The lineup at the Prospect Park Bandshell every summer shuffles pop, punk, funk, jazz, and world music. For example, the 2016 calendar features a double billing of Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal and Haitian tour de force Lakou Mizik, followed two days later by the Violent Femmes celebrating their first album in 15 years. There are also occasional dance performance that might be staged by the indefatigable (and now Brooklyn based) Mark Morris Group and films with live soundtracks provided by the likes of Yo La Tengo and the Kronos Quartet.
Crowds that total 250,000 spread out across various shows in June, July, and August come for the bucolic Prospect Park setting (tucked in from Park Slope) with views of the stage from most spots and great acoustic equipment. Most events are free with the exception of designated “benefit” concerts that subsidize the rest of the festival, though donations of $3 per person per show are appreciated. If you think you’re going to be a regular customer, consider a membership for the season (always advertised and sold out months in advance), which comes with a gate pass that lets you jump the line.