7 Top Festivals You Need To Experience In New York

We are right in the middle of 2021, and the situation seems much better than last year. With more than 4.5 billion people vaccinated against Covid-19 globally, it is time to enjoy the top festivals with oomph, at least once in your lifetime! 


We are talking about the metropolis where dreams come true! New York. While some New Yorkers rejoice in the Hamptons for escaping the summers, you can enjoy these top festivals all summer long. The city never sleeps, and neither should you when you’re here. 


Summer is the time to immerse yourself in music, Electro, Techno, Salsa, or hip hop, you name it, and New York will serve it to you hot! 


1. Electric Zoo Music Festival 

Happening from September 3 to 5, 2021, New York’s premium Electronic music festival is back with a bang this year. The event is happening at Randall’s Island Park, where internationally renowned and one of the top festivals globally brings along a wide variety of performances from across the world. 


Indulge yourself in the spectrum of electronic music and its sub-genres. The previous international editions of the festival in Mexico, Tokyo, Shanghai, and São Paulo have already set the stage on fire. 


The festival is known for celebrating the soul of electronic music every single year, making it to the top of our list of the most immersive music festivals in the world.


2. Portal Burn 


The Portal Burn is happening from September 3-6 in Hannibal, New York, or as some people call it, the “upstate New York.” 


The event is like nothing else. Every year, the stage is designed by a selected group of temporary communities where everyone participates equally to make it a grandeur the festival is. Since people work together to make the event like it is, there is no presence of any kind of vendors, which means nothing is bought or sold. 


The event runs on a sustainable model where items are gifted freely through volunteers. 


The event’s board members, rangers, medics, and other essential people running the event are volunteers since everyone believes the Portal Burn Festival belongs not just to them but equally to everyone! 


At the festival, you will find yourself immersed in a wild and wonderful world of uninhibited self-expressing creativity, coming out through art, music, performances, food and drinks, and other participatory events and activities. 


The event is based on the fundamentals of getting together as a community, inclusion, self-reliance, civic engagement and responsibility, participation, decommodification, and immediacy.  


3. Governors Ball Music Festival 



The contemporary music festival started its journey almost a decade back and is happening again from September 24th to September 26th. The festival is for the metropolitan music lovers, by the music lovers. The makers of the show believe New York deserves the festival to celebrate the life and vibrancy of the city. 


Music for the organizers and followers of the Governors Ball Music Festival is a priority in their lives. And with artists from all different backgrounds and genres coming together on four magnificent stages, there will always be something for everyone in the city of dreams. 


The event is coming back to the city at the Citi Field.


4. Summer Stage


The Summer Stage Festival is happening across various locations in New York City from June through October this year. 


The festival is one of New York’s largest outdoor performing arts festivals. The event brings together over 100 performers in 15-18 parks across the five boroughs. 


With different performances stretching from pop, world music, dance to Latin and theater, the event captures the landscape of New York during the summer arts festival. The event began over three decades ago, with more than 6 million visitors from New York City and around the globe. 


For the current year, the Summer Stage festival comes back to the recently renovated venue in Central Park, which has been an iconic flagship venue for years. New stage, new sound systems, upgraded lighting, magnificent backstages, raised seats, and enhanced concert-like experience for the visitors, a lot has changed since the festival first began 34 years ago. 


The Summer Stage festival is one of the top festivals and probably one of the only festivals that have maintained diversity in terms of performances, reflecting upon the soul of New York City. 


5. Borderland Festival 


The Borderland festival for music and arts is one of the few top festivals that embodies the history, renaissance, and culture of New York. It is a two-day event set against scenic backgrounds in the heart of New York State. The event this year is happening from September 18th - 19th, at the Knox Farm State Park. 


The festivities are spread across 633-acre grounds, just 16 miles south of Buffalo. The location is breathtakingly beautiful owing to the historic East Aurora, which also happens to be the birthplace of the Roycroft Arts and Crafts Movement. 


Knox Farm State Park was chosen carefully because of its grasslands, unique habitat, pastures, and woodlands. Serene ponds act as a cherry on the cake and are fit for people who love hiking, nature along with music and arts. 


6. Afropunk Festival 


Hello, Dan Humphry of Brooklyn; the Afropunk Festival is knocking on your door! 

Even though Gossip Girl did not consider Brooklyn a part of New York, we sure do! Brooklyn comes with its charm. The allure it has on people is unstoppable, making it a top spot to throw in yet another magnetic music festival in New York. 


The Afropunk festival is happening all through August this year. 

The event is a cumulative effort of an influential community of young, highly talented people coming together from various backgrounds, all speaking through the language of art, music, films, fashion, and much more! Afropunk is the voice you are missing, the voice that is unheard, unwelcomed, and unwritten. 


This event is based on African spirit and heritage. The punk in the name brings in the rebellion that is against the “simpler” routes of life. The event is raw, curious, and captivating. 


One of the top festivals celebrating culture, heritage, and rebellion creatively and collectively, Afropunk is a culmination of people who are ready to go above and beyond their natural paths to construct a new reality. It is by the people and for the people who are prepared to live their lives on their terms, even when it does not make sense to others! 


Pretty much like Dan Humphry, right?


7. Rocks Off Concert Cruises



If we talk about top festivals in New York, how can we not mention a small cruise? Though the concept of a concert and a cruise are worlds apart, the show manages to bring them together with success and enthusiasm. 


Happening at various locations, from July through September 2021, the Rocks Off Concert Cruises brings together people onboard a cruise ship for a 3-hour concert experience. Once aboard, you are bound to find some of the best people with great music and good times, which is not possible to find in any other concert venue. 


Adding to the music, charm, and people, the event ends up being more memorable because of its iconic and breathtaking views of the New York Skyline. Treat yourself to this concert cruise this year.


Final Words


There are just too many incredible events coming up this year throughout the state of New York. It’s really hard to determine which of these top festivals is better than the others on the list. We cannot wait to go and personally check each of them out, and our Leisure travel guide experts say you shouldn't wait too!



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