Central Park SummerStage

Tweet The entrance to Central Park SummerStage is in Central Park, between 70th and 71st Street, just to the west of Fifth Avenue, along the road that goes south...

Central Park SummerStage

Dinosaur Jr.

The entrance to Central Park SummerStage is in Central Park, between 70th and 71st Street, just to the west of Fifth Avenue, along the road that goes south from the 72nd Street entrance to Central Park.  The SummerStage is actually located at the Rumsey Playfield, an elevated portion of Manhattan’s enormous Central Park.  The Central Park Conservancy designed it specifically for outdoor concerts in 1986, and Central Park SummerStage (now managed by the City Parks Foundation) holds concerts there during the summer.

The actual stage floor of the SummerStage isn’t on grass, but rather some Astroturf-like mat over concrete or stone.  There are also bleachers behind the stage floor, giving it a seating area comparable to Prospect Park Bandshell or the late McCarren Park Pool.  The stage itself is quite massive, with a photo pit in the front and a VIP area to the house-right side.  Beer and food tents are located around the house-right entrance, as well as to the far house-left.  There is some sectioning within the stage floor, but the barriers are not connected, making them more of crowd control than real, separate, exclusive sections.  The trees of Central Park surround the whole place, creating a lovely frame, with Manhattan’s high-rises and skyscrapers only peaking out above the canopy in the distance.

Most of the events held at the Central Park SummerStage are free, with a few paid events, mostly benefits for the organization.  SummerStage holds a wide mix of concerts, from indie-rock to adult contemporary, though there’s a strong emphasis on world music in the free events.  However, the headlining acts are invariably big names in their genre, befitting the big-name status of the venue, especially for the paid events.  With its eclectic and rather high-minded collection of acts, not everything is going to be someone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of the best places to catch someone you do like.


Capacity: 5,500

all ages


Within Central Park, between 70th and 71st Street

By Subway:

4 & 6 trains to 68th Street – walk 3 blocks west to 5th Avenue, 1 block north to 69th Street entrance to Central Park, follow Central Park path west to street, follow street north to SummerStage
A, B & C trains to 72nd Street – follow Central Park path east to SummerStage


QRO Coverage:

-DNCE, with B.O.B. and ?uestlove, September 28th, 2017 – DNCE photos, B.O.B. photos, ?uestlove photos

-Young the Giant, with Cold War Kids, September 13th, 2017 – Young the Giant live review, Young the Giant photos, Cold War Kids photos

-Dashboard Confessional, with All American Rejects and The Maine, August 3rd, 2017 – Dashboard Confessional photos, All American Rejects photos, The Maine photos

-Muse, July 24th, 2017 – photos

-PJ Harvey, July 19th, 2017 – photos

-Yo La Tengo, with Ultimate Painting, July 17th, 2017 – Yo La Tengo live review, Yo La Tengo photos, Ultimate Painting photos

-Robert Glasper Experiment, with Phony PPL and Tank & The Bangas, June 25th, 2017 – Robert Glasper Experiment photos, Phony PPL photos, Tank & The Bangs photos

-Wax Tailor, with HER and Ayo, June 21st, 2017 (Fête de la Musique) – Wax Tailor photos, HER photos, Ayo photos

-Laura Mvula, June 17th, 2017 – photos

-Gov’t Mule, with Chris Robinson Brotherhood, May 17th, 2017 – Gov’t Mule photos, Chris Robinson Brotherhood photos

-Janelle Monae, with Nate Ruess, September 29th, 2016 – Janelle Monae photos, Nate Ruess photos

-Lucius, September 23rd, 2016 – photos

-Vulfpeck, with Lawrence, September 7th, 2016 – Vulfpeck photos, Lawrence photos

-Jerry Garcia Symphony (with Warren Haynes), August 8th, 2016 – photos

-Garbage, August 1st, 2016 – photos

-Flight of the Conchords, with Eugene Mirman, July 24th, 2016 – live review, Flight of the Conchords photos, Eugene Mirman photos

