The 2018 edition of BAM's Next Wave Festival runs October 3 through December 23 with performances of music, opera, theater, physical theater, dance, film/music, and performance art. This will be the final festival curated by BAM's Joseph V. Melillo who is retiring after three decades as BAM's executive producer. Subscriptions for Next Wave Festival are on sale June 12 for BAM members and June 19 for the general public, while single tickets for all Next Wave Festival shows go on sale August 2 for BAM members and August 9 for the general public.

Music events include: a revival of Philip Glass' 1980 opera Satyagraha by the Folkoperan and Cirkus Cirkor of Sweden (October 31 & November 1); "Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda: The Ashram Experience" which will be led by Surya Botofasina, who grew up on the ashram Alice founded, and the Sai Anantam Ashram Singers (October 10); Wordless Music Orchestra will perform a live score to screenings of Terrence Malick's new movie The Voyage of Time (November 16 & 17); the world premiere of Place, the staged oratorio by the Pulitzer Prize finalist Ted Hearne which features co-creators Saul Williams and Patricia McGregor (October 11-13); and The Good Swimmer, a "pop requiem about war, heroism, loss and idealism" by Heidi Rodewald who co-created "Passing Strange" with Stew (November 28 - December 1).