Castle Clinton is located on at the southern tip of Manhattan, on the western end of Battery Park, at the end of Battery Place. It is one of the venues used by River-to-River Festival during the summer, along with nearby Battery Park, as well as South Street Seaport, World Financial Center, Rockefeller Park, and others.
Even amongst the many places River-to-River Festival holds free concerts, Castle Clinton is an unusual venue. While not indoor, the area is surrounded by walls on all four sides (though the towers of Wall Street do loom over), and staffed by park rangers. Also, while still free, it’s a first-come, first-served seated venue (with some standing room at the back and along the house-left side). The stage is only a step off the ground, but covered, giving it almost the feel of classical music in the park, or watching a band in a gazebo. The entrance to the stage floor is on the house-left, with a recently-introduced bar to the house-right.
The acts that play Castle Clinton, like the venue, tend towards the more high art, but there’s also a strong country-roots vein. In 2009, all of the acts were part of the 40th anniversary tribute to Woodstock. There’s also no opener, and the shows start pretty much directly on time, which means the whole thing is over after an hour, hour-and-a-half. Things are a little more sedate than perhaps one would like, but it’s a unique oasis in the hustle and bustle of New York City.
all ages, free
Western end of Battery Park, at the end of Battery Place
4 & 5 trains to Bowling Green – walk 2 blocks west on southern side of Battery Place
N & R trains to White Hall – walk 2 blocks west on southern side of White Hall, then 2 blocks west on southern side of Battery Place
1 train to South Ferry – cross to western side of Battery Park
-Patti Smith, July 14th, 2011 – photos
-Laurie Anderson & Bill Laswell, June 30th, 2011 – photos
-Vijay Iyer, June 23rd, 2011 – photos
-Antibalas, July 22nd, 2010 – photos
-Duncan Sheik, July 15th, 2010 – photos
-Madeleine Peyroux, July 8th, 2010 – photos
-John Kelly sings the Joni Mitchell songbook, August 6th, 2009 – photos
-Arlo Guthrie, July 30th, 2009 – photos
-Richie Havens, July 23rd, 2009 – photos
-Tribute to Sly Stone with Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra, featuring Bernie Worrell, Sandra St. Victor, Shilpa Ray, Martha Wainwright, and Dean Bowman, July 16th, 2009 – photos
-The Long Winters, July 31st, 2008 – photos
-Akron/Family, July 24th, 2008 – photos