Things to Do Festivals in NYC: From music to beer, there's a festival for you By amNY.com staff Updated May 21, 2018 5:15 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email No matter your interest, there's a festival for you. Several events are on the horizon. From RuPaul's Drag Con to the ice cream-centric Scooper Bowl, there is much to do coming up. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events happening in the city — and remember that New Yorkers buy tickets quickly. Improfilm Festival (May 24) Photo Credit: Cooper Koch Student filmmakers are showing off their short movies at the Improfilm Festival, which span themes from the relationship between sex workers and socioeconomic classes to the desire for stardom in this age and other complex relationships, including "Pay to Play" by filmmaker Rafael Samanez. ($3, 6 to 8 p.m., IFP Media Center, 30 John St., Brooklyn, eventbrite.com) Blue Note Jazz Festival (June 1-30) Photo Credit: Dino Perrucci Don't miss this festival if you're a jazz fan. There will be more than 100 performances over five NYC venues with musicians like Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti (pictured) at Sony Hall in Times Square, icon Art Garfunkel at The Town Hall, jazz vocalist Gregory Porter at Central Park SummerStage, jazz fusion guitar virtuoso Al Di Meola, renowned folk singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot and more. bluenotejazzfestival.com First-ever NYC Brass Festival (June 10) Photo Credit: Jason Shaltz Slavic Soul Party (pictured) and a host of other brass bands representing sounds from around the world are slated to gig for 10 hours straight at the McKittrick Hotel. After a brass parade snakes through the city from Pier 64 at West 24th Street to The McKittrick Hotel on West 27th Street (the home of "Sleep No More") around 2 p.m., the festival will begin in earnest, ending at midnight. ($45, 2 p.m. to midnight, 530 W. 27th St., nybrassfest.com Taste of Jewish Culture (June 17) Photo Credit: Workmen's Circle This year's street festival focuses on diversity and will feature dozens of local food purveyors who will serve original ethnic spins on traditional Jewish foods, including Bonsai Kakigori's Land of Milk and Honey kakigori, La Newyorkina's babka ice cream sandwiches, What's the Dillaz's reuben quesadillas and Krafted by Karli's sweet potato and beet latke. There also will be free egg creams for dads since it will be Father's Day. The fest will include dances by the "Fiddler on the Roof" cast by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, and an "Instant Yiddish" class. (Free, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sixth Avenue between 48th and 49th streets, circle.org) New York Opera Fest (through June 30) Photo Credit: Kevin Condon More than 20 opera companies are putting on 30 events throughout the city at pubs, libraries and playhouses, including a #MeToo take on Mozart's "Don Giovanni," a jazz opera based on the life of Kiki de Montparnasse, and a concert series inside Green-Wood Cemetery's catacombs (pictured). nyoperafest.com Rite of Summer Music Festival (May 19 - Aug. 18) Photo Credit: Fadi Kheir Governors Island will become a festival grounds for free outdoor concerts featuring contemporary classical music, from Sandbox Percussion, Ensemble Connect (pictured), DITHER and Collaborative Arts Ensemble. You can catch the shows at 1 and 3 p.m. for each respective date in Colonels Row. riteofsummer.com World Science Festival (May 29-June 3) Photo Credit: World Science Festival Sit in on talks between experts about black holes, neuroplasticity, aliens, how robots could be the end of humanity, the "cosmic riddle" of existence and more during this year's Science Festival. The festival isn't just talks -- you can also hop aboard the Mystic Whaler, a reproduction of a 19th century cargo schooner for a tour of the harbor, or go stargazing in Brooklyn Bridge Park, among other fun excursions. Underground Science Festival (May 30-June 6) Photo Credit: Caveat Enjoy subversive science comedy, "unconventional deep dives" into the failures that drive science and learn about unsung heroes and forgotten names who should've been credited along the way, according to Caveat, which is hosting the festival. The lineup includes "Rosalind Franklin's Revenge," a comedy and reading show about overlooked scientists, Hypothesisters, a cabaret that celebrates women in science, and more. caveat.nyc/usf Scooper Bowl (June 1-3) Photo Credit: Angelito Jusay The all-you-can-eat ice cream festival is returning to Bryant Park for its second year, with scoops from about a dozen commercial and artisanal creameries, including national companies like Ben & Jerry's and homegrown businesses like the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Proceeds benefit the Jimmy Fund, which supports pediatric and adult cancer care and research at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. ($20 to $25, noon to 9 p.m. on June 1-2, and from noon to 7 p.m. on June 3, eventbrite.com) Brooklyn Film Festival (June 1-10) Photo Credit: Yuko Torihara In its 21st year, the film fest's theme is "Threshold." With a lot of division, bigotry and Trump's proposed wall looming, we're on the threshold of change, but art always wins, according to organizers. So expect films that have been created out of bad times this year. The Lineup of 130 premieres will be announced at brooklynfilmfestival.org. Big Apple Barbecue (June 9-10) Big Apple Barbecue returns to" width="960" height="636" /> Big Apple Barbecue returns to" width="960" height="636" /> Photo Credit: Getty Images / Eric Schwortz The Big Apple Barbecue returns to Madison Square Park for the 16th year, filling the park with 16 pitmaster teams and their signature meats and sides. Joining their ranks are star whole-animal butchers Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest. A $125 "FastPass" entitles two ticket holders to express lane access and $100 worth of merchandise. A $250 VIP pass tops those perks with credentials for an open bar at a VIP "pit stop." Proceeds from food and beverage purchases benefit the Madison Square Park Conservancy. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Madison Square Garden, bigapplebbq.org) Barbercon (June 10-11) Photo Credit: Barbercon Barbers, cosmetologists and brands from around the world will descend upon New York City in June for Barbercon for those passionate about the trade. Haircutting tutorials, product demonstrations and classes will take place over three stages while a marketplace, a barber-themed art gallery and special guests will keep attendees busy. In 2016, Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Fat Joe presented Rich The Barber a Barbercon Award, so keep your eyes open. barbercon.com Maspeth Craft Beer Festival (June 15) Photo Credit: Geri Hughes-Crowe Taste the city's best brews as well as beers from across the country and the world. Cider and wine also will be featured at this festival, if you're not all about the beer. Food vendors like Ho'Brah Tacos will be on site, as well as live music. All proceeds will go toward charities supported by the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth. ($10 to $50, 6 to 10 p.m., 52-19 Flushing Ave., knockdown.center) Site-specific Dance Festival (Aug. 4-5) Photo Credit: Alice Gosti and Tim Summers INSITU is a group that works to make dance accessible to everybody and it's taking the Long Island waterfront by storm this August. For two days (32 hours), INSITU will perform 160 dances at Hunters Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queensbridge Park and Socrates Sculpture Park -- that's four 90-minute performances at each per day. If you want to take part, you can learn to dance in 20-minute workshops that will be done after the first three performance rounds at each park. (Free, 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m., insitudancefestival.com) International Puppet Fringe Festival (Aug. 6-12) Photo Credit: Teatro SEA This new festival will feature puppet troupes from around the world with performances, exhibits and symposiums. Shows will span genres from classical to experimental and musical. Teatro SEA's acclaimed production "Sueño" will be part of the programming each night of the festival from 7 to 9 p.m., however it will be free and open to the non-ticketed public as well. puppetfringenyc.com Nitehawk Shorts Festival (Nov. 7-12) Photo Credit: Nitehawk Cinema Nitehawk's six-day festival will feature short films under 20 minutes, special events and parties, which will include prizes, workshops and the cinema's new second location. Films will span genres, from animation, documentary and narrative to artist films, music videos and more -- all by local, national and international filmmakers. The festival's opening night and weekend matinee programs will include a speciality music program called "Music Driven," the popular "Midnite horror program," and a "Contenders" secret screening. nitehawkshortsfestival.com Queens World Film Festival (March 15-25) Photo Credit: Ken Brown More than 180 locally and globally sourced independent films will be screened at this festival, which will feature an opening night party, film screenings and special events across Queens. The gala will be held at 7 p.