Summer Events at the ICA

The popular Talking Taste and Harborwalk Sounds series return, along with a new live music series, Wavelengths.

ica boston summer concerts events

This summer, the ICA Boston plaza will host dozens of summer concerts and events. / Photograph by Margaret Burdge

Few waterfront properties in Boston can hold a candle to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the building is as unique as the compelling exhibits it holds.

In the winter, visitors generally appreciate the space from indoors, where glass walls offer stunning, sweeping views of the Boston Harbor, but it’s during summer that the ICA really comes to life. You might even call the Putnam Investments Plaza, a grandstand of public seating, the most happening back deck in town.

Sadly, this summer’s programming at the ICA does not include a visit from the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, but the return of several popular summer series more than make up for it:

— Talking Taste 
$15, Fridays at 6:30 p.m., June 13-27

The popular cooking series is back for the sixth year in a row. Top local chefs and bartenders will teach audiences how to make delicious summer bites and sips. Samples will be included, of course.

June 13: Tim Maslow, chef, Ribelle and Strip-T’s
June 20: Sam Treadway, bartender, Backbar
June 27: Jeremy Sewall, chef, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34, Lineage, and Eastern Standard

— Harborwalk Sounds 
Free, Thursdays at 6 p.m., July 10-August 28

Did you know the ICA is always free on Thursday nights? These free sessions get even better in the summer, when, for the last eight years, Harborwalk Sounds offers free live music performed by acts from Berklee College of Music.

July 10: Grey Season
July 17: Wambura Mitaru
July 24: LowTone Society
July 31: Latimbop
August 7: Sarah McKenzie
August 14: Song Yi Jeon Quintet
August 21: Oyinda + Bigfoot Wallace
August 28: Common Thread

— Wavelengths 
$20-$25, Fridays at 6:30 p.m., July 11-August 29

Friday nights at the ICA sound pretty good with the announcement of this new music series. For seven weeks in July and August, cool down from a long hard week of work with a concert or DJ set.

July 11: Dean Wareham
July 18: Autre Ne Veut
July 25: Peaches (DJ Set)
August 8: Mas Ysa
August 15: Juliana Huxtable (DJ Set)
August 22: Hooray for Earth
August 29: Boston DJ Round Robin

— First Fridays 
$15, Friday, June 6, and Friday, August 1, 5-10 p.m.

First Fridays put the “art” in “party.” The June edition, titled “Flower Power,” celebrates the debut of the ICA’s new exhibit Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, while “White Hot” in August will be one big dance party.

Both First Fridays will include live music, activities, snacks, and specialty cocktails. The ICA will be closed for the first Friday in July due to Independence Day.


ICA Boston, 100 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-478-3100,

Want more summer? Of course you do.

Check out our June cover story, “Summer in the City.”

Plus: more summer series at local venues.