101 Free Things to Do in Brooklyn This Summer

05/09/2012 3:00 AM |


#7 make music new york
Last year’s NYC iteration of Fête de la Musique (World Music Day) claimed to feature more than 1,000 concerts—classical, jazz, avant-garde, world—at eclectic and improvised locations across the five boroughs, and promises more joyful noise this year. June 21, makemusicny.org

#8 punk island
… including this follow-up, scheduled for a few days later because Governor’s Island is only open on weekends (how can an island be “open,” one wonders?) (and yes we know Governor’s Island is technically part of Manhattan but we think Brooklyn should annex it so there), featuring seven stages, curated by ABC No Rio. June 24

#9 the brooklyn philharmonic in bed-stuy
A local DJ won the Philharmonic’s contest to “remix Beethoven,” and an adaptation of his take on the Third Symphony will be performed in a program also featuring a tribute to Lena Horne, and songs by the BK Phil’s artist-in-residence, Mos Def. June 9, bphil.org

#10 the new york philharmonic in prospect park
Alan Gilbert conducts two thirds of Respighi’s Roman Trilogy, and Tchaikovsky’s scandalous Fourth Symphony. July 11, nyphil.org

#11 the met opera in brooklyn bridge park
Soprano Danielle de Niese, bass-baritone John Del Carlo and tenor Dimitri Pittas, with piano accompaniment, will present a recital as part of the Met’s five-borough tour; merch table presumably manned by a tuxedo-clad David Koch. 
July 27, metoperafamily.org

#12 memorial day concert at green-wood cemetery
At the cemetery’s annual concert, the talented kids of the Inter School Orchestra play a classical program surrounded by reminders of the transitory nature of youth and cruelty of time and mortality. May 28, green-wood.com

#13 the brooklyn symphony at st. ann’s church
The BSO concludes their 2011-2012 program (free with suggested donation) with a program featuring two of Dvorak, Sibelius and Screaming Lord Sutch. brooklynsymphonyorchestra.com

#14 classical at pete’s candy store
On alternate Thursdays this summer, your cramped local’s background music will be provided by classical performers and groups imported from all over the city to the ever-versatile back room. Petescandystore.com

#15 red hook jazz festival
The Urban Meadow, the micro-greenspace that’ll be packed with a summer’s day jazz on two consecutive weekends (suggested donation is $10, kids are free), is technically in the Columbia Waterfront District, but that’s just churlish of us. June 10, June 17, facebook.com/RedHookJazzFestival

#16 party like it’s 1999: the real world of may edition
The Bell House, your reliable host of semiregular free dance and nostalgia nights, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the premiere of The Real World with a night of totally 90s hits. May 18, thebellhouseny.com

#17 paloma and bébo at cubana social
The retro-styled names are cues for what to expect at the restaurant and bar’s new Friday and Saturday dance nights, with an emphasis on jazz, Afro-Cuban and dance music. cubanasocial.com

#18 celebrate brooklyn! brooklyn bridge park dance parties
Before everyone settles at the Bandshell, Booker T. Jones and Brazilian and Zydeco acts warm the season up. May 10, 17, 24, bricartsmedia.org

#19 bam’s r&b festival
A slate of lunch-break concerts, going down at noon and featuring the likes of Fishbone and NRBQ. Don’t work in Downtown Brooklyn? There’s always jury duty… Thursdays, June 7-August 9, bam.org

#20 blues, brews and bbq on the beach at governor’s island
Five afternoons of live music near the ferry, a bit of low-key background music to go along with the many elaborate festivals that rotate through. thebeachatgovernors.com

#21 hillstock
This weekend of shows (one free, the rest—including an ACLU benefit—cheap) features 2010 Band You Need to Hear Ava Luna among many others, at DIY loft spaces all around the greater Clinton Hill area, not previously known as a hotbed of live music in general or indie pop in particular. June 22-24, neverbreakdown.com/hillstock

#22 denim & supply live at brooklyn bowl
Ralph Lauren’s line for the scruffily wealthy young person is bringing hipster bands to Williamsburg; it’s free with RSVP, like all those SXSW shows where they build up their mailing lists and you have to wait in line anyway. Man Man, on June 5, is next. brooklynbowl.com

#23 the northside festival
We’d be remiss if we didn’t advise purchase of the scandalously cheap badges for our annual music festival in North Brooklyn, but if you prefer to hedge your fun, you can check out our annual 8 Bands You Need to Hear showcases at Spike Hill free of charge, and keep your ear to the ground for outdoor shows. June 14-17, Northsidefestival.com

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4 Comment

  • You didn’t include Bushwick Open Studios!

  • And then I clicked next….nevermind! delete!

  • …and in Clinton Hill (Putnam Triangle Plaza at Fulton/Grand), FAB Flicks presented in partnership with BAMCinematek will feature a Richard Pryor Triple Play, Tuesdays in July (8,15,22): “Bustin’ Loose,” “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings,” and “Mel Stuart’s Wattstax.” FREE!!

  • There is also a FREE outdoor concert series at On Stage at Kingsborough: July 5 at 8:00 PM / Jeremy Davis & The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra; July 12 at 8:00 PM / Grammy Nominee John Beasley’s MONK’estra; July 19 at 8:00 PM / Carole J. Bufford in SPEAK EASY; July 26 at 8:00 PM / Swingadelic. All shows are FREE and take place at Kingsborough’s Outdoor Bandshell. Gates open at 7:00 PM. No reservations are necessary. RAIN OR SHINE! For more information visit http://www.OnStageAtKingsborough.org or call the Box Office at 718-368-5596