New York

NYC Unveils Its SummerStage Lineup of Free Concerts

Dozens of free shows are coming to all five boroughs starting in June.

Erika Goldring/Getty Images Entertainment
Erika Goldring/Getty Images Entertainment
Erika Goldring/Getty Images Entertainment

New York City will be in full concert mode this summer. If Pier 17’s Summer Concert Series kicking off in May wasn’t enough, NYC’s SummerStage events are also returning.

Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage, the New York-favorite outdoor concert series, is officially launching for the season in June, and it will bring over 90 free-to-attend and benefit shows across all five boroughs this summer.

Performance will turn up the volume in 12 NYC neighborhoods, celebrating NYC’s revival after the hardship of the pandemic. Iconic locations such as Central Park and Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park will serve as venues, and will welcome New Yorkers to immersive nights of music and culture.

Showcasing a variety of genres, SummerStage will delight its attendees with jazz, salsa, hip-hop, reggae, soul, indie rock, pop, and many more. On Opening Night, legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock will kickstart the festival in association with the Blue Note Jazz Festival, giving a memorable performance in Central Park.

“We are so happy to be back in local neighborhood parks after a two-year hiatus and to be able to once again build our newly refurbished flagship concert venue in Central Park,” Heather Lubov, City Parks Foundation’s Executive Director, said in a statement. “Parks have always been neighborhood gathering spaces, but the pandemic brought to light just how absolutely critical parks are to our city’s health. We are thrilled to be able to bring neighbors together in their parks to enjoy a diverse, representative line-up that is reflective of our city’s rich cultural fabric.”

New Yorkers can expect to see live performances by a long list of notable artists. Fans of electronic music will be able to enjoy a DJ set by Caribou on July 28, while rock bands like Modest Mouse and The Cribs will perform on the same night in Central Park for a benefit event. Grammy-nominated group Tank and the Bangas, rapper Big Freedia, percussionist Cyril Neville, and others will play on June 13. George Clinton, together with his Parliament Funkadelic collective, rock band Dopapod, and soul music band Pimps of Joytime, will take the stage on June 15.

Thanks to a partnership with Rooftop Films, SummerStage will also feature a selection of international short films before Central Park shows. Catered to the music festival, the film selection will include works that complement the featured artist and represent different communities across NYC. The film selection will be announced in the future.

This year, a free outdoor screening of the Oscar- and Grammy-winning documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) will take place on June 17 to honor and celebrate Juneteenth. The film will be shown in Marcus Garvey Park, where the Harlem Cultural Festival was originally located over 50 years ago.

In addition, a long list of initiatives and performances will characterize this year’s SummerStage festival. Guests can expect to catch multiple dance performances throughout the season, and will be able to attend a few limited-series events, like a free, six-show R&B concert series at The Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn. The three-day Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will also be back and part of SummerStage this year, honoring the late saxophonist with live jazz performances in the neighborhoods where Parker lived and worked.

SummerStage, a women-run festival, has always fostered inclusion, diversity, and equity within the music industry. It is one of the few local festival to achieve a 50:50 ratio in gender balance, and in 2021, 52% of the artists who participated in the in-person festival were either women or non-binary. That same year, 95% of artists identified themselves as BIPOC.

For a complete list of confirmed performances and for more information about the festival, you can visit the SummerStage website.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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