Free Music, Theater, and Dance Events on the Bryant Park Lawn Presented by Bank of America

Article Contributed by GreenHouse Publicity | Published on Thursday, April 13, 2023

Bryant Park Corporation announces the 2023 lineup for its summer performing arts series, Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America. Twenty-six live music, dance, and theater events will take place at Midtown Manhattan's Bryant Park between June 1 to September 14. All shows are free to the public and designed to be enjoyed casually – no tickets required – with more than five hundred picnic blankets for audience members to borrow and ample chairs available.

Picnic Performances has grown into one of the foremost outdoor performing arts festivals in New York City. Last summer more than 75,000 people attended the series, and nearly half a million watched the free performance livestreams. Picnic Performances has become a vital outdoor platform for New York’s arts institutions including longstanding partners like Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Joe’s Pub, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The 2023 season features world-class local artists as well as performers from as far away as Italy, Colombia, Turkey, Finland, and South Africa.

Bryant Park Corporation's President Dan Biederman says, "Thanks to Bank of America’s support, Picnic Performances has become an established venue for major cultural events. There is no easier way to experience NYC’s extraordinary music, theater, and dance: just come to Bryant Park, grab a free blanket or chair, and enjoy."

“Bryant Park Picnic Performances are a staple of the New York City summer and cultural scenes,” said José Tavarez, President, Bank of America New York City. “We believe that the arts are a unifying force that promote cultural understanding, and are proud to continue our support of one of the most iconic green spaces in the city.”

2023 season highlights:

New York City Opera opens the season (6/1) with a one-night-only, staged, and costumed production of Puccini’s La Bohème with orchestral accompaniment. Later, New York City Opera brings fully staged, dressed and live music-supported productions of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (8/18) and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet (9/8), as well as a concert of Italian favorites with tenor Alessandro Lora (8/19)

Jazzmobile, celebrating its 59th anniversary, returns with the 19-member The Steven Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra and an evening of non-stop dance music (6/2)

Major dance companies and rising stars perform over four evenings of Contemporary Dance in June. Performers include Robin Dunn and a multi-artist dance celebration of hip hop’s 50th anniversary, Dance Heginbotham, Soles of Duende, Josh Johnson, Terk Lewis, and Kayla Farrish

Up-and-coming bands perform at the annual Emerging Music Festival (6/23, 6/24). Artists include Katy Kirby, Miss Grit, THUS LOVE, Psymon Spine, Ky Voss, Seramic, and Dead Tooth

Carnegie Hall Citywide presents five nights of music, featuring six-time Grammy Award winner Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (7/7), violinist-fiddler Tessa Lark and composer-bassist Michael Thurber with special guest Louis Cato (7/14), an album-release show with renowned Mexican vocalist Magos Herrera featuring chamber orchestra The Knights (7/21), Champe-Soukous Collective (7/28), South African vocal group and America's Got Talent finalist Ndlovu Youth Choir (8/4)

Jalopy Theatre curates a three-part folk festival with bluegrass headliners Michael Daves Quartet Ft. Tony Trischka, Malian kora virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko, and lap steel guitarist Terrell King (6/30)

Ailey II, the renowned and dynamic second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, returns to Bryant Park as part of the second annual Ailey Moves NYC! (8/3)

Obie Award winning, Emmy Award nominated songwriter and performer, Shaina Taub leads a special night of music in partnership with Joe’s Pub (8/11)

Accordions Around the World brings a lineup of woman-led bands with Colombian cumbia and vallenato from Latin-Grammy nominated Diana Burco, an all-female Ragini Ensemble from Brooklyn Raga Massive, and Finland’s Suistamon Sähkö and their high-energy and experimental dance music (8/25)

Roulette Intermedium celebrates their 45th Anniversary with a program of renowned artists who got their start at the venue (8/26) including 75 Dollar Bill, Ka Baird, and a jazz artist TBA

The Classical Theatre of Harlem stages a riveting, abridged version of the musical Langston in Harlem, celebrating the Harlem Renaissance through Langston Hughes' poetry

Leon Botstein conducts the American Symphony Orchestra in a program highlighting the different forms of expression and musical languages that emerged following World War I such as dance, theater and jazz (9/7)

Drom marks the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic with the U.S. Debut of Istanbul-based psych-rocker Gaye Su Akyol (9/9)

The season closes with a Harlem Stage 40th Anniversary Celebration performance featuring a major jazz artist TBA (9/14)

More than 20 shows from the 2023 season will be livestreamed for free on Bryant Park’s social media channels and website, reaching national and international audiences. Additional media support is provided by public radio stations WBGO and WQXR.

Attendees may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. At all performances, attendees can discover new dishes and celebrate classics from the five boroughs with a rotating line-up of local artisanal vendors curated by Hester Street Fair. Stout NYC offers giant pretzels, gourmet popcorn and other light bites as well as a selection of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.

Additional artist and performance information will be available in the coming months. For the most current information please visit