Get Out of Town: 3 Summer Weekend Festivals Just a Train or Bus Ride Away


Ah, summer–that beautiful time of year when winter is a distant memory and we all start to wonder just why we live in a humid swamp with 100-degree heatwaves matched by 100-year-old houses where “central air” is an unknown concept. With the weather getting particularly sticky for the first time this week, we figured it was a good moment to start looking at some upcoming chances to get out of Dodge. Fortunately, there are a ton of NYC-area weekend festivals coming up this season–here are three that seem tailor-made for Brooklynites, all easily reached by MetroNorth or bus.

1. MassBliss


The inaugural MassBliss promises a more accessible and interesting version of your typical Berkshires festival. Photo: Talya Chalef

This inaugural arts and awareness festival kicks off in the Berkshires the second weekend of July, combining live music and theater with on-site camping, plus yoga, mediation and other mindfulness activities. Acts ranging from indie rockers Javelin to the experimental Bread and Puppet Theater will perform live shows, then offer hands-on workshops throughout the weekend, with extra time built in for everything from morning meditation to sunset yoga. The part we like best: direct bus transportation from Brooklyn, which you can book when purchasing a weekend pass.

July 10 – 12;

2. Clearwater’s Great Hudson Revival

Photo: Gus Philippas / Clearwater

Photo: Gus Philippas / Clearwater

Westchester’s hippie-dippiest weekend is right around the corner. Produced by the late Pete Seeger’s nonprofit dedicated to supporting environmental initiatives along the Hudson, Clearwater fills the waterfront Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson with an A-list array of Americana and pour-your-heart-out musical acts like David Crosby, Neko Case, Ani Difranco, The Lone Bellow and Joseph Arthur. Less than an hour from the city, you can buy an all-in MetroNorth package that includes train tickets or purchase a camping pass to stay the whole weekend.

June 20 – 21,

3. The Wassaic Project

Photo: Grant Cornett / Wassaic

The Wassaic Project Summer Festival combines art, film, dance and music during a weekend of programming that its curators call “cutting-edge yet family friendly.” Photo: Grant Cornett

What started as a quaint artists residency on a century-old property in the Dutchess County hamlet of Wassaic has given birth to a weekend-long festival celebrating all kinds of contemporary art. The completely free event combines a group exhibition in a seven-story grain elevator with modern dance performances, indie rock sets and three nights of film (don’t miss Fort Tilden–a buzzed-about new film chronicling two young Brooklynites’ life-searching bike trip to the Rockaways). The bucolic site is just a short walk from the Metro-North station (a two-hour and 45-minute ride from Grand Central), and there’s on-site camping and a food court serving up wood-fired pizzas and BBQ fare as well.

July 31 – Aug 2;

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