Cheap Events Supplies

Cheap Events: Summer Concert Picnics

This is only the second post in my Cheap Events series. In the Winter, I like going to NYU basketball games. In the Summer, outdoor concerts are a great option.

I imagine that cities across the United States (and perhaps in other countries, too) do a great job hosting outdoor summer concerts and NYC is definitely no exception. Now, some of these concerts are free already and you should check those out. has a pretty comprehensive list of concerts for 2014. However, some of the concerts are bigger names and cost a pretty penny.

The cost, plus the fact that, at 30, I feel the need to go to crazy rock concerts less and less lead me to a NYC tradition: listening to concerts while having a picnic nearby.

It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite activities and just this past Monday, I joined a couple of friends in Central Park to catch Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Counting Crows, part of the Summerstage series that City Parks puts on (there are shows in other boroughs as well).

Cheap Events Supplies
These are the snacks I started out with. We added some wine later.

I arrived first and caught most of Toad the Wet Sprocket by myself. It brought me back to the days of putting “All I Want” onto mix CDs for girls in middle school and high school. To this day, mix CDs were the best “game” I ever had. Meanwhile, I ate half of that pack of cheese and half of the carrots by myself. I am not one to usually go to events by myself (movies, concerts, etc), but I really enjoyed the first few minutes alone. It’s definitely the type of event that doesn’t make you feel awkward for flying solo.

My friends started arriving a little later and brought wine and a few more supplies. I sent them this map to let them know where I had set up.

Cheap Events Concert Setup Map
The red marker is where the stage is and the blue dot is me. It is actually a lot closer and easier to hear than it looks.

The map above is zoomed in, but the nearest entrance to the park is very close by at 69th St and 5th Ave. I walked from my apartment on the UWS and entered at 72nd St and Central Park West.  I definitely recommend this location for Central Park Summerstage concerts. You could hear the music perfectly. Plenty of other people agreed with us and set up nearby to do the same thing.


Cheap Events Central Park Crowd
I took this photo when I first arrived. More people showed up as the show went on!

The Counting Crows went on and we popped a bottle of wine (technically illegal, but it’s one of those things that park goers just do and be respectful of). It was definitely a great, mellow way to enjoy the concert. The only downside? They didn’t even play Mr. Jones! Oh well, at least the “tickets” were free!

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