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NYC Fall Festival Forecast

posted by Dan Murphy on September 25, 2014

View of NYC from CMJ Headquarters by Oliver Correa

New York City -- The kids are back in class, the leaves are falling, and the temperature's dipped down ever so slightly. We've officially hit the end of summer, and for New Yorkers, that means sneaking in the year's last park picnics and rooftop hangouts before being plagued with wind tunnels and snow that never seems to melt. Luckily, festival organizers keep the fall full of awesome events in NYC. 

The bigger ones of the season take place in venues all across the city over a span of a four or five days. First, the annual CBGB Festival festival takes over New York paying tribute to the now-defunct, legendary punk club. The main event occurs in Times Square and features free concerts - this year from Jane's Addiction, Devo, Surfer Blood, and more - while the rest of the shows are spread across various venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

The same goes for CMJ Music Marathon, the 30+ year-running, five-day festival intent on showcasing new artists worthy of fame. The event brings thousands of bands to NYC to take part in myriad showcases resulting in a city-wide dash to find the best up-and-comers in the indie music scene. Some of the more established acts stopping by include The Kills, Cold War Kids, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Slowdive. 

Not all of these fests will have you depleting your MetroCard within a matter of hours. For example, October also brings the traveling Downtown Festival to New York to be held mainly at the East Village's Webster Hall as well as Irving Plaza in Union Square. We'll see acts like Kiesza, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, and Jungle take over these spaces for two days. 

That same weekend, you can head to Central Park for the Modern Sky Festival, an event founded in Beijing in 2007 which has toured all over the world. It seeks to couple some big names in the States, like Cat Power, The Blood Brothers, Liars, and The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo), with some important acts from the Chinese music scene, such as Zhang Xuan, Re-TROS, and Queen Sea Big Shark. 

The inaugural Escape Music Fest is coming this October, and bringing with it Girl Talk, Moby, Placebo, Yeasayer, and an Elrow Ibiza stage takeover to Governors Island Beach Club. Also, keep in mind Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival will return to Williamsburg in November with Damian Lazarus, Booka Shade, Gaslamp Killer, and Machinedrum headlining. 

That's probably a lot to take in, so scroll down for a full events listing of festivals in NYC this fall. 

NYC Fall Festivals


Downtown Festival - October 3-4; Webster Hall/Irving Plaza, East Village
Modern Sky Festival - October 4-5; Rumsey Playfield, Central Park East
CBGB Festival - October 8-12; Times Square (Main Stage)/Various venues across the city
Escape Festival - October 11-12; Governors Island Beach Club
CMJ Music Marathon - October 21-25; Various venues across the city
Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival - November 7-8; Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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See Also:

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival Reveals 2014 Lineup
9 Music Festivals to Attend This Fall
CMJ Music Marathon 2014 Announces First Round Daytime Speakers