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Culture Things To Do

Here Are All The Free Performances On NYC’s Floating Park ‘Little Island’ This Summer

By Claire Leaden

Here Are All The Free Performances On NYC’s Floating Park ‘Little Island’ This Summer

NYC’s first “floating park” Little Island has become the hot spot of the summer here in NYC.

And one of the biggest draws is their fabulous outdoor performance spaces! From the 687-seat amphitheater (“The Amph”) to the more intimate stage and lawn (“The Glade”), to all the lush green spaces, the Island worked to fill their summer calendar with as many outdoor events as possible.

Note: there are paid events you can buy tickets for, but for this article we only included the free ones! For an all-encompassing list of happenings, check their website here.

And remember — even though tickets are free, if the event is after 12 p.m. you must reserve a ticket to enter the island (which you can also do on their site here)! More info. is detailed below.

Here are all the free performances on Little Island this summer:

Weekly Series

Michael Grimm / Courtesy, Little Island

Same time and place every week in June, July & September.

Sunset Sounds
Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in The Glade
Relax and unwind after a long day at Sunset Sounds. Showcasing a variety of musicians and artists, come and enjoy a show full of sweet sounds as the sun sets on the Hudson.

Live! at Lunch
Thursdays at 12 p.m. in The Amph
Enjoy a short respite from your workday with this weekday performance in The Amph. This music-forward series will feature a rotation of solo artists and small bands representing a variety of genres.

Music in the Glade with Michael McElroy
Thursdays at 9 p.m. in The Glade
Curated by Little Island Artist-In-Residence Michael McElroy, Music in the Glade is a weekly music series featuring Crystal Monee Hall, Joshua Henry, Jen Sanchez, Marcelino Feliciano, and artists chosen from the Perform in the Park submissions.

Late Night in The Play Ground
Saturdays at 10 p.m. in The Play Ground
Come and enjoy a slice of NYC nightlife here on Little Island. Whether you’re enjoying a cabaret evening or singing along to your favorite tunes, you’ll have a blast every Saturday night.

Weekend Wind Down
Sundays at 7 p.m. in The Glade
On Sunday nights in The Glade, we invite family audiences to engage with a variety of art forms including music, puppetry, comedy, shadow play, and more. It’s a great way to close out your weekend and fun for all ages.

July

“The Amph,” Michael Grimm / Courtesy, Little Island

Free Music in the Amph
June 13, July 4, and 31 from 1-5 p.m. in The Amph
Little Island is electrified by Free Music in the Amph, a weekend concert series in our largest performance space. Drop by any time to catch a double bill of two musical acts or to discover your new favorite act.
Artists: Mariachi Real De Mexico, Cassandra, The Missing Element, The Afro-Latineers, Anbessa Orchestra, Cristian Allexis & Urbanova

Savory Talks & Performances
June 21, June 28, July 19, July 26, Sep 20, and 27 at 6 p.m. in The Glade
Savory Hospitality hosts a free recurring series with conversations with culinary and farming industry leaders to explore topics of sustainability and justice in our communities.

After Hours with Tina Landau
June 30 and July 28 at 9 p.m. in The Amph
Little Island Artist-In-Residence Tina Landau curates After Hours, with entertainment celebrating young female composers, work by transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming artists, or even a night of music with some of Tina’s friends from Broadway.

Little Island Storytelling Festival

A celebration of storytelling takes over Little Island in July, where singer-songwriters, musicians, poets, and more show how stories can be told in a variety of art forms. Programs mix and match genres while artists invite audiences to collaborate in the creative process. Curated by Little Island Artist-in-Residence PigPen Theatre Co., this multidisciplinary festival draws upon their theatrical and eclectic style to animate and activate Little Island’s spaces with stories and wonder.

Free Storytelling Festival events:

Wednesday, July 21

Thursday, July 22

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Friday, July 23

Saturday, July 24

Sunday, July 25

August

Courtesy Little Island
The August Festival

August 11 – September 5, 2021

The statewide NY PopsUp! Initiative—designed to revitalize the arts and entertainment sector of New York—will culminate this summer with Little Island’s August festival. The festival, under the artistic leadership of producer Mikki Shepard in collaboration with artistic advisors and artist curators, celebrates New York City’s wonderful mix of cultures reflected in four weeks of adventurous, free live performances, including innovative site-specific dance, experimental music, interactive poetry walks, late-night comedy shows, surprising collaborations and new commissions, with over 35 free performances in The Amph.

Full schedule of events and ticket reservations go live on July 15 at 2 p.m.

September

Courtesy Little Island
Little Island Dance Festival

Join us for a park-wide takeover of percussive dance forms, filling Little Island’s spaces with beats and rhythms of lively movement styles. Co-curated by Little Island Artist-in-Residence Ayodele Casel and Torya Beard, the Dance Festival features tap artists, classical and contemporary Indian Kathak dance, African drumming, and more in a variety of performances including a National Dance Day celebration on September 18. The Festival culminates with a showcase of young dance artists that you won’t want to miss.

Wednesday, September 15

Thursday, September 16

Friday, September 17

Saturday, September 18

Sunday, September 19

Savory Talks & Performances
Sep 20, and 27 at 6 pm in The Glade
Savory Hospitality hosts a free recurring series with conversations with culinary and farming industry leaders to explore topics of sustainability and justice in our communities.

featured image source: Michael Grimm / Courtesy, Little Island

See also: Bryant Park Is Hosting 25 Incredible Free Outdoor Concerts This Summer