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image and feature a block of short films with the theme "Emotional Punch." Guests can meet the filmmakers, directors, producers, actors and actresses, as well as editors and production teams before the program begins. Films to be screened include "Black Cop," "The Magic Bomb," "#Selfie" and "Atomic Mother." A full pass is $150. queensworldfilmfestival.com Red Hook Fest (June 1-2) Photo Credit: Red Hook Fest The summer celebration has a lineup of musicians and dancers, and activities like kayak rides, face painting and a scavenger hunt. The festival kicks off with a cookout and dance party on Friday, followed by performances on Saturday. (Free, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, P.S. 15 and IKEA's Erie Basin Park, dtetc.org) Coney Island Mermaid Parade (June 16) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wroblewski Don your fin and glitter and get down to Coney Island for the 36th annual Mermaid Parade. About 3,000 people are expected to join in their creative get-ups and march to the beach for the official Beach Ceremony that opens the ocean for the summer swimming season. Register online. (Free to attend, $30 to march, 1 p.m., West 21st and Surf Avenue, coneyisland.com BookCon (June 2 & 3) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jemal Countess Actor Taye Diggs is slated to appear at BookCon alongside an impressive lineup of thriller and sci-fi authors, including Charlie Jane Anders ("All the Birds in the Sky"), Seth Dickinson ("The Traitor Baru Cormorant"), S.L. Huang ("Zero Sum Game"), David Baldacci ("End Game"), Sandra Brown ("Seeing Red"), Walter Mosley ("Down the River Unto the Sea") and Brad Meltzer ("The Escape Artist"). In addition to the panel discussions, new scribes will sign books and chat with fans along with previously announced attendees including authors Chuck Palahniuk and Angie Thomas and actors Diggs and Diane Guerrero. ($30 and up, Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St., thebookcon.com) OZY Festival (July 21-22) Photo Credit: Getty Images for Spotify / Alli Harvey Central Park's OZY Festival -- the annual hub for music, arts, politics, tech and food now in its third year -- has announced synth-rockers Passion Pit (pictured) and former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez as this year's headliners, along with a host of political figures including New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and DNC chairman Tom Perez. The festival, which drew 5,000 people to Rumsey Playfield last year, has expanded to a two-day run. ($55 for an individual Sunday ticket, $75 for an individual Saturday ticket and $98 for an individual two-day pass, ozy.com) Battery Dance Festival (Aug. 12-18) Photo Credit: The Battery Dance Festival New York City's longest-running free public dance festival is back again with an entire week of performances covering a slew of dance styles from countries such as Sri Lanka, the Dominican Republic, Botswana, Belgium and more. Between 10:30 a.m. and noon each day, there will be free dance workshops. Each night ends with a dance party for everyone. (7 to 9 p.m., Robert Wagner Jr. Park, Battery Park City, batterydance.org) Flame Con (Aug. 17-19) Photo Credit: Flame Con This comic convention is meant to provide the entire LGBTQ community with the opportunity to experience meaningful, provocative art that reflects itself with collaborative art workshops, Two hundred queer-oriented vendors (comics, arts, crafts, clothes and entertainment) will join creators such as Sina Grace ("Burn the Orphanage," and "Li'l Depressed Boy"), Tee Franklin ("Bingo Love"), Jen Bartel, and more. ($25 to $65, noon to 6 p.m., Sheraton Times Square, 811 Seventh Ave. eventbrite.com) RuPaul's Drag Con (Sept. 28-30) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chelsea Guglielmino Tickets for the second annual Drag Con at the Javits Center go on sale on May 14 for three whole days of fabulousness. In addition to RuPaul, the "Drag Race" darlings slated to attend include Trixie Mattel, Aja, Eureka O'Hara, Jasmine Masters and Milk. rupaulsdragcon.com By amNY.com staff Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments Comments section is temporarily on hold. Here’s why.