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10 Movies, Concerts and Art Events to See and Love in Summer 2021

10 movies, concerts and art events you really need to see that you will love in summer 2021

Summer is not canceled this year! Hurray! If you’re mourning about concerts that were cancelled, or movies that went straight to streaming, we feel you. But the good news is that the world of culture is reopening rapidly, just in time for summer 2021. In fact, prepare for sensory overload as you decide which performance or exhibit to take in first. Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has curated a list of 10 movies, concerts, cable TV shows and art events you really need to see that you will love in summer 2021.

10 tv shows, movies, concerts and art events to see and love in summer 2021

After many months without anything much to look forward to, the floodgates have opened. And we’re getting it all – all at once. This means reunions with our family and friends, long-awaited vacations, and yes, plenty of pop culture.

10 movies, concerts and art events you really need to see that you will love in summer 2021

10 movies, concerts and art events you really need to see that you will love in summer 2021.

Summer is a legendary time for all things new and huge in the arts world. And after a lost year, we can’t wait to have so much new content and experiential culture coming our way.

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You may not have time to get to everything, since there’s so much going on right now. Forget the FOMO, though. We made you a little guide. Here are the highlights that you shouldn’t miss: 10 movies, television shows, concerts and art events to see and love in summer 2021.

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Movies

Even though we still got to enjoy a slate of excellent cinema last year, most of the movie world was put on hold. For the first time in a long time, there were no big summer blockbusters, no in-person festivals, and no rainy weekends spent at the movie theater. Well, now all of those things are back, and so are two summer’s worth of movies – this summer’s, and many of last summer’s biggest delays as well. And since we’re sure you’ve already put In the Heights on your calendar, here are three more films you should make sure to watch.

1. Zola

Since it first found audiences at Sundance 2020, Zola has been one of the movies we’ve been most desperate to see. Directed by Janicza Bravo, and written by Bravo and Slave Play’s Jeremy O. Harris, Zola is a movie based on a Twitter thread perhaps the first adaptation of its kind. It tells the story of a stripper’s trip to Florida that gets, to say the least, a little out of hand.

Check the trailer, and you’ll see what we mean. The film has gotten a lot of buzz, and we can’t wait to watch it live up to the hype.

best movies and tv shows Summer

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Zola. Courtesy Photo.

Coming Out: June 30th

2. The Green Knight

Like Zola, The Green Knight is an A24 movie that audiences have been impatiently waiting for since its original release date. Starring Dev Patel, this adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight from David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story) looks like a take on King Arthur that we haven’t seen before – one that is dark, intense, and maybe even frightening. The chance to see talents like Patel and Lowery working together, and playing with such rich material, has immense promise, and we can’t wait to see it. Check out the trailer here.

best movies and tv shows Summer

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: The Green Knight. Courtesy Photo.

Coming Out: July 30th

3. Annette

Annette is making its debut at the Cannes Film Festival, about a month before it finds its way to US cinemas. From Leos Carax (Holy Motors), this new musical movie tells the story of a soprano and comedian whose baby daughter Annette possesses a rare gift that will upend their lives.

 It stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, and features an original soundtrack by Sparks. Given Carax’s past work and the Cannes billing, we’re looking forward to watching the film. In the meantime, you can preview the trailer here.

best movies and tv shows Summer

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Annette. Courtesy Photo.

Coming Out: August 6th

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TV Shows

Especially as we return to the chaos of “normal” life, we’re going to need the cozy standby of a good TV show to keep us grounded. Of course, everybody already has their favorites – who’s excited for the new seasons of Succession and Ted Lasso? – but if you’re in the market for a new favorite, here are three we recommend adding to your rotation.

4. Run the World

Co-executive produced Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single), Run the World offers a fresh take on the oldest (and let’s be honest, best) sitcom scenario in the world: a group of friends, whose company and love for one another is part of what makes life worth living. This one features four women in Harlem, steadfastly loyal to one another as they experience the ups and downs of work and life.  Well-written and well-cast, the show breathes beautiful life into a beloved format, and you’ll absolutely want it to be your new best media-friend. The first two episodes are out now.

best movies and tv shows Summer

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Run the World. Courtesy Photo.

