Annual Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival kicks off in Prospect Park

PROSPECT PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The annual BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival kicked off Tuesday night in Prospect Park.

For the next two months, the festival will feature a wide array of outdoor concerts and performances in the Prospect Park Bandshell.

The opening night musical star is Common.

The rapper, actor, film producer and social activist says he may have been born in Chicago but Brooklyn was the first place he moved and this is the perfect way to spread his message.

"This is a platform where some of the issues that I talk about or that I'm working to help improve, supporting grass roots movements that I'm working and help improve, that I get to blast those out," he said.

Now in its 40th season the festival features a series of free performances, an eclectic mix of concerts, world class dance, live music and film.

Festival executive producer Jack Walsh says the upcoming schedule hanging in his office looks like a beautiful tapestry.

Common starts the ball rolling at the bandshell in Prospect Park and the series wraps up Aug. 11th with the '90's rock band The Breeders.

"Our sort of founding ideals were to make this for everyone and to really think of this as a place where all of Brooklyn can gether and enjoy world class art, and really go to bring people together in almost some sort of civic way," said Walsh.

The best part is that 25 of the events are free. Just show up, no tickets are needed.

Click here for a look at this year's lineup.

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