Free shows in NYC: v.2008

    Skyrocketing gas prices was one thing, but as soon as we heard that beer prices were on the rise, we came to realize that this whole recession thing really blows. As talking heads throw out terms like “weak economy” and “tightening the belt,” the idea of paying $25 and up for a concert ticket seems a bit ludicrous. But that doesn’t mean a healthy dose of live music is beyond your means this summer. For the fourth year in a row, we’ve gathered the best free shows going on from May through August in New York. So, yes, you can see Vampire Weekend, Sonic Youth, Santogold, and Brother Ali this summer — without spending a penny. After all, it’s the economy, stupid.

    Free concerts:
    05.30.08: Wire, Die!Die!Die!; South Street Seaport Pier 17, 7 p.m.

    06.07.08: Lucky Dragons, John Wiese, Soiled Mattress and the Spring; East River Amphitheater, 2 p.m.

    06.12.08: Isaac Hayes, Prospect Park

    06.14.08: Vampire Weekend, Kid Sister, Born Ruffians; Central Park SummerStage, 4-8 p.m.

    06.15.08: Victor Manuelle; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    06.17.08: Ting Tings; Apple Store SOHO, 6 p.m.


    06.17.08: Nicole Atkins & the Sea; Socrates Sculpture Park, 6:30 p.m.


    06.18.08: Annuals; Sound Fix Records, 6 p.m.


    06.18.08: Jill Sobule; Rockefeller Park, 7 p.m. 


    06.19.08: Medeski Martin and Wood, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog; Prospect Park


    06.19.08: Crystal Castles, Woodlands; Studio B, 9 p.m. 


    06.19.08: Wildbirds & Peacedrums; Union Square, 6 p.m. 


    06.20.08: Prefuse 73; The Whitney Museum 


    06.20.08: Deertick; Rooftop Films (free with ticket to film), 8 p.m.


    06.20.08: White Hinterland, Cale Parks (of Aloha), Herman Dune; Sound Fix Records, 8 p.m.


    06.20.08: Boyz II Men (Good Morning America); Bryant Park, 7 a.m.


    06.20.08: Rihanna (Today Show); Rockefeller Center, 7 a.m.


    06.21.08: Stars Like Fleas; Sound Fix Records, 8 p.m.


    06.21.08: Sharon Van Etten; Rooftop Films (free with ticket to film), 8 p.m.


    06.21.08: Fiasco, Extra Life, Monotract, Cursillistas, Autodrone, Noveller, Boyskout, The Brilliant Sweaters, Senryu, Bridges and Powerlines, The Swimmers, Blood Sugars, Phil and the Osophers, Bell (After the Jump Festival); Galapagos, 12 p.m. 


    06.21.08: Ponytail, Power Douglas, Chairlift, Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullit Band, The Austerity Program, Dinowalrus, Alex & The Horribles, Captain Ahab & The Sea Crackens (After the Jump Festival); Music Hall of Williamsburg, 12:30 p.m.


    06.21.08: Pela, The Forms, The Shackeltons, Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears, The Antlers, Wakey Wakey, Lissy Trullie, papercranes (After the Jump Festival); North Six Street Stage, 12:00 p.m.


    06.22.08: Yael Naim, David Donatien, Piers Faccini, Herman Dune; Central Park SummerStage, 7-10 p.m.


    06.24.08: Ulrich Schnauss; World Financial Center Winter Garden, 9 p.m.


    06.24.08: Gilberto Gil; Prospect Park


    06.25.08: Semi Precious Weapons, Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears, The Last Vegas; Southpaw


    06.25.08: Talib Kweli; Apple Store (SOHO), 6 p.m.

    06.26.08: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dixie Hummingbirds; Prospect Park


    06.26.08: Care Bears on Fire, The A-OK Collective, Apollo Heights, Slim Dixon; Solar One, 6 p.m.


    06.27.08: Coldplay; Rockefeller Park, 7 a.m.


    06.27.08: Cold War Kids, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Sam Champion; Prospect Park

    06.27.08: A Place to Bury Strangers, King Khan & the Shrines, Black Acid; South Street Seaport Pier 17, 7 p.m.


    06.27.08: Times New Viking; The Whitney Museum


    06.27.08: Jeffrey Lewis; Sound Fix Records, 8 p.m.


    06.28.08: Lyricist Lounge: Crooklyn Dodgers Reunion; Prospect Park


    06.28.08: Artranker Convoy; Rooftop Films – Old American Can Factory (free with ticket to film), 8 p.m.

    06.28.08: Titus Andronicus, Obits, Emperor X, Blood City; East River Amphitheater, 2 p.m.

    06.28.08: Vieuz Farka Toure, Fallou Dieng, Kaleta & Zozo Afrobeat, Dj Sirak; Central Park SummerStage


    06.28.08: So Percussion, Dirty Projectors, Blitz The Ambassador, Burskina Electric, Shilpa Ray (of Beat the Devil), Selan, No Surrender, Ecstatic Sunshine; Solar One, 12 p.m.


    06.29.08:  Hold Steady, Loved Ones, J Roddy and the Business (JellyNYC); McCarren Park Pool


    06.29.08: Mosh Ben Ari, Rupa and the April Fishes, Y-Love, Diwon; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    07.01.08: Kode9, Juakali, and Dub War with Forward Motion Theater; The Winter Garden World Financial Center, 9 p.m.