Where to Watch: Starz (out now)

5. We Are Lady Parts

This British comedy is the delightful series we need right now – and lucky for us, three years after the pilot first aired, the show has finally been picked up, and its first season will premiere in the US as well as in the United Kingdom. The show follows the story of an all-female Muslin punk band, beginning with their attempts to recruit serious PhD student Amina as their reluctant lead guitarist. The energy of this show is exactly what we all need to take into the rest of 2021. The first two episodes are out now.

best movies and tv shows Summer

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: We are Lady Parts. Courtesy Photo.

Where to Watch: Peacock (out now)

6. Schmigadoon!

If you already realized that the name of Schmigadoon is a pun on Brigadoon, then you may be part of the niche group of people that this show seems to have been made for. Imagine this: while backpacking, a couple (played by Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong) gets lost in a magical world where everyone thinks they are living in a 1940’s musical. Yes, really. With a cast of Broadway all-stars that includes Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski, Ariana DeBose, Aaron Tveit, and others, we know this is going to be a musical masterpiece.

best movies and tv shows

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Schmigadoon. Courtesy Photo.

Where to Watch: Apple TV (on July 16)

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Concerts

Though we did get to watch some new film and TV during quarantine, live music events have been on hold for an entire year. Like the many music festivals re-surfacing this season, these are getting a little bit of a late start compared to other summer events, since they are, of course, real and in-person. But they are coming back, and what a great finale to the summer they will be. Dates are still being shuffled around as artists both announce and reschedule their performance plans, but here are two tours you shouldn’t miss.

7. Lady Gaga

After being a year’s delay, The Chromatica Ball, in celebration of the icon’s latest album, is back – and it kicks off on August 7th at Fenway Park in Boston. Gaga will also hit Toronto, Jersey, and Chicago, with TBD dates for London and France. We’re hoping more events are listed as we get closer to the tour.

concerts and art exhibits Summer 2021

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Lady Gaga. Courtesy Photo.

8. Harry Styles

Beginning on August 14th in Tacoma, Washington, Harry Styles embarks on his US tour with Jenny Lewis. The One Directioner-turned-solo-star will perform in cities across the country, ending in New York on Halloween night.

concerts and art exhibits 2021

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Harry Styles. Courtesy Photo.

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Art Exhibits

If you thought the world of visual art would be excluded from the “post-COVID” boom, think again. We published a piece on some of the best art exhibits you can catch through the rest of this year, but if you need a couple of other suggestions, here are two to prioritize this season.

9. Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America.

You should definitely plan to catch the final week of the exhibit at the New Museum in New York. Conceived of by curator Okwui Enwezor, the work includes art from 37 different artists, all of whom address the loss and grief experienced by Black communities in response to racist violence across the United States.  The exhibit includes multiple mediums, from film and photography to painting and sculpture. Through June 6th.

concerts and art exhibits 2021

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America. Courtesy Photo.

10. Thinking Of You. I Mean I Mean Me.

Bookending the summer, the new exhibit of Barbara Kruger’s work will open at The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibit was designed in collaboration with the collagist herself, and includes forty years of her work. It extends beyond the Institute’s physical space, creating an almost meta interrogation of the museum itself – very in-keeping with Kruger’s incisive work.  September 19 – January 24, 2022.

concerts and art exhibits 2021

The best tv shows, movies, concerts and art exhibits this Summer 2021: Thinking Of You. I Mean I Mean Me. Courtesy Photo.

10 best tv shows, movies, concerts and art events this summer 2021

The summer 2021 arts and culture calendar is full after all, and that’s our take on the best new movies, concerts, television shows and art events to see. It promises to be a bright and beautiful summer, full of engaging things to do, see, and experience. We hope that you enjoy every minute of it, dear reader.

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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