-The Feelies, with Beach Fossils, July 18th, 2016 – The Feelies photos, Beach Fossils photos

-Jon Bon Jovi, Idina Menzel, David Sanborn, and Paul Shaffer, June 21st, 2016 (City Parks Foundation Gala) – photos

-Cage the Elephant, May 16th, 2016 – photos

-CHVRCHES, with Mansionair, September 29th, 2015 – CHVRCHES photos, Mansionair photos

-Glass Animals, August 9th, 2015 – photos

-Dawes, with First Aid Kit, July 27th, 2015 – Dawes photos, First Aid Kit photos

-Bombino, with Young Fathers and Fantastic Negrigo, July 25th, 2015 – Bombino photos, Young Fathers photos, Fantastic Negrito photos

-Milky Chance, July 22nd, 2015 – live review, photos

-Vicentico, July 10th, 2015 – photos

-Basement Jaxx, with The Internet, July 1st, 2015 – Basement Jaxx photos, The Internet photos

-The Kooks, with Atlas Genius and Joywave, June 24th, 2015 – The Kooks photos, Atlas Genius photos, Joywave photos

-Meshell Ndegeocello, with Roy Hargrove, June 6th, 2015 (Blue Note Jazz Festival) – Meshell Ndegeocello photos, Roy Hargrove photos

-Portugal. The Man, with Grouplove and Typhoon, September 16th, 2014 – live review, Portugal. The Man photos, Grouplove photos, Typhoon photos

-The Wallace Rooney Orchestra, with Melissa Aldana, Lionel Loueke, and Kris Bowers, August 23rd, 2014 (Charlie Parker Jazz Festival) – The Wallace Rooney Orchestra photos, Melissa Aldana photos, Lionel Loueke photos, Kris Bowers photos

-Bonobo, July 13th, 2014 – photos

-Andrew Bird & The Hands of Glory, with Luke Temple, July 8th, 2014 – Andrew Bird & The Hands of Glory photos, Luke Temple photos

-Jon Batiste & Stay Human, with Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, June 29th, 2014 – Jon Batiste & Stay Human photos, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble photos

-The Neighbourhood, May 20th, 2014 – photos

-Violent Femmes, with The Bogmen, September 12th, 2013 – Violent Femmes photos, The Bogmen photos

-Lianne La Havas, with LP, July 27th, 2013 – Lianne La Havas photos, LP photos

-Comedy Central Presents, with Rob Delaney, Adam Devine, Gabriela Iglesisa, Jeff Ross, Amy Schumer, and Dan Soder, June 26th, 2013 – photos

-IAM, June 21st, 2013 – photos

-Airborne Toxic Event, Calder Quartet & Ensemble LPR, with Calder Quartet opening, June 18th, 2013 – live review, Airborne Toxic Event, Calder Quartet & Ensemble LPR photos, Calder Quartet opening photos

-Joan Baez, with Indigo Girls, June 17th, 2013 – Joan Baez photos, Indigo Girls photos

-The Zombies, with Django Django and Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, June 15th – The Zombies photos, Django Django photos, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro photos

-Two Door Cinema Club, with Friends, September 28th, 2012 – Two Door Cinema Club live review, Two Door Cinema Club photos, Friends photos

-Yeasayer, with Tanlines, September 12th, 2012 – Yeasayer live review, Yeasayer photos, Tanlines photos

-Goapele, with Yolanda Zama, August 14th, 2012 – Goapele photos, Yolanda Zama photos

-Amadou & Mariam, with Theophilus London, August 4th, 2012 – Amadou & Mariam photos, Theophilus London photos

-Guided by Voices, July 7th, 2012 (CBGB Festival) – CBGB coverage, photos

-Alabama Shakes, with Diamond Rugs, June 24th, 2012 – Alabama Shakes photos, Diamond Rugs photos

-Dawes, with Kurt Vile & The Violators, June 16th, 2012 – Dawes photos, Kurt Vile & The Violators photos

-Ozomatli & New York Pops, June 12th, 2012 – photos

-Foster the People, with The Kooks and Kimbra, May 30th, 2012 – live review, Foster the People photos, The Kooks photos, Kimbra photos

-Foster the People, with The Kooks and Kimbra, May 29th, 2012 – Foster the People photos, The Kooks photos, Kimbra photos

-Wilco, with Nick Lowe, September 22nd, 2011 – Wilco live review, Wilco photos, Nick Lowe photos

-Rakim, with EPMD, August 21st, 2011 – Rakim photos, EPMD photos

-Friendly Fires, with The Naked & Famous and Cults, August 7th, 2011 – Friendly Fires photos, The Naked & Famous photos, Cults photos

-Wanda Jackson, with Imelda May, July 27th, 2011 – live review, Wanda Jackson photos, Imelda May photos

-Jim Gaffigan, with John Pinette and Sheng Wang, June 29th, 2011 (Comedy Central Presents) – Jim Gaffigan photos, John Pinette photos, Sheng Wang photos

-Medeski, Martin & Wood, with The King Froopy All-Stars and Jim Black’s Alasnoaxis, June 11th, 2011 – Medeski, Martin & Wood photos, The King Froopy All-Stars photos, Jim Black’s Alasnoaxis photos

-Pavement, September 21st to 24th, with Thee Oh Sees (on 21st), 2010 – Pavement live review of all four nights (plus one night at Williamsburg Waterfront), Pavement photos on 21st, Pavement photos on 22nd  Pavement photos on 23rd, Pavement photos on 24th, Thee Oh Sees photos

-Broken Social Scene, with The Sea & Cake, September 18th, 2010 – Broken Social Scene live review, Broken Social Scene photos, The Sea & Cake photos

-Public Enemy, with Son of Bazerk, Kendo & The Almost Famous Band, and Blitz the Ambassador, August 15th, 2010 – Public Enemy photos, Son of Bazerk photos, Kendo & The Almost Famous Band photos, Blitz the Ambassador photos

-The xx, with Chairlift and Jack Peñate, August 8th, 2010 – The xx live review, The xx photos, Chairlift photos, Jack Peñate photos

-St. Vincent, with tUnE-yArDs and Basia Bulat, August 1st, 2010 – St. Vincent photos, tUnE-yArDs photos, Basia Bulat photos

-Lewis Black, with John Oliver, Rob Riggle, Wyatt Cenac, Rory Albanese and Adam Lowitt, July 21st, 2010 (The Daily Show & Friends) – Lewis Black photos, John Oliver photos, Rob Riggle photos, Wyatt Cenac photos, Rory Albanese photos, Adam Lowitt photos

-Living Colour, with Ebony Bones and Pillow Theory, June 5th, 2010 – Living Colour photos, Ebony Bones photos, Pillow Theory photos

-Phoenix, with Passion Pit, September 26th, 2009 – Phoenix photos, Passion Pit photos

-Dinosaur Jr, with The Walkmen, August 16th, 2009 – Dinosaur Jr live review, Dinosaur Jr photos, The Walkmen photos

-M. Ward, with Mike Watt & Nels Cline, August 1st, 2009 – M. Ward photos, Mike Watt & Nels Cline photos

-Juana Molina, with Curumin, July 8th, 2009 (Latin Alternative Music Conference) – Juana Molina photos, Curumin photos

-The Kooks, with stellastarr* and Illinois, September 10th, 2008 – live review, The Kooks photos, stellastarr* photos, Illinois photos

-Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings with Menahan Street Band and Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, August 17th, 2008 – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings photos, Menahan Street Band photos, Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens photos

-Battles with Black Dice and Gang Gang Dance, August 16th, 2008 – Battles photos, Black Dice photos, Gang Gang Dace photos

-The National with Yeasayer, August 4th, 2008 – The National photos, Yeasayer photos

-Cinematic Orchestra with RAMP, Kevin Michaels and El Michael Affair, July 10th, 2007 – The Cinematic Orchestra photos, RAMP photos, Kevin Michaels photos, El Michael Affair photos


Central Park SummerStage

Click here for the venue’s website

Venue Reviews

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