All the concerts to check out in Brooklyn this summer


from l-r: Gary Clark Jr. (Alize Tran, via Wikimedia Commons); Car Seat Headrest (Matador Records); Janelle Monae (Seher Sikandar for rehes creative, via Wikimedia Commons); Brandi Carlile (Alysse Gafkjhen)

Now that you’ve recovered from the barbecues and booze after the long Memorial Day weekend, it’s time to get the unofficial start to summer off right—and that means checking out a slew of great concerts, including some free, not-to-be missed shows in Brooklyn. To say there’s some variety would be an understatement.

This year’s eclectic lineup for the long-running BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! program at Prospect Park may be the best yet in recent memory, featuring such established acts as Los Lobos, Aimee Mann and Branford Marsalis; big-name benefit concerts including The Decemberists, Courtney Barnett, Grizzly Bear and Spoon; and a blast of ‘90s alt-rock with the classic Breeders lineup. There’s nothing that says summer in Brooklyn more than watching a show in the evening in Prospect Park.

The Northside Festival, which has now become the unofficial successor to CMJ, returns for another installment highlighted by both popular and emerging indie rock acts: among them are Deerhoof, Half Waif, Katie Von Schleicher, Soccer Mommy, and Lou Barlow. Arguably, the main event of that festival is Liz Phair, who is marking the 25th anniversary of her classic album Exile in Guyville, and not surprisingly that show is sold out. And it’s just not about musicl the festival also features Innovation panels focusing on technology and entrepreneurship.

Not to be outdone by those aforementioned festivals, Afropunk Fest has a killer R&B/hip-hop schedule this year, headlined by Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, Ibeyi, Fantastic Negrito, and Miguel. And then there’s BAM’s R&B Festival at MetroTech to provide some soul and jazz music during the lunch hour in downtown Brooklyn; among the participants are the great drummer Bernard Purdie along with Vivian Green and Marcus Miller. Other individual non-festival shows–ranging from synthpop legends to Depeche Mode to popular indie rock act Car Seat Headrest — round out the summer music season in Brooklyn.

There’s also music in the air outside of the borough. The Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall’s Island Park kicks off this Friday and runs through Sunday; that’s headlined by the likes of Jack White, Eminem, Travis Scott, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, CHVRCHES, James Blake, Halsey, and N.E.R.D. Randall’s Island is the setting for another major music festival, Panorama, from July 27 to July 29. If you haven’t gotten festival fatigue by that point, Panorama’s line-up is not to be ignored: David Byrne, Janet Jackson, St. Vincent, The xx, and Father John Misty and many others are scheduled to hit the stage.

Queens is also showing the summer music love at the historic Forest Hills Stadium, the site of some pretty impressive concerts in the last few years. Unless you live in Forest Hills, getting to the stadium is a bit of trek both by subway and on foot. But the list of scheduled performers might make the trip worth it: among them are The National, Robert Plant, David Byrne (that man again), Belle and Sebastian, the Who’s Roger Daltrey, Culture Club/B-52s, and Van Morrison/Willie Nelson.

The bottom line is that the die-hard music fan has plenty of options to see and hear some great music, so there’s really no excuses to miss any of them. Here’s a select guide of who’s playing around town for the next four months.

Governors Ball, Randall’s Island

June 1
Jack White, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Post Malone and more

June 2
Travis Scott, Halsey, The Gaslight Anthem and more

June 3
Eminem, Chvrches, Khalid and more

Aimee Mann (Sheryl Nields)


BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, Prospect Park Bandshell

June 5

June 10
Los Lobos

June 13
The Decemberists with M. Ward* 

June 14
Vance Joy*

June 16
The Jayhawks

June 20
Grizzly Bear + Spoon*

June 21
Aimee Mann/Superchunk

June 23

June 29
Branford Marsalis

July 7
Rhye/Natalie Prass/Overcoats

July 20
Anoushka Shankar

July 19
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead*

July 25
Courtney Barnett*

July 26
Brandi Carlile

August 7
Jason Mraz*

August 9
Gary Clark, Jr.

