Central Park Summer Stage

In 2010, Central Park SummerStage celebrated its 25th anniversary. As part of the anniversary season, City Parks Foundation's free Concerts, Dance, and Theater initiatives were moved under the SummerStage umbrella and a major re-branding of the festival was launched. SummerStage now includes music, dance, film and theater performances in 16 parks in all five boroughs; furthering the reach of SummerStage and captivating audiences citywide. In its 25-year history, SummerStage has presented a total of 2,079 diverse artist performances at 950 events to over 3.26 million people in Central Park as well as other citywide parks.

SummerStage is an annual, free performing arts summer festival founded in 1986 which takes place at Rumsey Playfield in New York City's Central Park and, since 2010, in parks throughout the five boroughs of New York. In 1994, SummerStage was transferred to the City Parks Foundation, where it has remained. The critically acclaimed festival draws artists from around the globe in a multitude of genres and cultures, performing in an outdoor setting that is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. SummerStage works to develop audiences' deepening appreciation for contemporary, traditional, and emerging artists as well as the communities in which these artists originate.

Every year SummerStage brings together a diverse range of performers to its stage, reflective of the cultural diversity of New York City. A sample of these artists are: The Black Keys,Crosby Stills and Nash, Rufus Wainwright, Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Ween,The National, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Vampire Weekend, Marion Williams, David Bowie, Santigold, Curtis Mayfield, Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, TV on the Radio, Janelle MonĂ¡e, Patti Smith, M.I.A., a Joni Mitchell tribute, in which Joni herself showed up for the finale, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Sun Ra Arkestra, Devo, Femi and Seun Kuti, and John Legend. Celia Cruz gave her last performance ever at SummerStage, which was recorded and subsequently released on the 2005 SummerStage anniversary compilation CD "Central Park SummerStage: Live from the Heart of the City". Programming has also focused on featuring emerging acts, including Rupa and the April Fishes.
In August 2003, during the Eastern Seaboard blackout, the Indigo Girls were scheduled to perform. The band showed up to play and did, after the technical staff rewired the venue to work from a single generator. The Indigo Girls returned to perform a benefit concert for SummerStage in 2009.