Central Park SummerStage

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...

Central Park SummerStage


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.  It was revamped for the 2019 season.

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, as well as on the far side from the entrance, giving it a seating area comparable to Prospect Park Bandshell or the late McCarren Park Pool.  However, the far side bleachers and some of the main bleachers are reserved for SummerStage members only, as well as the bar and balcony on the opposite side from the stage.  The stage itself is quite massive, with a photo pit in the front and a VIP area to the house-right side.  Both sides of the stage are flanked by two shipping crates each, including jumbo screens on them.  Beer and food tents are located around the house-right entrance, as well as to the far house-left.  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:

-Patrick Watson & Attacca Quartet, with Elisapie and La Force, July 2nd, 2022 – Patrick Watson & Attacca Quartet photos, Elisapie photos, La Force photos

-G Flip, with You Am I, Peking Duk, Baker Boy, Haiku Hands, and Electric Fields, June 18th, 2022 (Aussie BBQ) – G Flip photos, You Am I photos, Peking Duk photos, Baker Boy photos, Haiku Hands photos, Electric Fields photos

-George Clinton with Parliament/Funkadelic, with The Motet, Dopapod, Blu Eyed Extinction, June 15th, 2022 (Blue Note Jazz Festival) – George Clinton with Parliament/Funkadelic photos, The Motet photos, Dopapod photos, Blu Eyed Extinction photos

-Yo La Tengo, with Mountain Movers, October 1st, 2021 – Yo La Tengo photos, Mountain Movers photos

-Dom Salvador Samba Jazz Sextet, September 4th, 2021 – photos

-Lake Street Dive, with Allison Russell, August 24th, 2021 – Lake Street Dive photos, Allison Russell photos

-George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, with The Blue Wolf Experience and DJ Louie Vega, June 27th, 2021 (Blue Note Jazz Festival) – live review, George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic photos, The Blue Wolf Experience photos, DJ Louie Vega photos

-Chris Botti, June 20th, 2021 (Blue Note Jazz Festival) – photos

-Janelle Monae, with Sara Bareilles and David Gray, September 26th, 2019 (30th Anniversary Gala) – Janelle Monae photos, Sara Bareilles photos, David Gray photos

-Bloc Party, with Cults, September 20th, 2019 – Bloc Party live review, Bloc Party photos, Cults photos

-Marina, with DAYA and LPX, September 16th, 2019 – Marina photos, DAYA photos, LPX photos

-Tash Sultana, September 4th, 2019 – photos

-Freddie Stone, with Talib Kweli, Alice Smith, Braxton Cook, Cory Henry, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Keyon Harold, and Igmar Thomas, August 17th, 2019 (Harlem Cultural Festival, a.k.a. Black Woodstock) – Freddie Stone photos, Talib Kweli photos, Alice Smith photos, Braxton Cook photos, Cory Henry photos, Georgia Anne Muldrow photos, Keyon Harold photos, Igmar Thomas photos

-Lila Downs, with Lido Pimienta, August 11th, 2019 – Lila Downs photos, Lido Pimienta photos

-Elephant Man, with Junior Reid, August 10th, 2019 (VP Records 40th Anniversary) – Elephant Man photos, Junior Reid photos

-Guster, with Rubblebucket, August 8th, 2019 – Guster photos, Rubblebucket photos

-Corrine Bailey Rae, with Jose James and Ruth B., August 4th, 2019 – Corrine Bailey Rae photos, Jose James photos, Ruth B. photos

-Tizzy Bac, with 9m88, One Fang, and Abao, August 3rd, 2019 (Taiwanese Waves) – Tizzy Bac photos, 9m88 photos, One Fang photos, Abao photos

-Alvvays, with The Courtneys and Ellis, June 26th, 2019 – Alvvays photos, The Courtneys photos, Ellis photos

-Japanese Breakfast, with Hatchie, June 24th, 2019 – Japanese Breakfast photos, Hatchie photos

-Hermitude, with The Teskey Brothers, A.B. Original, Tkay Maidza, San Cisco, and WAAX, June 22nd, 2019 (Aussie BBQ) – Hermitude photos, The Teskey Brothers photos, A.B. Original photos, Tkay Maidza photos, San Cisco photos, WAAX photos

-DeJohnette – Coltrane – Garrison Trio, with Brandee Younger, June 15th, 2019 – DeJohnette – Coltrane – Garrison Trio photos, Brandee Younger photos

-Big Freedia, with MikeQ x Qween Beat and Batekoo, June 13th, 2019 – Big Freedia photos, MikeQ x Qween Beat photos, Batekoo photos

-George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, with Erica Falls, June 4th, 2019 – George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic photos, Erica Falls photos

-Jason Mraz, August 9th, 2018 – photos

-Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, with Jupiter Okwess, July 29th, 2018 – Femi Kuti & The Positive Force photos, Jupiter Okwess photos

-Alonzo King LINES Ballet, July 25th, 2018 – photos

-Michelle Wolf, with Joe List, Grouplove, Roy Choi, and ‘Ladies of Liberty’, July 22nd, 2018 (Ozy Fest) – Ozy Fest recap, Michelle Wolf photos, Joe List photos, Grouplove photos, Roy Choi photos, ‘Ladies of Liberty’ photos

-Young the Giant, with Hasan Minhaj, Common, Hillary Clinton, ‘The Future of Fashion’, Rose McGowan, ‘Dating Game’, ‘How To Succeed In Business Without a Rulebook’, and Cynthia Nixon, July 21st, 2018 (Ozy Fest) – Ozy Fest recap, Young the Giant photos, Hasan Minhaj photos, Common photos, Hillary Clinton photos, ‘The Future of Fashion’ photos, Rose McGowan photos, ‘Dating Game’ photos, ‘How To Succeed In Business Without a Rulebook’ photos, Cynthia Nixon photos

-Dispatch, with Nahko & Medicine For the People and Raye Zaragoza, July 19th, 2018 – Dispatch photos, Nahko and Medicine For the People photos, Raye Zaragoza photos

-Oh Wonder, with Sasha Sloan, July 9th, 2018 – Oh Wonder photos, Sasha Sloan photos

-Broken Social Scene, July 1st, 2018 – live review

-3 Sides of Damien Sneed, with Jazzmela Horn, June 30th, 2018 – 3 Sides of Damien Sneed photos, Jazzmela Horn photos

-Gregory Porter, with Victory, June 2nd, 2018 – Gregory Porter photos, Victory photos

-Liam Gallagher, with Richard Ashcroft, May 16th, 2018 – Liam Gallagher photos, Richard Ashcroft photos

-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 Bangas 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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