New York City's Outdoor Music Festivals 2014 (City Guide Magazine)


New York City's Outdoor Music Festivals 2014

November 17, 2014 - by Linda Sheridan

Click here to read part one of this story, covering the city's best concert venues. Scroll down for the 2014 summer music festival calendar.

JBL Live at Pier 97

This year, New York City will welcome its newest outdoor venue, JBL Live at Pier 97, set to open this summer. Established through a partnership between Live Nation and Harmon International, the riverside space, located at 57th Street and the West Side Highway, has a capacity for 6,000 concertgoers. Concerts lined up for the concert this summer include The Fray (July 9), 311 (July 19) Michael Franti and Spearhead (July 21), Thievery Corporation (Aug. 15), Robyn and Röyksopp (Aug. 20.) Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster.

Randall’s Island

Randalls Island, New York City
Photo: Randall's Island Park Alliance

With a capacity to hold between 35-40,000 people, Randall’s Island has been a popular venue since the 1930s. Located in the East River, Randall’s Island is separated from Manhattan by the river’s main channel. Between the Island and the Bronx flows the Bronx Kill, while the famous rapids of Hell’s Gate separate the Park from Astoria, Queens. Acts that have performed there include Dave Matthews Band, Cirque du Soleil, Lollapalooza, the Tibetan Freedom Concert, and many others. In Spring 2013, Randall’s Island hosted the Frieze Art Fair. This summer, there's the highly anticipated three-day Governor’s Ball (6/6-8), with double headliners Jack White and Outkast, plus dozens of other bands.  Randall’s Island is easily accessible by the RFK Bridge and during certain events, New York Water Taxi provides ferry service.

Prospect Park Bandshell

Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn

The Prospect Park Bandshell was designed by architect Aymar Embury II (1880-1966), who also designed Prospect Park Zoo. The Bandshell was renovated in 1983 in response to the success of the four-year-old Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival. In 1998, the bandshell again received major improvements with $3 million in funding from former Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden. The three-story Bandshell features food and beer/wine concessions, public restrooms, and first-come, first-served seating in the 2000-seat plaza or 5000-capacity lawn. The 2014 lineup will include hot acts such as Janelle Monae (June 4)The National (June 17-19), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (July 26) and others. Prospect Park is relatively easy to reach by subway, best bet, F or G Train to 15th Street-Prospect Park or 7th Avenue station. Prospect Park West at 9th Street, Brooklyn, 718-965-8999 (Prospect Park Events line);

Forest Hills Tennis Stadium

Just 15 minutes from Penn Station via the LIRR, Forest Hills Tennis Stadium enjoyed a revival last summer with a blockbuster concert given by Mumford and Sons. The stadium is owned by the adjoining Forest Hills West Side Tennis Club, which in 2012 celebrated its 100th anniversary. There are six concerts scheduled for this summer, kicking the season off with Grammy winners Zac Brown Band (June 21) and Modest Mouse /Brand New Aug. 9. The stadium just launched a new web site,

Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

If a concert under the stars near the beach is your thing, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, aka Jones Beach, is a great outdoor amphitheater, located at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, New York. Originally opened in 1952 as The Jones Beach Marine Theater, the original 8,500-seat theater underwent a renovation in 1992 and now can accommodate 15,000 seats. The 2014 lineup is brimming with double bill concerts including KISS & Def Leppard (Aug. 6), Journey & Steve Miller Band (June 16), NIN & Soundgarden (Aug. 1), and many others, as well as headlining acts such as Aerosmith (July 10), Mötley Crüe (Aug. 29) and more. 1000 Ocean Parkway, 516-221-1000,


Electric Daisy, MetLife Stadium, May 24-25 -

NYC Pop Fest, various venues, May 29-June 1 -

Celebrate Brooklyn, Prospect Park Bandshell, kicks off May 8

*Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, July 9-12,

• The Great GoogaMooga, New dates, location TBA,



Governors Ball, Randall’s Island, June 6-8 -

Taste of Country Music Festival, various venues (Hunter Mountain), June 13-15 -

*Chelsea Music Festival, various venues, June 6-14,

• Clearwater Festival, various venues (Croton-on-Hudson), June 21-22 -

*Lincoln Center Out of Doors, July 20-Aug. 10,

Northside Festival Brooklyn, 50 Kent (formerly Williamsburg Park), June 12-19 -

• Seaport Festival, South Street Seaport, dates TBA -

*Summerstage, kicks off June 3,

*Punk Island , Staten Island, June 21,

Midsummer Night Swing, Lincoln Center, June 24-July 12 -

• 4Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, July 12 -

River Rocks, Pier 84, July 10-Aug. 7 -

Vans Warped Tour, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, July 12 -

• Afropunk Fest, Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn, Aug. 23-24 -

*Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, various locations TBA,

*Electric Zoo, Aug. 29-31, Randalls Island,

• CBGB Music Festival, Oct. 7-12 -


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