Keep Musicool in Brooklyn

There’s something about summer that makes us want to sing and dance! As summer comes to an end, Brooklyn is keeping the music alive. Listen out at these upcoming, mostly outdoor, events in the best borough!


archSwing and Sway Away
There’s something for everyone at Live at The Archway, a weekly event every Thursday night in DUMBO under the Manhattan Bridge. The 18-week series from July to September boasts the best of Brooklyn talent, with broad music and performance genres including sizzling salsa, Colombian Cumbia, swing dancing, world roots music, sultry R&B, an Italian modern dance troupe, puppetry, funk, DJs and more. The free performances start at 6pm right under the Bridge, so the events are on rain or shine. Take in the epic scenery below the Manhattan Bridge and enjoy beer, wine and bites from The Lighthouse. Visit dumbo.is to see the full schedule. All ages.
50 Adams St, DUMBO.


funkFormidable Festival
A music festival that claims to give “power to the party”, AfroPunk Brooklyn returns to Commodore Barry Park on August 27 and 28. The annual festival was created by its founders to showcase what they billed as “alternative black culture”, with acts that didn’t always fit into other major festivals. Described by The New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US” AfroPunk promises an impressive weekend of live music and good vibes with an eclectic line-up and diverse audience. The international event, now also held in Paris and London, is a mix of music, art and politics. Come sundown the creeps into the streets, bars, and restaurants of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill and comedy shows, dance, pop-up performances, film screenings, art installations and drink specials will feature at AfroPunk After Dark. GA and VIP tickets are available for Saturday, Sunday or both days, from $45 to $250 plus booking fee.
Commodore Barry Park, Flushing Ave, Fort Greene.

 

americanaUnited Stages of America
For the second year running, round up your favorite folks, friends and family, and mosey on down to the Brooklyn Americana Festival. On September 23, 24 and 25, fifty free shows will be held over the course of three days, on seven stages, from outdoor daytime performances to evening concerts. Festival-goers will shimmy and sway to the best original and traditional Americana musicians, playing live country, folk, roots, blues, old time and bluegrass and enjoy performances from Brooklyn’s Best plus special guests from Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. The beloved pioneer hosting establishments in DUMBO and Red Hook include The Archway, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Gala at Jalopy, Sunny’s Bar, 68 Jay St Bar, Superfine and Bait N Tackle. All ages. Visit bkamf.com to see the full schedule.
Various locations in DUMBO and Red Hook.


Pave the Wavenext wave

Although the Brooklyn Academy of Music delivers impressive shows year-round, their Next Wave Festival is one of the largest experiments in live performance in the world. The annual multimedia, multi-genre art festival includes music, theatre, opera and dance, and runs September 7 through December 18. Opening the festival is “the loser” an opera piece by David Lang in which the title character is held in mid-air with a grand piano hovering in the distance behind him. The line-up also includes music by The Magnetic Fields, So Percussion and The Dublin Guitar Quartet. Single tickets for all shows are now on sale and range from $20-$130. Subscriptions to the festival are also available.
Various locations in Downtown Brooklyn.

Events for Independence Play

The Fourth of July is fast upon us. On Monday we will celebrate the birth of US independence – you could say it was our very own Brookxit! If you’re celebrating in our brilliant borough, here are our recommendations.


brooklyn-bridge-park-fireworks-nycFire Up

For the 40th year, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks will light up the sky over the East River. Bigger and better than ever, the annual sky spectacular will wow spectators across downtown Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. From around 9:20pm over 56,000 fireworks will burst forth at a rate of 2,200 per minute. For a good viewing spot you will have to get there early – so pack a picnic and make a day of it. Be prepared to stand or sit on the ground – no chairs or large items are allowed into viewing areas. Brooklyn Bridge Park will be the prime spot, followed by Brooklyn Heights Promenade, or you could head further north to Grand Ferry Park or East River State Park in Williamsburg, or Greenpoint’s WNYC Transmitter Park. Of course if you have any friends with rooftops in the area, now is the time to give them a call! As the highest point in Brooklyn, Sunset Park is also a great option.


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If battling the crowds to see the fireworks isn’t how you’d like to celebrate freedom then there will be plenty of festive-fun on the boardwalk down south at Coney Island. Ride the roller-coaster, play carnival games, enjoy some fried-fare, go swimming or relax on the beach. The now in its 100th year, the famous Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Competition will chomp-off at 10am. Will anyone beat Joey Chestnut’s world record of 69 franks and buns in 10 minutes? The Coney Island Fireworks kick-off at 9:30pm and while the pyrotechnics are much more low-key than Macy’s, the beach view more than makes up for it!


parkPark It

Can’t decide who gets your vote for best Independence Day activity? Well our presumptive nominee is Prospect Park! The Prospect Park Alliance has organized a day of free or inexpensive family-friendly activities. Celebrate the holiday with a ride on the Park’s beloved 1912 carousel, from 12-6pm ($2 per ride, $9 for a book of 5 tickets, free with Alliance Family Plus membership). From 1-4pm Lefferts Historic House will celebrate America’s birthday with reproductions of one of the greatest documents ever written, the Declaration of Independence. Make yourself a plumed hat to wear while signing your own “John Hancock” ($3 suggested donation). The Audubon Center will host a free day of nature exploration from 12-4pm with Discovery Packs, bird games and a Citizen Science project.


