With temperatures still sky high, August in New York is the ideal time to head to a fun-packed event where entertainment and cooling refreshments are both in ready supply.
The city that never sleeps is as wide awake as ever during August, with NYC playing host to a huge number of exciting indoor and outdoor events of every kind, from exhibitions to concerts to festivals and more. If you’re planning to be in the Big Apple next month and would like to add some great events to your itinerary, we’ve dug deep and picked out 12 of the best due to take place around this time.
Established in 1986, the SummerStage Festival has grown to become one of the most eagerly awaited events on the city’s cultural calendar. Held primarily in Central Park, but also 12 local community parks across the city, the festival showcases both established and emerging artists spanning a wide range of genres including salsa, jazz, hip-hop, indie rock, reggae, Afrobeat, soul, pop, global, contemporary dance, and many more.
Central Park and other venues / Through October 2022
After debuting last year, Seltzerland returns for a second outing in 2022, once again turning Pier 36 on the Lower East Side into a hard seltzer paradise. Guests will be able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind, outdoor experience spending the afternoon tasting 100+ unique hard seltzers against the backdrop of the New York skyline. While you’re drinking your favourite bubbly, there’ll be tons of entertainment. Play seltzer pong, lemonade ladder, golf and cornhole with your crew, dance to the DJ beats, take pics in the White Claw inflatable bubble booth, and go home with all the seltzer swag you could dream of at this all-action hard-seltzer party.
Pier 36, Lower East Side / 6 August 2022
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Bryant Park’s long-running, wildly popular, and free Movie Nights series is back once again this year, offering film screenings every Monday through to the middle of August. The line-up of screenings will include such classics of the silver screen as Star Trek VIII: First Contact, Grease 2 and The Godfather Part II. The park will open at 5pm each Monday evening for picnicking, with the movies starting at 8pm.
Bryant Park / Mondays throughout August 2022
‘Jamel Shabazz: Eyes on The Street’ exhibition
Brooklyn photographer Jamel Shabazz identified at an early age the core subject of his lifelong investigation: the men and women, young and old, who invest the streets of New York with theatre and style, mixing traditions and cultures. Shabazz became one of the first photographers to realise the joyous, infectious potential of youth culture in neighbourhoods such as Red Hook, Harlem and Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This exhibition pays homage to Shabazz’s illustrious career of over 40 years, documenting the vibrant interaction of New Yorkers with their neighbourhoods.
The Bronx Museum of the Arts / Through 4 September 2022
Celebrate the Caribbean festival
Join Brooklyn Children’s Museum in celebrating Caribbean history and cultures at this fun-packed festival. Get ready for a day of dance, games, stilt walkers, live music, art-making, face painting, steel drum performances, and delicious food and nibbles. The event features performances and workshops by CarNYval Dancers, Sesame Flyers, and presented in partnership with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum / 6 August 2022
‘Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color’ exhibition
The Met has a long history of investigating, preserving, and presenting manifestations of original colour on ancient statuary. Featuring a series of reconstructions of ancient sculptures in colour, this exhibition reveals the fascinating backstory of polychromy—meaning “many colours,” in Greek – shining a light on the traditions of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture which were once colourful, vibrantly painted and richly adorned with detailed ornamentation.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park / Through 26 March 2023
US Tennis Open
The U.S. Open – New York’s exhilarating summer tennis Grand Slam – returns to Flushing Meadow in mid-August, promising three weeks of elite action on the courts. With a total of 25 tournament sessions taking place across the event at the prestigious USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, tennis fans keen to catch a game have a choice of reserved stadium seating or general admission grounds passes, both of which can be booked online.
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadow, Queens / 19 August – 11 September 2022
Franz Ferdinand: Hits To The Head Tour live show
Scottish indie rockers Franz Ferdinand will come to the Big Apple this summer to perform for one night only at The Rooftop at Pier 17. Part of their greatest hits tour of the UK, Europe and north America, the show will feature their ‘best of’ album entitled Hits To The Head. The album includes tracks from across the band’s career including unheard track ‘Curious’ and new single ‘Billy Goodbye’.
The Rooftop at Pier 17 / 13 August 2022
Older than dinosaurs – and more threatened than threatening – sharks are spectacular, surprising, and often misunderstood. Inviting visitors to discover the diversity of this ancient and fascinating group of fishes, this exhibition features dozens of life-sized shark models, as well as fossils from the museum’s collections, touch-free interactive exhibits that challenge visitors to hunt like a hammerhead, and more for visitors of all ages.
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West / Through 14 August 2022
Elvis Costello & the Imposters live show
English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello is loved and cherished by music fans around the world and New Yorkers will have the chance to see him in the flesh for one night only this August. Costello and his band, The Imposters, will be performing at The Rooftop at Pier 17 as part of their US tour, where they’ll be joined on stage by Texas guitarist, Charlie Sexton. As part of the show, there’ll also be an opening set by Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets, the first time since 1989 that the pair have toured together.
The Rooftop at Pier 17 / 11 August 2022
‘Cecilia Vicuña: Spin Spin Triangulene’ exhibition
Exploring themes of memory, language, science, and Indigenous spirituality and knowledge, this is the first solo exhibition in a New York museum for the pioneering contemporary Chilean artist, poet, activist, and filmmaker Cecilia Vicuña. Showcasing Vicuña’s artistic production from the late 1960s to today, it will feature the breadth of her multidisciplinary practice, including paintings, works on paper, textiles, films, installations, and more.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Through 5 September 2022
‘Austrian Masterworks from the Neue Galerie’ exhibition
The acclaimed Neue Galerie celebrates the 20th anniversary of the founding of the museum this year, and the latest presentation of masterworks from the prestigious venue’s collection features an assortment of Austrian art from the period 1890 to 1940. Among the exhibition’s highlights are Gustav Klimt’s 1907 masterpiece Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I and related preparatory sketches, as well as various landscapes by the renowned artist.
Neue Galerie New York / Through 10 November 2022
by Paul Joseph