Concerts and Music

Bon Jovi in Central Park
Bon Jovi Concert in Central Park by asterix

If you're looking for music in the summer, you’ll find it all in New York's Central Park. 

Here are some of the most popular venues and concert series:

Rumsey Playfield
Rumsey Playfield, located on the east side of the park near the entrance at E. 69th St. and Fifth Ave, is host to the annual SummerStage and "Good Morning America" concert series. 

SummerStage takes place from May to September and features a variety of music, from rock to pop to salsa, reggae, opera, and much more.Whatever your musical tastes, you can find something that you'll like at SummerStage! Check out the schedule of performances here.

ABC's "GMA" Summer Concert Series happens every Friday at Rumsey Playfield and airs live between 7 - 9AM. See the schedule of performances here.

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Naumburg Bandshell
The Naumburg Bandshell is located mid-park between 66th and 72nd Streets. The modern Naumburg Bandshell replaces the original structure, which was built in 1862 exclusively for classical music, but it still continues the tradition of hosting classical music performances. Over the years, some more popular music events have been hosted here as well. You can see the schedule of the Naumburg Bandshell’s performances here.

Family Performance Festival – Fun for the Little Ones
If you’re taking the kids to Central Park, the Family Performance Festival (free event) will get them to move and groove with everything from sing-along music to dance performances to story-time shows. This year's Family Performance Festival is chock-a-block full of fun and learning through music, storytelling, Park adventures, puppetry, and more!  Programs happen every Sunday from mid June - September 6th at 12 noon, on the Great Hill (located inside the Park near West 103rd - 106th Street). Pack a picnic, grab your blanket, and get ready to discover Central Park in a whole new way! 

Impromptu Music for Summertime Strolls
One of the most famous street performers in Central Park is David Ippolito, also known as “That Guitar Man from Central Park.” On his website, David says he generally starts at 12:30 each day and ends when the sun goes down. You can view his schedule online at http://www.thatguitarman.com/.

There are other street performers in Central Park as well, but some of the most popular venues for watching them have now been designated as quiet zones. One of these zones is the Bethesda Terrace, which had long been hailed by performers for its great acoustics. There are now eight quiet zones in the park which, in addition to Bethesda Terrace, include Conservatory Garden, Conservatory Water, East Green, Shakespeare Garden, Sheep Meadow, Strawberry Fields and Turtle Pond. So if you need a little break from all the music that you’re hearing, these areas will provide you with the respite that you need.

Overall, no matter what your musical tastes, you will likely be able to find performances that please your auditory senses. While some of the more organized music shows only take place during the summer, many of the street performers will continue throughout the winter months, so you can feel free to visit Central Park any time of the year to hear sounds that will delight your ears.

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