The New York music scene has long been one of the most vibrant and diverse in the world. Well established along with up and coming artists from every genre, including some which haven’t even been named yet, perform daily in spaces ranging from dive bars to posh nightclubs.
Performance calendars, like here, illustrate this concept well. However music fans who are planning their first visit to NYC might want to consider planning their vacation around one of the city’s music festivals.
Traditional and Showcase Events
The Governors Ball is one of the longest running festivals around and has definitely earned the title of “Best New York Summer Music Festival.” The three-day festival kicks off June 3rd and features a diverse lineup including Beck, Kanye West, Courtney Barnett, Eagles of Death Metal, Death Cab for Cutie, Killers, and Bat for Lashes.
The producers of Coachella are also planning to bring the Panorama Festival to the City in July. The festival has run into a number of obstacles, including being forced to change the dates and location due to opposition from the Governors Ball organizers. While the Coachella producers have managed to make camping in the California desert cool based on the festival’s lineup, art installations, and general vibe, the Panorama Festival seems to be a bit up in the air. The lineup for Panorama has not yet been announced, but is well worth watching if you are planning to travel in July.
If discovering new artists is more your thing, consider the CMJ Music Marathon which happens in October. The weeklong event, which is celebrating its 36th anniversary, features concerts and showcases at venues throughout New York along with conferences, parties, and other events.
New York remains one of the best destinations for music lovers, including record shops as well. While some of the fabled shops have unfortunately closed their doors, there remain a number of excellent choices for those who prefer discs over downloads.
The Thing in Brooklyn is more like a garage sale than a shop. There is no organization, no labels, no prices, just boxes and stacks of music from polka to obscure rock and hip hop singles. If a slightly more organized approach is more to your liking Rebel Records has one of the best selections of vinyl, including imports, that you will find anywhere. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly.
If you prefer a more traditional shopping experience, Rough Trade boasts a great selection of CDs with the bonus of a having a venue in the back that often features local and traveling artists. Classical and Jazz fans should include a visit to The Academy which is well known for its unsurpassed inventory of jazz and classical recordings on CD and vinyl.
New York hotels rank in the top five in the US in terms of costs, which can seriously eat into you music budget. Visitors can save a bundle by booking their stay through sites like Owners Direct and AirBnB, which feature everything from efficiency apartments to brownstones suitable for large groups.
Even with the uncertainty of the Panorama Festival, the 2016 vacation season includes many reasons for the music fan to include NYC in their plans.