    07.04.08: Sonic Youth; Battery Park, 7 p.m.


    07.04.08: Titus Andronicus; Rooftop Films – Solar One (free with ticket to film), 8 p.m.

    07.05.08: Rachid Taha, Dengue Fever, Apollo Heights; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    07.06.08: Ronnie Spector, the Rabbit Factory Soul Revue (JellyNYC); McCarren Park Pool


    07.06.08: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Afrika Bambaataa, Love Trio with U-Roy; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    07.09.08: The Avett Brothers; Rockefeller Park, 7 p.m.


    07.10.08: St. Vincent; Castle Clinton, 7 p.m.

    07.11.08: No Age with Telepathe and Abe Vigoda; South Street Seaport Pier 17, 7 p.m.

    07.11.08: Brazilian Girls; Prospect Park

    07.12.08: Beth Orton, Matt Munisteri; Prospect Park

    07.12.08: Julieta Venegas, Plastilina Mosh, DJ Bitman; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    07.13.08: The Breeders, Matt+Kim, The Whip (JellyNYC); McCarren Park Pool 


    07.15.08: Fennesz, Sakamoto; World Financial Center (Winter Garden), 9 p.m.


    07.17.08: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists; Castle Clinton, 7 p.m.


    07.17.08: The Fiery Furnaces; East River Ampitheater


    07.17.08: Jerry Douglas Band, The Holmes Brothers; Prospect Park


    07.17.08: Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las; South Street Seaport, 7 p.m.


    07.18.08: Deerhoof, Metropolis Ensemble; Prospect Park

    07.18.08: Video Music Box 25th Anniversary Concert; Central Park SummerStage, 7-10 p.m.

    07.19.08: Siren Music Festival featuring Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Broken Social Scene, The Helio Sequence, Beach House, Times New Viking, Jaguar Love, The Dodos, Annuals, Film School, Parts & Labor, Dragons of Zynth, These are Powers; Coney Island


    07.20.08: Liars, Fuck Buttons and Team Robespierre (JellyNYC); McCarren Park Pool

    07.20.08: Santogold, Diplo, Plastic Little, A-Trak, Kid Cudi; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    07.20.08: Golem, The Sway Machinery, Michael Showalter, DeLeon, Soulico; Prospect Park

    07.24.08: Akron Family; Castle Clinton, 7 p.m.


    07.24.08: KRS-One; East River Park


    07.25.08: Atlas Sound, El Guincho; South Street Seaport Pier 17, 7 p.m.


    07.25.08: Feist (Good Morning America); Bryant Park, 7 a.m.


    07.25.08: Phillip Glass, Marta Topferova; Prospect Park


    07.26.08: Ghostland Observatory, The Jealous Girlfriends, Bear Hands; Prospect Park 


    07.27.08: MGMT, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Ting Tings (JellyNYC); McCarren Park Pool


    07.27.08: Taj Majal, Skatalites, Los Pinguos; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    07.29.08: Max Richter; Le Poisson Rouge 


    07.31.08: The Long Winters; Castle Clinton, 7 p.m.


    07.31.08: Flogging Molly, O’Death; Pier 54 – Hudson River Park


    07.31.08: Jukebox the Ghost; Union Square Park 


    08.01.08: Brother Ali; South Street Seaport Pier 17, 7 p.m.

    08.01.08: The Knights, Christina Courtin; Prospect Park

    08.02.08: The Sippy Cups, Ariana Bass Bass Bass; Prospect Park

    08.02.08: Roy Hargrove Big Band and Special Guests; Central Park SummerStage, 7-10 p.m.


    08.03.08:  Black Lips, Deerhunter, King Kahn & His Shrines and Tall Firs (JellyNYC); McCarren Park Pool 


    08.03.08: Daby Toure; Prospect Park

    08.03.08: Janelle Monáe, Little Jackie, Jose James, Gilles Peterson; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.

    08.07.08: Terence Blanchard; Castle Clinton, 7 p.m.


    08.14.08: Los Lonely Boys, Los Lobos; Central Park SummerStage, 7-10 p.m.


    08.14.08: Blonde Redhead; Pier 54 – Hudson River Park


    08.15.08: Bajofondo, Osunlade & the Yoruba Soul Orchestra; Central Park SummerStage, 7-10 p.m.

    08.15.08: Dirty Projectors, White Williams; South Street Seaport Pier 17, 7 p.m.


    08.15.08:  800 Years of Minimalism: The Spiritual Transcendent, Rhys Chatham: A Crimson Grail, for 200 Electric Guitars (Outdoor Version) (World Premiere); Damrosch Bandshell


    08.16.08: Battles, Black Dice, Gang Gang Dance; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.

    08.17.08: Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Menahan Street Band, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens; Central Park SummerStage, 3-7 p.m.


    08.17.08:  Aesop Rock, Panther and one more TBA (JellyNYC); McCarren Park Pool  

    Relevant Links:
    East River Amphitheater:

    Jelly NYC:

    Prospect Park:
    River to River Series:
    Siren Festival:

    Sound Fix Records:

    South Street Seaport:
    Various links: