Rooftops, Rockouts & Rosé: Your Guide To The Outdoor Music Season 2018

The Brooklyn Mirage. Photo: Dean McColl
The Brooklyn Mirage. Photo: Dean McColl

We’re approaching summer, and that means it’s time to get your dance on (and your drink on) outdoors. For North Brooklyn, the days of seeing live bands play in the belly of the decaying McCarren Park pool or along the Williamsburg waterfront have been dead for about a decade. Luckily there’s a handful of local venues picking up the torch, where you can groove to some sick jams al fresco. Read on for our top picks.

THE BROOKLYN MIRAGE | 140 Stewart Ave, Bushwick
Opening Weekend: May 19
Tickets and summer lineup available here
What to Expect: A massive outdoor Vegas-style DJ club with palm trees, 3D video projection mapping, an insane sound system & views of the Manhattan skyline. Tickets run from $30-40 for Early Bird Admission and upwards of $50 for General Admission. Most events start between 3pm-6pm and go till 4:30am.
Our Picks: Opening weekend, big lineup (May 19), Jamie Jones (June 2), Seth Troxler (June 24), more TBA

Elsewhere rooftop
Photo via Elsewhere

ROOFTOP @ ELSEWHERE | 599 Johnson Ave, Bushwick
Opening Weekend: Memorial Day, RSVP
Tickets and summer lineup available here
What to Expect: A new venue this season, Elsewhere’s rooftop space will host weekend shows and parties, sunset happy hours, frozen drinks, local DJs, art programming, weekend food pop-ups. Tuesday nights, the rooftop highlight film, food, and open-air art installations. Wednesday & Thursday nights are always free for sunset happy hours, DJs, frozen drinks, and rooftop hangs.
Our Picks: Zimmer (June 1), Mr. Twin Sister (June 7), Bakermat (June 15), Wrecked & The Carry Nation Pride Party (June 23), DFA Party (July 6), Viceroy (August 4).

Governors Ball 2017 - Photo by Dylan Lappin
Governors Ball 2017 – Photo by Dylan Lappin

GOVERNORS BALL at RANDALL’S ISLAND | 20 Randalls Island Park
Friday June 1–Sunday June 3
Tickets and lineup available here
What to Expect: Governor’s Ball is the most legit of the music festivals in NYC, and though it’s not in North Brooklyn it’s really just a hop, skip and a ferry ride to get there. Fests are not for the faint of heart, so you should expect to see both hardcore music fans and younger friend crews. The headliners really draw the crowds, but as with at any music fest, you’ll surely end up discovering some awesome band or two you can brag to your friends you saw way back before they blew up the scene. Pro tip: if you’re committed to the entire fest, take Friday and Monday off work. You won’t be one bit sorry. Last year we reviewed Governor’s Ball, and had a blast when all was said and done.
Our Picks: Jack White, James Blake and Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Friday night; 2 Chainz, Cut Copy and Japandroids on Saturday; Eminem, N.E.R.D, Chvrches, Sylvan Esso, Dirty Projectors & more on Sunday. Really, you can’t go wrong.

The Roof Summer 2018 from Output Club on Vimeo.

OUTPUT | 74 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg
Opening Weekend: May 11-13
Tickets and summer lineup available here
What to Expect: Multi-level rooftop with views of Manhattan and world class DJ’s. Get your day drink on—weekends get started at 2pm.
Our Picks: Tiki Disco (Sat May 19, Sat June 30, Sat July 28, Sat August 25, Sat Sept 8); The Ritual with Anané and Louie Vega (Sat June 2); Recloose (Sun June 3), Everyday Afrique (July 4th), ItaloJohnson (Sun Sept 16).

Mister Sunday at Nowadays, via Instagram
Mister Sunday at Nowadays, via Instagram

MISTER SUNDAY / NOWADAYS | 56-06 Cooper Ave, Bushwick/Ridgewood
Opening Weekend: Sunday, May 13
Tickets and summer lineup available here
What to Expect: Mister Sunday began nearly ten years ago as a summertime disco in a variety of venues, including next to the Gowanus Canal, a spinoff to the Santos Party House (RIP) OG dance party Mister Saturday Night. The DJs have gone legit in the last few years, opening up the indoor/outdoor venue Nowadays next to a superfund site—given the state of real estate in Brooklyn right now, we’ll happily take it. Caribbean food truck, BBQ stand, full bar, sweet jams, rain or shine, dogs are welcome! Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door, there are usually $10 and $15 early birds, and you can always RSVP to get in for $15 before 5pm.
Our Picks: Regulars Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin are always worth turning up for, but we recommend these special guest DJs too — Honey Dijon (Sun May 20), Ciel and DJ Python for Pride weekend (Sun June 21).

Warmup, via PS1. Photo by Charles Roussel
Warmup, via PS1. Photo by Charles Roussel

WARMUP at PS1 MOMA | 22-25 Jackson Ave, LIC
Opening Weekend: Saturday, June 30th
Tickets and summer lineup available here
What to Expect: Warmup has been going on for 20+ years in the outdoor courtyard at PS1 (the MOMA outpost in Queens, formerly a school building), and getting bigger and more spectacular every year . Each year a different artist group creates a large-scale piece for the courtyard, and this year’s installation involves oversized mirrors. Get there early to avoid lines (but there definitely will be lines). We recommend this year’s package ticket for $99, which gets you in to all 10 Warmup parties—if you’ve ever seen the lines, you’d agree this pricey ticket is probably a good idea.
Our Picks: The lineup hasn’t been announced yet but sign up for their mailing list to get the scoop.

Union Pool, image via Union Pool
image via Union Pool

SUMMER THUNDER at UNION POOL | 484 Union Ave
Opening Weekend: Saturday, June 2
FREE, lineup available here
What to Expect: Indoor/outdoor venue Union Pool has been a Williamsburg mainstay since the early aughts, and its reputation as a pickup zone has lasted just as long as its rep for putting on decent shows. Every summer they host their Summer Thunder daytime concert series, and it’s always a fun way to spend an afternoon. All shows are free and go from 2pm-6pm.
Our picks: Wand/Spirit of the Beehive (June 6); Sun Ra Arkestra (June 23); Joe Bataan (August 25)

Fools Gold Day Off 2018
FOOLS GOLD DAY OFF | Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave, Bushwick
Opening Weekend: August 11th (one date only)
Tickets $15, available here
What to Expect: While Knockdown Center is primarily an indoor venue, we expect at least part of this party will spill out into the courtyard, because that’s how record label Fools Gold (with a Williamsburg storefront on Grand Street) tends to roll. Their Day Off parties are notoriously epic ragers featuring DJs on their roster like A-Trak, Flosstradamus, Nick Catchdubs, and Jay Electronica. Last year’s event in Queens was shut down by the cops during Migos’ set. The lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but sign up on the Day Off site for updates.

About Megan Penmann

Formerly the Content Manager for Greenpointers, Megan is also a freelance creative director, writer, DJ and jane of all trades living in in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

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