SummerStage Offers In-Person, Outdoor, Free Central Park Concerts Starting This Month; Check Out Some Acts

Photosbydoyle, Mark Doyle Photography

By Carol Tannenhauser

SummerStage, New York City’s largest, free, outdoor performing arts festival is returning this season — live and in person — beginning on June 17th, with a concert by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

Free tickets are required for this and all other SummerStage performances — over 100 concerts, featuring “renowned artists and rising stars with important ties to New York City…including hip-hop, Latin, indie rock, contemporary dance, jazz, and global music,” a press release said.

Ticket reservations can be made starting Monday, June 7th. Capacity is limited, and requests don’t guarantee reservations, the release warned, so don’t wait.

Other venues include: Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, and The Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn.

On June 20th, in Central Park, trumpeter Chris Botti, the largest-selling instrumental artist in the nation, will be performing. Others on the lineup for the season, which runs through October, include Patti Smith and Her Band; Sun Ra Arkestra; Antibalas; Tito Nieves; Marc Rebillet; Armand Hammer & The Alchemist featuring Moor Mother, Fielded, and KAYANA; Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Parsons Dance; The Dom Salvador Samba Jazz Sestet; Erica Campbell; The Metropolitan Opera, and more to be announced.

SummerStage will also host several paid benefit performances this season, including by Machine Gun Kelly, Dawes, Lake Street Dive, Indigo Girls with Ani DiFranco, and Blue Note at SummerStage, featuring George Clinton, Chris Botti and Galactic.

For a complete SummerStage schedule, and to request tickets, click here.

SummerStage will not be without reminders of the pandemic. The title sponsor of the series, Capitol One, included the following guidelines:

All patrons over the age of two will be required to show either proof of having completed the COVID-19 vaccination series at least 14 days prior to the date of the performance/event OR proof of a negative diagnostic test result for COVID-19 using a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Department of Health authorized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that was performed on a specimen (e.g., swab) collected within 72 hours of the performance/event start time.

Patrons will be required to fill out a Health Survey within 12 hours of entry. SummerStage will provide instructions for how to complete the survey online closer to the event date. Patrons may also complete the survey in person on the day of the show.

For contact tracing purposes, buyers must submit the following information at checkout for each attendee in the attending pod: Full Name, Address, Date of Birth, Email Address, and Phone Number.

E-Tickets will be emailed 72 hours prior to the event.

Reselling of tickets is not allowed for this event to ensure proper contact tracing.

Staggered entry times will be assigned on tickets to reduce entrance crowding.

For more information about seating and safety, click here, or go to FAQ.

If you can’t get there in person, or would rather watch from afar, all free in-person performances at SummerStage will be live-streamed on, rights permitting.

ART, NEWS | 5 comments | permalink
    1. George CPW says:

      Central Park is not meant for these gigantic extravaganzas. The damage to the lawns is serious each time one is held. And large areas of the park are closed to people using the park for days before and after the event. A better venue would be Governor’s island.

      • uwsgrl says:

        These are held at SummerStage, which is a specific venue within the park; these are not events held on the Great Lawn or other open areas. You are confusing it with larger open events, such as the Philharmonic in the park.

      • TomF says:

        Summerstage events are held at Rumsey Playground, a paved area east of the Mall. It is not a lawn. But I agree entirely with this comment with respect to the recently announced reopening concert scheduled for August.

    2. John says:

      Amazing how COVID has disappeared in NYC its a miracle.

      • Besther says:

        No miracle. Covid is still around. But it is less lethal to all of us who are vaccinated. Plus masking and social distancing made a huge impact. Thanks to all who helped to protect their neighbors.