So, what happens when it gets warm in New York City? (Besides all of those outdoor food festivals popping up everywhere, that is.)

Well, life becomes much more glorious, for one.

But a second-- more wonderful-- thing that happens (which might even be more lovely than the countless beachday or weekend getaway trips you'll wind up taking) is the endless number of outdoor music festivals going down around this city.

But the big question remains: if you're on a tight budget (as most of us are), which outdoor summer concerts should you definitely attend over the next couple of months?

Well, we're here to help.

Read on and find out the 6 must-do music festivals you absolutely need to experience this summer in NYC.

1. Governor’s Ball

rolyoliver Just another quiet night. #axwellandingrosso #govballnyc ##governorsballnyc #swedishhousemafia #axwell #ingrosso

From June 5th through June 7th, Governor’s Ball is all the rage in NYC.

This is the mecca, the Valhalla, the Jerusalem of all NYC music festivals. This year’s lineup features the musical prowess of Drake, Florence & The Machine, Lana Del Rey, and many more.


Check the full line-up here if those giant names aren’t enough of a draw. And if the idea of watching Drake’s gorgeous submersion into lyrical articulation isn’t enough of a draw, the concert takes place at Randall’s Island.

So your body will move to the beat, your ear drums will rock, and the East River will wash up against the lush green of Randall’s Island Park. Governor’s Ball guarantees to be an excellent summer party-- its only setback is its steep ticket prices.

The only remaining ticket option is the $260 3-day admission price. But if you love music, and you have $260 to blow, this is definitely the festival for you.

2. The Red Hook Fest 

pimphilip Great show @redhookfest #redhookfest

From June 4th to June 6th, The Red Hook Fest is back.

This festival features live music and dance on the Brooklyn waterfront, in addition to other free activities like kayaking, face-painting, and happy hour.

This glorious outdoor summer festival isn’t only free, it’s also beautifully, socially, and artistically alive. All we’re saying is, you don’t want to miss it.

Put on by Dance Theatre Etcetera, whose mission is to use acts of informed expression to create a more just and joyful world, this amazing concert features three days of music, fun, and alcohol.

Thursday’s happy hour kickoff is hosted by Jive Poetic, Friday’s BBQ and DJ dance party is free, and Saturday’s main stage performances include Mawu Dance, Laurie M. Taylor/Soul Movement, and Chop and Quench.

Bottom line: the 2015 Red Hook Fest is a perfect summertime activity.

 3. Central Park SummerStage

goldyamba First concert of the season in Central Park is one of my all times favs... #DerekTrucks. He's still on that Layla kick too. #summerstagenyc #tedeschitrucksband

SummerStage is a performing arts festival held each year at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

Most of these concerts are completely free, and thus the perfect opportunity to rally up your friends, grab a blanket and a couple sneaky bottles of wine, and camp out on the lawn at Central Park.


While some of the bigger shows on the Main Stage are paid admission, it’s completely worth it.

If you’re gearing up for a summer night on the town, and you’re looking for something to do, we guarantee Summerstage will probably be staging a concert you’re interested in.

This year’s lineup includes all-stars like The Kooks on June 24th, Ingrid Michaelson and Jukebox the Ghost on June 29th, and Rise Against on July 28th.

Check out the full schedule here, and get ecstatic for some summertime music living.


 4. Northside Festival

spaceninety8 Getting excited about Northside festival- Coming up June 8-14th! We'll be creating another stage for some killer acts, like this beauty from 2014, more details to come! ✨ @northsidefestival #spaceninety8 #northsidefestival #williamsburg

Smashing through Brooklyn from June 8th to June 14th, the Northside Festival’s musicians will be pounding on drums and guitars, spreading light love and colors, and generally playing excellent music.

This year’s lineup includes Built to Spill, The Very Best, Sleigh Bells, Run The Jewels, Neko Case, and over 400 more. Yeah, that’s right.


More than 400 hundred bands and musicians will be belting out their lyrics at the Northside Festival. It’s $85 to buy a music badge, which, when compared with the almost three times more expensive Governor’s Ball, is actually pretty reasonable.

You can also buy single show tickets here. Lots of the Northside Festival concerts take place at Bushwick Inlet Park, where you’ll get to rock out while watching the sunset over the waterfront and the Manhattan skyline.

Other venues include Brooklyn Bowl, The Knitting Factory, and Aviv.

Check the full schedule here.

5. DayLife

funfearlessfoodie DJ Kai. 8 yr old DJ prodigy. Amazing. #daylifeles

This LES outdoor festival is an annual celebration that celebrates the heavenly arrival of summer in NYC.

This year, the DayLife Festival will be rocking out on Sunday, June 14th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Located on Orchard Street between East Houston and Delancey Streets, this festival features various types of music, activities, live art demos, delectable cuisine, and pretty much a guaranteed blast.

Some of the best food vendors in NYC will be present, like Melt Bakery, Pies 'N' Thighs, and The Meatball Shop. Jamming out music-wise is DJ Deja, Cake Shop, Ellen Kaye and the Moscow 57 Band, and DJ Kai Song.

So yeah... you don’t want to miss this jam-packed day of fun, music, and food.

 6. Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

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This year is the 11th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, and you do not want to be among the scrubs who aren’t there.

Established in 2005, the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is NYC’s largest hip-hop cultural event, celebrating hip-hop’s ability to promote artistic progression, community, and social change.


This year’s events include “Me Belly Full,” a curated crawl of some of Brooklyn’s best bars, restaurants, and bakeries, and The Big Show on July 11th at 50 Kent, which will be headlined by Common, the legendary Chicago M.C.

This is more than just an outdoor music festival: it’s history, art, and culture entwined.

Love outdoor festivals? Check out 9 Must-Do Food Festivals to Visit This Summer in NYC

[Feature Image Courtesy: Consequence of Sound]

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