Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall see their share of live artists throughout the year, but summer is all about outdoor music festivals. From waterfront park concert series to camping in the woods with your favorites bands, music festivals are one of the best ways to escape the humdrum of everyday life and rock out in the sun. Just be sure that you pack sunscreen and plenty of water if you plan on any outdoor dancing (or moshing!) this summer.
Celebrate Brooklyn! hosts a variety of musical, dance, and art performances in Prospect Park each summer. Guests can join Wilco, Hot Chip, M. Ward, Sigur Ros, Lyle Lovett, and lots more for their benefit concerts in the Band Shell. Many of the concerts are free or have suggested donations. The annual celebration of contemporary classical music returns to Governors Island with this free outdoor summer concert series. Rite of Summer concerts are held from 1pm to 3pm with featured performers Ljova and the Kontraband, The JACK Quartet, and Todd Reynolds. The 17th annual Gathering of Vibes music and arts festival features Primus, founding Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh & Friends, Avett Brothers, STS9, and many more artists and vendors. Camping is available, and shuttles will take attendees from the Metro-North station to the grounds in Bridgeport. New Jersey radio station WXPN hosts this three day festival that includes a headlining show with Wilco, Dr. Dog, and Avett Brothers, as well as an outdoor festival with The Hold Steady, Kathleen Edwards, and The War on Drugs. The XPoNential Music Fest is held at Camden Waterfront Park in Camden. The legendary Newport Folk Festival returns with My Morning Jacket, Jackson Browne, Conor Oberst, Iron and Wine, Patty Griffin, and many more. Camping and shuttles from Newport to the grounds are available throughout the weekend. This free outdoor summer concert series features performances by Fishbone, Aloe Blacc, and rising R&B artists. The BAM R&B Music Fest performances take places every Thursday at noon throughout summer at MetroTech Commons. This annual Hudson Valley music festival features headliners Ani DiFranco, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bela Fleck, Dawes, Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band, The Guthrie Family, Loudon Wainwright III, and many more. All proceeds for the event will go toward environmental protection and research through Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. Tickets start at $60. The Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival is held at Croton Park. Music Festivals Around East Coast Photos: C.Matt Boyd, Burger Baroness, Lydia Kennedy, Rite of Summer, Cheryl Kehler Sahm, eddie.welker, Sue Reed, Emma Kingaby