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Uzi and GloRilla might have the songs of the summer that originated in winter, on TikTok, and spread to the corners of the Earth before they could dominate terrestrial radio. (What’s that anyway, lol?) “FNF” and “Just Wanna Rock” last because of social media and, frankly, energy. Summer energy cannot be manufactured, in other words, through planting and branding. But Summer Jam and The Roots Picnic are summer brands that capture that feeling that only songs performed live can issue: nerve electricity earned from sharing space and sound with fans. Both events bill this weekend and each features the biggest songmakers of this year and the past twenty.

Special Events and Tributes

Roots Picnic Weekend

Date – June 2nd – 4th

LocationThe Mann in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

Lauryn Hill, Lil Uzi Vert, and the newly added Usher headline this three-day event. Okayplayer-ites will populate the place in body and spirit. We’ll have the writer of this event page and our social media team there. So pull up for an interview! Or OOTD fit shot!

Cost: From $189

Harlem Bazaar

Date – First Sunday of every month until October

LocationAdam Clayton Powell Blvd and 125th, Harlem

At one point in time, “Etsy” as a concept was a New York flea market. You can buy and observe great goods from Harlem’s artist class and probably get the same kind of “limited edition” wears you’d otherwise pine for if they were drops on an app. Please go out and support makers, with your presence and your cash. Admission is free, though.

Cost: Free

The Big Queer Book Fair by The Rolling Library

Date – Sat., June 3

Location31st Avenue and 34th Street, Astoria

The Queer Book Fair is an answer to the book-banning threats of a less free country, trafficking books that might turn contraband later and from the kinds of Black, queer, femme, and suppressed voices that invariably shape limitless, liberated futures.

Cost: Free

R’N Vibration: The R&B Party

Date – Sat., June 3

LocationBar Schimmi, Williamsburg

The best party music of the year is R&B and that’s a tribute to the malleable, fun, sensual qualities of singers and the flexibility of producers. Come out to a free R&B set near McCarren Park and enjoy the sun on your way in and out.

Cost: Free with RSVP


Emily King

Date – Wed., May 31

LocationTerminal 5, Hudson Yards

Emily King has smoothly built a near 20-year career on soulful ballads, appreciation songs, and a sturdy touring schedule. She plays at Terminal 5 tonight.

Cost: $59.83

Date Nights

Collective Canvas

Date – Sat Jun 3

Location320 Tompkins Avenue, Bed Stuy

Somewhere Good is a Brooklyn art and events group that hosts free “hangouts” for anyone interested. As date ideas go, this could be one of the most creative, low-stakes ways to meet with a new partner or woo a longtime partner anew. The collective canvas is a collage you’ll make with perfect strangers until you all agree it’s done.

Cost: Free with RSVP


Date – Every 3rd Thursday in June

LocationSycamore Bar, Ditmas Park

A drag show, bingo game, and reverie at Brooklyn’s best bar inside of a flower shop address. Sycamore has rare and Brooklyn-distilled whiskeys, beers, and other spirits. Try to keep trivia on the front end of the night so you can properly enjoy the nightcaps on the back side.

Cost: Free

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