Today's Tunes

Today's Tunes

Photo by Elisa Gross

Throughout the year, visitors in the city flock to Rockefeller Center in the wee hours of the morning, hoping to find their 15 minutes (or maybe seconds) of fame outside the Today Show studios. Summer visitors get an extra treat, though, with the chance to see some of the year’s most popular artists for free during the Today Show’s Toyota Summer Concert Series.

With artists like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Phillip Phillips, John Legend and Maroon 5 (see full lineup here), the concert series draws thousands of people to each performance. 18,000 screaming fans showed up last year to watch One Direction.

The Today Show suggests that concertgoers arrive at 5 a.m. for optimal viewing. Many people, however, camp out the night before to ensure they have primo spots for the performance. While General Admission check-in is usually located at 48th St. between 5th and 6th Aves., the line can span several blocks. If you do choose to camp out the night before, be forewarned that sleeping bags, chairs, tents and similar items won’t make it past security. Food, umbrellas and small bags, however, are normally allowed. 

If camping out for the concert doesn’t sound like your idea of a fun adventure, the Today Show also gives out Fan Passes to several lucky guests about a week before the concert. The signup for Fan Pass lottery is announced in the Today Show newsletter (subscribe here) a couple of weeks before the performance. 

However guests decide to attend the Today Show’s Toyota Summer Concert Series, they are in for a blast. I have Ed Sheeran’s autograph to prove it.