The Asphalt Orchestra playing at a previous Outdoors festival in Lincoln Center. Photo by Dave Bledsoe.

Starting Wednesday, Lincoln Center will host a free outdoor music and dance festival called Lincoln Center Out of Doors for two and a half weeks. The festival is jam-packed with innovative performances, and the plazas will be filled with crowds, music and food. It is, as far as we’re concerned, the best damn festival in the whole city.

On Wednesday at 6, the festival kicks off with a dance performance featuring 80 dancers choreographed by Mark Dendy. in the Hearst Plaza (Lincoln Center’s North plaza) “Dendy, whose inventive choreography includes everything from Mozart operas to Rockettes extravaganzas, draws on the ritual movements shaped by public spaces to make full use of Hearst Plaza’s distinctive architecture, including its reflecting pool and grove. Viewers direct their own experiences by moving around and among the dancers.” The performance will also take place on Thursday. Here’s a photo of them practicing.

Then at 7:30 in Damrosch Park (the South plaza), there will be a concert including music from music from the haunting electro-acoustic score of the Oscar-nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague and a tribute concert to Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti in the Damrosch Park Bandshell.

You can sample festival music here.

The festival continues until August 11, closing with a Roots of American Music festival. See the whole schedule here, and send us photos!

Run, don’t walk, to the festival! Photo by j-No.

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