We’re going to recommend you avoid Manhattan this weekend. Thanks to NYU and Columbia, every 20-year-old within a ten-mile radius will either be moving back into their dorms or celebrating the end of summer with one last cityside hurrah. Instead, take Friday night off and keep yourself in the safe confines of Brooklyn for the remainder of your weekend.
On Saturday, you’ve got your pick between rap, bounce, and house. First and foremost, hip-hop massive Rock the Bells takes over Governors Island for an all-day extravaganza. As if the lineup wasn’t bananas enough on its own, each headlining act is performing a classic album in its entirety. The whole entire thing! So Snoop Dogg does Doggystyle, Wu Tang does Enter the 36 Chambers (with ODB’s son filling in), A Tribe Called Quest does Midnight Marauders, and so on. Lauren Hill will be there too, and the fact that there are over 20 acts (and we know them all) makes this totally worth your while. Tickets are a whopping $100, though, so break open the piggy bank holding all the change you used to spend on records, and get on that ferry.
For something significantly less massive, head to Brooklyn’s Coco66 as it opens its doors to a flamboyantly spectacular booty shakedown: an afterparty for PS1’s Warm Up that features headlining sissy-bounce star Big Freedia and NoLA bounce DJ Rusty Lazer. Also scheduled to out-glam you are the electro-crunk queens from the stiletto-rocking House of Ladosha. Expect a ton of fishnets, sweat, and booty-bouncing all night long. Show starts at 10 p.m. — tickets are $10 at the door and include an open bar for the first hour.
For less fishnet-sweat and more disco glam, head over to Brooklyn Bowl for an evening with synth-friendly West Coast duo Classixx and IDGC favorite Eli Escobar (his Love Thing EP is on a loop over here). Tickets are $5 here . Alternately, get over to Clinton Hill as Mister Saturday Night comes out of its month-long hiatus to bring house god Theo Parrish back for tonight’s loft party. The last time we saw this lineup together, it made for one of the best nights of the summer — let the crazy in Mr. Parrish keep you dancing until the early morning. $20 tickets available here.
Alternately, you could just wait it out until Sunday, as legendary Scottish DJ duo Optimo grace Mister Saturday Night sister party Sunday Best at Brooklyn Fireproof. Originally from Glasgow, the DJs took their name from their own party — well known as one of the most respected and longest-running underground dance parties in Europe. Though their roots are in techno and house, expect to be surprised (as clichéd as that sounds) with god knows what — they’re not afraid to delve into tropical beats, punk, rock, and hints of everything else. Tickets are $8 at the door before 4 p.m., $12 after.
For free fun and a whole lot of nostalgia, make your way over to Prospect Park for Spike Lee’s second-annual celebration of the King of Pop at the gigantic Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson afternoon party. DJ Spinna holds down a five-hour set of MJ and only MJ to a crowd of thousands that knows every single word to every single song. (Read our interview with him here.) You will see three generations of a family singing along to “Beat It” (along with a handful of terrifying impersonators). You will buy an airbrushed t-shirt. And you might cry during a group sing-a-long of “Man in the Mirror.” (Do whatever it takes to soothe the pain.) After you’ve soaked in all the MJ you can, get yourself to East River State Park for the last Jelly Pool Party. True Panther’s dreamy pop outfit Delorean headlines this final celebration alongside the very young, very sassy Dominique Young (if you like Rye Rye, you’ll like her). There’s a very special, very secret guest scheduled to perform too (Gucci Mane, is that you?), for whatever that’s worth.