Prospect Park

The Decemberists, Common, Gary Clark Jr. headline upcoming BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! season

40th season in Prospect Park

May 2, 2018 By Gersh Kuntzman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Common, seen here at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in April, will open the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on June 5. Amy Harris/Invision/AP
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The Decemberists, the Jayhawks, Aimee Mann, Branford Marsalis, Anoushka Shankar, Gary Clark Jr.,  Ricky Skaggs, Antibalas and Kronos Quartet will top an impressive lineup as Brooklyn’s premiere outdoor festival celebrates its 40th season in Prospect Park.

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! (don’t forget that exclamation mark!) kicks off with a concert by Grammy-winning hip-hop star Common on June 5, and continues through to a climax on August 11 with a free show by the Breeders — a whopping 31 performances in all, 25 of them free.

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“This special season features over 50 celebrated artists from around the world and around the block who reflect the times and advance the Festival’s founding principles of inclusion and democracy, illuminating the vibrant cultures that make our borough so unique,” said Jack Walsh, the festival’s longtime producer. “We invite everyone to come together at the Prospect Park Bandshell as these artists take our stage to compel, intrigue, entertain and uplift us.”

It wouldn’t be Celebrate Brooklyn! if the lineup didn’t comprise a mix of mostly rock, soul, dance, jazz and movies, plus family events — and a mix of worldwide stars (Los Lobos, Spoon, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal) and plenty of Brooklynites (looking at you, Park Sloper Jonathan Coulton!).

It’s been that way since 1979, when the festival began partly as a way to highlight Brooklyn’s edgy cultural scene, but also as a draw for a reviving Prospect Park.

“For four decades, the Festival has represented the best of what Brooklyn and America can be: a welcoming supercollider of ideas and cultures, informing and enriching each other,” said Leslie Schultz, the longtime president of BRIC, which also produces BRIC TV, BRIC Radio, and Brooklyn Free Speech, plus art installations and events at its BRIC House headquarters in Fort Greene.  

The Festival also features two movies with live musical accompaniment along with the six ticketed benefit concerts — a mostly mainstream lineup that includes The Decemberists, June 13; Grizzly Bear and Spoon, June 20; Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, July 19; and Good Vibes with Jason Mraz and Brett Dennen, August 7.


Coulton, who was just nominated for a Tony Award for his work on “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical,” said he’s excited to be part of his hometown music fest, especially on a bill with Mann.

“I’ve done a few shows with Aimee … but I still have to pinch myself from time to time. She’s a national treasure, and I’m still a big fan,” Coulton told the Brooklyn Eagle. “And yeah, Celebrate Brooklyn is one of those things where I’ve seen it so many times as a spectator, it’s weird to think I’ll be on that stage. With Aimee Mann. And Superchunk!”

Here is the full BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! schedule for 2018



June 5, 8 p.m.



Los Lobos

Sunday, June 10, 3 p.m.



The Decemberists

Wednesday, June 13, 7 p.m.



Vance Joy (with Alice Merton)

Thursday, June 14, 7:30 p.m.

$54.50 advance/$60 day of show


The Jayhawks (with Mandolin Orange and Parsonsfield)

Saturday, June 16, 7 p.m.


Grizzly Bear and Spoon

Wednesday, June 20, 6:30 p.m.

$46 advance / $51 day of show

Aimee Mann (with Superchunk and Jonathan Coulton)

Thursday, June 21, 7:30 p.m.



Friday, June 22, 7:30 p.m.


Brooklynite Jonathan Coulton says he’s been to Celebrate Brooklyn! many times, but is “thrilled” to be on the stage with Aimee Mann. Photo by Vivan Jayant

Fischerspooner (with Juliana Huxtable)

Saturday, June 23, 7:30 p.m.



The Blues Project

Thursday, June 28, 8 p.m.



Branford Marsalis (with Roger Guenveur Smith)

Friday, June 29, 7:30 p.m.

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (with Sierra Hull and Justin Moses)

Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m.



Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal: ‘Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me” ’

Friday, July 6, 8 p.m.



Rhye (with Natalie Prass and Overcoats)

Saturday, July 7, 7 p.m.



Antibalas (with Combo Chimbita and DJ Nickodemus)

Thursday, July 12, 7:30 p.m.


Mala Rodriguez (with Ana Tijoux)

Friday, July 13, 7 p.m.


Kronos Quartet (with Trio da Kali)

Saturday, July 14, 7:30 p.m.



Joe Russo’s ‘Almost Dead’

Thursday, July 19, 7 p.m.



Anoushka Shankar (with My Brightest Diamond)

Friday, July 20, 7:30 p.m.



Movie night, “Brimstone and Glory” with live score by Wordless Music Orchestra

Saturday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.



Courtney Barnett (with Julien Baker and Vagabon)

Wednesday, July 25, 7 p.m.

$39.50 advance / $45 day of show

Brandi Carlile (with Ruthie Foster)

Thursday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.



Tinariwen (with Cheick Hamala Diabate)

Friday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.


Movie night, “Nausicaå of the Valley of the Wind”

Saturday, July 28, 7:30 p.m.



BADBADNOTGOOD (with Charlotte Day Wilson)

Thursday, August 2, 7:30 p.m.



Noname (with Topaz Jones)

Friday, August 3, 7:30 p.m.


Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser and the Blak Soil Band

Saturday, August 4, 7:30 p.m.



Good Vibes with Jason Mraz and Brett Dennen

Tuesday, August 7, 7:30 p.m.

$55 advance / $60 day of show


Gary Clark Jr. (with Fiona Silver)

Thursday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.


Godspeed You! Black Emperor (with Emel Mathlouthi)

Friday, August 10, 7:30 p.m.



The Breeders (with Speedy Ortiz)

Saturday, August 11, 7:30 p.m.


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