It’s hot and it’s summer in the city. Few cities do this season quite like New York. It’s the most culturally diverse city on the planet so it’s no surprise that this melting pot makes itself home to some of the best festivals you’ll ever have the chance to experience. These are a few of our highly subjective selections for events you can’t afford to miss out on.
Brooklyn Hiphop Festival
This one is a little more last minute because it’s going down this week. However, it’s still one of the best chances for all the good b-boys and girls to hear some of the best hip-hop in one of the places where it all began, Brooklyn. This year plays host to Chicago rap impresario Common and infamous New York natives Mobb Deep for old-school flavor that never loses its touch. If you’re in the Big Apple this week, you owe it to yourself to see Prodigy and Havoc perform their classics that made the city famous. Brooklyn Vegan reports that duo will be joined by Lion Babe and Charles Hamilton, among others, for a week full of hip-hop history.
Afropunk is consistently one of the best festival line-ups you’ll get to see in the city. It brings the finest alternative and underground black music to the streets of Brooklyn on August 22 and 23 and always exceeds expectations with more top quality acts than you can count. This year’s festival is just insane with headliners Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones and Lauryn Hill. When was the last time you thought you’d have the chance to see Ms. Lauryn “L Boogie” Hill play live? Yeah, we thought so. When she plays “Doo Wop (That Thing),” it’s going to bring the house down and we plan to be there. The rest of the lineup features Kelis, Danny Brown, Gary Clark Jr. and way too many other awesome artists to mention here.
Did somebody forget to tell us that we’ve been transported back in time to 2002 and big room trance is back like a “Cream Anthems” compilation? Because you could have fooled us based on this line-up for Electric Zoo and we are so down for that. According to British Airways, the festival brings 150,000 fans to Randall’s Island Park and this year looks to be no different. Headliners include big beat legends The Chemical Brothers, iconic BBC DJ Pete Tong, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten and Solarstone for a Labor Day weekend extravaganza that feels more like Ibiza than New York. But it’s not all old school stuff. Explosive EDM acts like Alesso, Cashmere Cat, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, Glitch Mob and more will be in tow for an exceptionally eclectic electronic outing.
MoMA PS1 Warm Up
While not technically a festival in the same vein as Electric Zoo, the Warm Up series presented by MoMA PS1 is one of the coolest concert experiences you could check out while in New York. Every Saturday from now until until Labor Day features a different lineup of top-notch experimental and underground acts. It’s all impeccably curated by some of the greatest minds from the coolest record labels and magazines in the city. The series complements and reflects the forward-thinking modern art that MoMA is known for. “Warm Up is completely analogous to other contemporary exhibitions in the museum,” Klaus Biesenbach, director of MoMA PS1, told The NewYork Times. Every weekend boasts so many terrific performers it’s hard to recommend just one, but we’d have to put our money on either July 18 featuring Boys Noize, Lotic and Busy P or August 8 with German
dub-techno pioneers Basic Channel.