Bryant Park Corporation announces the lineup for its summer performing arts series, Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America. Twenty -six live music, dance, and theater events – all starting at 7pm – will take place at Midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park between late May and September. All performances are free to the public and designed to be enjoyed casually – no tickets required – with ample seating available and free picnic blankets for audience members to borrow.
The 2021 season of Picnic Performances solidified the series’ role as a vital outdoor platform for New York City’s arts institutions, many of which are returning for 2022. Also returning are the popular performance livestreams, which can be watched on the park’s social media channels for free for more than 20 shows.
Season highlights include:
- New York City Opera, “The People’s Opera,” begins the season (5/27) with a one-night-only, staged and costumed production with orchestral accompaniment of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Later in the season New York City Opera brings its annual LGBTQ+ Pride in the Park concert (6/17) as well as additional fully staged, dressed and live music-supported productions of Verdi’s La traviata (8/12) and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (9/2).
- Major dance companies and rising stars perform at Contemporary Dance in June with curation by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, featuring Ayodele Casel, Ariel Rivka Dance, Works & Process at the Guggenheim’s The Missing Element, Music From The Sole, EMERGE125, and a Social Latin Dance Class with Spanish Ballet.
- Bryant Park hosts its first-ever Open Rehearsal Residencies on the stage with dance companies Jamel Gaines Creative Outlet and Athomasproject.
- Six up-and-coming bands perform at Emerging Music Festival (6/24, 6/25), now curated by AdHoc.
- Carnegie Hall Citywide presents five nights of genre-spanning music in July, featuring Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (7/1), The Baylor Project (7/8), Squirrel Nut Zippers (7/15), The Broadway Sinfonietta (7/25 ), and more TBA.
- Jazzmobile brings 8-time Grammy Nominee and Latin Jazz legend Bobby Sanabria and his 21-piece Multiverse Big Band (7/23).
- Asian American Arts Alliance brings sets from composer-producers Rafiq Bhatia and Ian Chang (8/19).
- Habibi Festival, a celebration of music from the Middle East and North Africa, has its Bryant Park premiere (8/26) in partnership with Joe’s Pub.
- The Town Hall presents Grammy Award-winning Eighth Blackbird, playing the music of John Cage (8/29).
- Acclaimed jazz pianists Aaron Diehl and Orrin Evans perform as a duo in partnership with Steinway (9/8).
- Accordion Festival is back with three world music performers featuring the accordion, with Heart of Afghanistan and more (9/16).
- The season closes with American Symphony Orchestra celebrating their 60th anniversary (9/17).
Bryant Park Corporation’s President Dan Biederman says, “Thanks to Bank of America’s commitment, Picnic Performances brings world-class music, theater, and dance to more than a quarter of a million people each summer-both in-person on the lawn and through the livestreams. “
Attendees may bring their own food or purchase from on-site food and beverage vendors near the Lawn. At most performances, attendees can purchase food from a rotating line-up of local NYC vendors curated by Hester Street Fair. At all performances, Stout NYC offers cheese and charcuterie boards as well as a selection of beer, wine, frozen, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase. COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are not currently required but Bryant Park will continue to monitor and follow updated New York City and New York State COVID-19 guidelines throughout the summer as necessary.
This spring marks the 30th anniversary of Bryant Park’s 1992 reopening after an extensive redesign and revitalization. Through Bryant Park Corporation’s commitment to revitalizing Midtown Manhattan, the park has evolved into an urban oasis that is home to a lush lawn and extensive plantings and many free activities like games, fitness classes, and literary discussions. Much of Bryant Park Corporation’s success is a result of its vigilant care and robust year-round programming including iconic, world-class events and experiences such as Movie Nights, Picnic Performances, and Bank of America Winter Village. Celebrations for the park’s 30-year milestone will continue throughout the spring and summer months for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Additional artist and performance information will be available in the coming months. For the most current information please visit bryantpark.org/picnics.