August 11
The Breeders/Speedy Ortiz

*Indicates Benefit Show

Panorama, Randall’s Island

July 27
War on Drugs, Father John Misty, Migos and more 

July 28
Janet Jackson, Japanese Breakfast, St. Vincent and more

July 29
David Byrne, The Killers, Fleet Foxes and more

Forest Hills Stadium, Forest Hills, Queens

June 8
Belle & Sebastian

June 9
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

June 13
Robert Plant with Sheryl Crow 

June 15

June 17
Roger Daltrey perform’s The Who’s ‘Tommy’ with The New York Pops

June 22
Dropkick Murphys & Flogging Molly

July 24
Arctic Monkeys

July 28

Boy George and Culture Club and The B-52s
and Thompson Twins Tom Bailey

August 11
Black Summer Night, A Concert for Social Justice: Maxwell with Fantastia, DVSN, Jazmine Sullivan and Special Guests

August 17
Cake & Ben Folds

September 8

September 12
Van Morrison and Willie Nelson & Family

September 15
David Byrne


First Aid Kit (Johannes Helje, via Wikimedia Commons)


Brooklyn Steel, 319 Frost St.

July 5

August 7
Regina Spektor

Sept 11
First Aid Kit

Sept 14
Car Seat Headrest


Belly (BellyBandMember, via Wikimedia Commons)

Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N 6th St.

August 25 and 26

Waxahachee (Merge Records)


The Bell House, 149 7th St.

June 24
The English Beat

August 24

Sept 7
Ex Hex

Sept 9

Vivian Green (William Henderson darkfiber22, via Wikimedia Commons)


BAM R&B Festival at Metrotech

Jun 7
Bernard Purdie’s All-Star Shuffle with guests Bobbi Humphrey and Quiana Lynell

Jun 14
Savion Glover featuring Marcus Gilmore

Jun 21
PJ Morton

Jun 28
Vivian Green

Jul 5

Jul 12
Amalgarhythm with Kris Davis and Terri Lyne Carrington

Jul 19
Jupiter & Okwess

Jul 26
Terence Blanchard featuring the E-Collective

Aug 2
Ranky Tanky

Aug 9
Marcus Miller

Wiz Khalifa (By The Come Up Show from Canada (Wiz Khalifa), via Wikimedia Commons)


Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk

August 2
Wiz Khalifa

August 3
Lost ‘80s Live (A Flock of Seagulls, Wang Chung, Naked Eyes, Farrington and Mann, When in Rome UK, The Romantics, Animotion, and Nu Shooz)

August 4
‘70s Soul Jam (The Stylistics, The Delfonics, Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes, Heatwave, Carl Carlton, and Ray Goodman and Brown)

August 24
Gladys Knight/The O’Jays

Beach House


Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave.

August 23
Beach House

September 17
David Byrne/Tune-Yards


Snail Mail (Michael Lavine)


Northside Festival, (various venues throughout Brooklyn)

June 7
Liz Phair/Soccer Mommy
(sold out; entry available to the festival’s music and premium badge-holders on a first-come, first-served basis)

June 7
Snail Mail
(sold out; entry still available to music and premium badge-holders on a first-come, first-served basis)

June 7
Lou Barlow

June 8
Sam Evian/Katie Von Schleicher

June 9
Bush Tetras

June 9


Erykah Badu


Afropunk Fest, Commodore Barry Park, Fort Greene

August 25-26
Lineup includes: Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Ibeyi, Miguel, Fantastic Negrito, Jaden Smith, Twin Shadow, Lolawolf and others


Wilder Maker (Keegan Grandbois)


Union Pool, 484 Union Ave.

July 13
Wilder Maker




Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave.

June 6
Depeche Mode

June 26

June 27
Sam Smith

July 14
Shania Twain

August 30 and 31

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