRATE BROOKLYN!
Set at the beautiful Prospect Park Bandshell, where tons of seating and tree-shaded areas make for a lovely spot for a picnic, a plastic cup of wine and a free show. This year the series includes performances from Norah Jones, The National, indie favorite Sonic Youth and so much more. Check out the full calendar here.

SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Siren Festival is back in 2010 so prepare for another summer day of sweaty hipsters and a the sounds of indie rock. Bands like Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Matt & Kim will rock the crowds on July 17th at Coney Island. Visit www.siren.villagevoice.com/2010/ for the complete line up or follow @SirenFestival

HUDSON RIVER ROCKS
Pop over to the Westside of Manhattan and enjoy a concert series at Hudson River Park with acts like the Antlers and Deerhunter. (TIP: There’s also a really great movie series here, but we’ll get into that later). Go to www.riverrocksnyc.com for details or follow @HudsonRiverPark

There is still so much more!!!  Check out this extensive list of FREE CONCERTS IN NYC!

Have a rockin’ summer folks!

Posted By
Kelli Crean
Ecommerce Manager

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Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest RECAP!

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It was a wild day on Coney Island,  a place the people have dubbed the “birthplace of fast food” and we just had to follow up last week’s post about Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest with the results…

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut earned his 4th consecutive championship, downing 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes as a crowd of approximately 40,000 cheered him on. The runners up were Tim” Eater X” Janus in second place with 45 dogs, and Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti in third eating 37 hot dogs.

So where exactly does Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi, 6-time champion, Japanese eating sensation and Chestnut’s biggest rival to date  fit  into all of this?

The “Tsunami” watched the competition from the stands this year, unable to compete because of contract discrepancies with the MLE (Major League Eating). Being benched did not stop him from reveling in the limelight for a moment, however. Right as Chestnut was polishing off his last hot dog, Kobayashi stormed the stage adorned in a “Free Kobi” t-shirt (obviously referring to his barring from the competition because of refusal to sign a disputed contract). Police wrestled with Kobayashi for a few minutes before he was taken off stage and arrested. Now how’s that for entertainment??

So will he compete in the 2011 Nathan’s Hot dog Eating Contest? And if so, can he steal Chestnut’s title? Tune in next year to find out…

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Nation’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest

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This Fourth of July, Coney Island will welcome the best major league eaters from around the world to compete in the 2010 “Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest“. The contest will begin at noon on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenue (see map). If you can’t make it out to the actual event, be sure to watch live on ESPN. Last year, 35,000 fans watched in awe as Joey Chestnut proved he was the number one competitive eater in the world by consuming 68 hotdogs and buns in 10 minutes! He defeated 18 other contestants (see full results). Many of you, I’m sure, are asking why on earth anyone would ever put themselves through that? The answer is in the $20,000 cash grand prize!

The contest is free and open to all of the public. A pre-show with live entertainment including trampoline tumblers, Ringling acts and famous rappers will begin at 10 a.m. The contest will directly follow.

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Best Places to Watch the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

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This would be a bad year to miss out on the famous Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show in New York City; the “biggest fireworks display in America”- sources say that over 40,000 shells will be set off for the 26-minute spectacular display that is musically choreographed and follows the theme “American Harmony”. The fireworks will be shot off six barges between 24th and 50th street on the Hudson River in West Manhattan. The show, which originally debuted in 1958 is watched by millions each year and is expected to be nothing less than extraordinary for this upcoming Independence Day celebration. It is expected to begin between 9:00 and 9:20 p.m. If you’re not sure where to go to go to ensure a good viewing then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the best seats in the house:

  1. West Side Highway Areas

23rd-59th street of West Side highway will be closed to traffic (starting at 4p.m.)  to offer great views of the show from northbound lanes. It gets crowded quickly so we recommend saving a seat around 5 p.m. Also, located right off of the Highway at 621 West on 46th street sits the Hudson Terrace which offers panoramic views of the fireworks from their rooftop. Tickets to the viewing party can be pricey,  but include a barbecue meal and four hours of a top-shelf open bar.

2.  New Jersey Areas

Excellent views of the display can be seen from Weehawken and Hoboken. Also, many flock to the Hudson River Promenade on the Jersey side which offers a a view of the fireworks  with the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

3.  Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Tickets are on sale now for a full night of fun at the museum. Food and entertainment will be provided for VIP ticket-holders that will enjoy the view of the show from the flight-deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid.  If you aren’t a VIP ticket-holder and will be viewing the display from inside the museum, the musical choreography will be played for the duration of the show as well. Tickets are limited so get them soon!

4.   Circle Line Fourth of July Cruise & Rooftop Party at Pier 83

The cruise will offer great views from the river and the rooftop party will be a great option for getting away from the crowded streets. Tickets are $79 and musical entertainment will be  provided by a DJ. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase.

5.  Your Own Couch

If you’re just feeling like laying low and enjoying the show from the comfort of  your own living room, don’t forget that the fireworks show will be broadcast on NBC as part of the one-hour, start-studded, Independence Day special.

For any other questions on the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show call (212) 494-4495.

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