FREE: Summer Concerts at the Empire State Plaza

The schedule of concerts, films, festivals and community events for the Empire State Plaza’s 2015 Summer at the Plaza series has been announced. It all kicks off on Wednesday, June 3, and it’s all FREE…

New this year is the Plaza at 50 Festival – a day-long event that will feature a farmer’s market, food, music and fireworks – that will wrap up the summer 2015 schedule of events.

The Summer at the Plaza stage is being moved to the north end of the Plaza – closest to the Capitol – due to ongoing construction on the State Museum staircase. Because the staircase seating will not be available, people are encouraged to bring their own chairs this summer.

Here’s the 2015 schedule for the Summer at the Plaza concerts and festivals:

Wednesday, June 3, 5–9pm
With Barrere & Tackett (of Little Feat) and Jocelyn Arndt
Orleans is best known as the ’70s pop/rock band that brought you the iconic hits “Still the One,” “Dance With Me” and “Love Takes Time.” Now entering its 41st year of live performances, Orleans has produced a body of work spanning 16 albums and several DVDs.

Wednesday, June 10, 5–9pm
With the Features and Stellar Young
Infectious London-based indie rock outfit the Vaccines formed in the late 2000s around the talents of Justin Young, Árni Hjörvar, Freddie Cowan and Pete Robertson. The quartet has drawn comparisons to everyone from Surfer Blood and the Drums to the Strokes and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Wednesday June 17, 5–9pm
With the Chris Dukes Band
The seventh season winner of NBC-TV’s “The Voice,” country singer Craig Wayne Boyd hit number one on the charts with his rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line” and his single “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face” debuted at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Wednesday, June 24, 5–9pm
With Morgan Heritage and special guest Jemere Morgan
Reggae fusion artist Maxi Priest is one of those artists whose own unique vision has led him to tremendous international success. With the song “Close to You,” he became the first reggae artist to have a No. 1 hit worldwide – including the U.S. Billboard charts. His effortless blend of reggae, R&B, and dancehall has universal appeal.

Saturday, July 4, 3–10pm
Price Chopper Presents New York State’s 4th of July Celebration
The annual event – one of the largest in the Capital Region – features live music and fun for the whole family including the biggest fireworks show in the region. A naturalization ceremony, dozens of food and craft vendors, activities for kids, and an evening of live entertainment leading up to the big pyrotechnics show.

Wednesday, July 8, 5–9pm
With Alex Bugnon
Saxophonist Kim Waters is a staple on the urban-jazz landscape with a deep catalog that boasts 14 No. 1 singles including “Waterfall,” “Secrets Told” and “Midnight at the Oasis,” as well as four No. 1 albums and 16 Top 10 singles.

Saturday, July 11, 12noon–5pm
GE’s Kids Day is this area’s “kid-centric” outdoor event. Children can enjoy live music, theater and dance, in addition to an array of favorites, such as face painting, bounce rides, puppet shows, arts and crafts, animals, and balloons all in one place. Featuring Nick Jr. stars Peppa Pig and her brother George, Arm of the Sea Theater, bounce rides, the Two by Two Zoo, the Hannaford Ice Cream Challenge and a special Sing Along Adventure with Barney.

Saturday, August 1, 12noon–7pm
The Black Arts and Cultural Festival
A celebration of the traditions and cultural contributions of the black community through music, art, dance and more. In addition to the headline performance by Will Downing, the Prince of Sophisticated Soul, and more on the main stage, the fest will feature five other destination areas highlighting themes such as heritage, health & wellness, beauty, empowerment and kids.

Wednesday, August 12, 11am–9pm
With Gedeon Luke & the People and Soul Sky
The New York State Food Festival
With nearly 100 food vendors to choose from, 15,000 people annually flock to the Plaza Food Festival for lunch, dinner or both. They come for the food and stay for a day of live musical entertainment, headlined by veteran alt-rockers Cracker.

Saturday, September 12, 5–10pm
With George Lamond, MW and DJ Boy
Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with this this tribute to Latin culture. Rich in tradition, the Hispanic community comes together in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center for a colorful pageantry of dance, food, and family-friendly activities and live music, including headliner Alex Matos, the award-winning Dominican pop balladeer and Salsa singer.

Wednesday, September 16, 12noon–8pm
The Plaza at 50 Festival
A day full of live entertainment, food, a farmers market and fireworks is in store for season’s last big Summer at the Plaza event, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the June 21, 1965 cornerstone laying at the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza.

Rockin’ On the River @ Green Island Bridge Parking Lot/Riverside Park, Troy (Wednesdays at 5pm)
Alive at Five @ Jennings Landing in the Corning Preserve, Albany (Thursdays at 5pm)
The Music Haven Concert Series @ the Music Haven in Central Park, Schenectady (Sundays at 7pm)

1 Comment
  1. Fred says

    Ugh–weak, weak options. I’ll opt for the Music Haven Series for certain in Schenectady.

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