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It is important to remember that when the Declaration of Independence was signed, African-Americans were still slaves. The 45th Annual International African Arts Festival (IAFF) is a great opportunity to celebrate traditional and contemporary expression of various African cultural art forms. The four-day grassroots cultural festival is a fave of local African-American and Caribbean American Brooklynites. From 10am-9pm, Friday to Monday, Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene will be transformed into an outdoor African cultural oasis with a Food Court, music and dance performances, a kids play zone, poetry show and more. What started in 1971 as a small vendor market has grown into an African Marketplace with over a hundred vendors offering one-of-a-kind, handcrafted original designs of merchandise ranging from jewelry, fashion, body products imported African fabric, artifacts, furniture, paintings and more. Entry is by suggested donation ($5).

Let’s Talk About Mex, Baby

Enchiladas, micheladas, empanadas, tostadas…  These are a few of our favorite Mexican things! Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, commemorating the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces on May 5, 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. The occasion has since expanded into a celebration of Mexican cuisine, culture and music. Here’s where you’ll find the party in Brooklyn. Salud!

 

571551b714385Mexican Sunset
A familia-friendly affair, Brooklyn Recreation will host a celebration of Mexican culture in the Brooklyn community at Sunset Park Recreation Center from 4-7pm. Music, dance, food, arts and crafts and more will be on hand, and the event is completely free! That’s what we’re tacoing about!

 

 


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Go slow on the mezcal and keep it classy, literally, at The Brooklyn Kitchen’s Cinco de Mayo cooking party! The industrial-chic cooking store in Williamsburg is celebrating the culinary delights of Mexico with a cooking class from 6:30-8:30pm, featuring tacos, traditional pozole, a tortilla-making station and margaritas. Jalapa Jar will run a hands-on salsa-making workshop. The class is $75 and attendees will receive a 10% discount on everything in the store.

 

fondaFond of this Fiesta
Gourmet guacamole and good times guaranteed at Mexican restaurant Fonda in Park Slope. Open from 3pm, you’ll want to sit in the sun in the outdoor back patio and sip special “Su Casa” drinks with your amigos until it’s time to siesta. Happy hour is from 3-6pm, and from 7-8pm Mariachi Guadalajara will spice things up with live music. Reservations recommended!

 

Never Bean Betterburrito
From Sunday to Thursday Burrito Bar & Kitchen is celebrating Cinco de Mayo! The lively Tex-Mex spot in Prospect Heights will have nightly margarita specials, free raffles and giveaways. Take a creative pic wearing a colorful sombrero and share it to be in the running for a surprise giveaway. $10 admission on Thursday includes a complimentary Avion margarita. You’re encouraged to fiesta like there’s no manana!

Brooklyn Spring Flings

Not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket… Spring is here! We’ve rounded up a bunch of the best Brooklyn sunny season happenings.

 

Brooklyn-Cherry-Blossom-600x338Florals for Spring?

Groundbreaking, we know… But Cherry Blossom Season is in full Spring swing throughout March and April at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and you won’t want to miss it. For serious floral fanatics, check out the cherry blossom status map and plan your visit accordingly to get the full impact of these blossoming beauties.

 

brooklyn folk festival

Soak in the Folk

Do you long to boogie to the banjo, or have an urge to throw one into a river? You can do both at the 8th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival, taking place the second weekend of April at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights. Compete in the Banjo Toss, take a fiddle workshop or just get your Spring swing on to string-bands, bluegrass, Balkan music, blues and more at the three-day festival.

 

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Senegal Sway and Sing

Now in its 39th year, the nation’s largest festival dedicated to African dance, DanceAfrica takes place the last weekend in May at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. This year the celebrations focus on the dance and music traditions of Senegal, with performances, African fashion, artwork, film screenings and community events.

 

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The Tastea Time You’ve Bean Waiting For

Ceylon, Cortado, Rooibos, Ristretto… If we’re speaking your language, then we know there will be some pep in your step as you head to the 11th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. On March 19-20 over 60 exhibitors from around the globe will pour tastings of their finest, newest and award-winning caffeinated brews.