NYC Nixes Surprise Jay-Z Show

Scheduled to appear on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” this Monday, Jay-Z planned to do a surprise performance atop Ed Sullivan Theatre’s marquee the afternoon of the taping. But New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had an even bigger surprise – he canceled the gig.

Photo: John Davisson
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Manchester, Tenn.

Actually, it was the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting that said “no” to the planned event, evidently a bit of blowback from Tuesday’s free show by Drake and Hanson at the South Street Seaport. That gig quickly went south when more than 10,000 people showed up – three times the amount expected – and got more than a bit perturbed when the rapper kept them waiting for 90 minutes.

Police ended up canceling that show, which resulted in two people arrested and six ending up with minor injuries.

So the city wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea of Jay-Z performing for the multitudes from the Ed Sullivan Theatre’s marquee. Especially since the performance was scheduled to take place during rush hour.

The New York Post reports organizers had to pay $100,000 to cover expected overtime costs for police and other city workers. The show could have gone on as scheduled if only it could be kept under wraps until Monday. But it’s not easy keeping a secret this big and word of the mini-concert began leaking out Thursday.

Other acts that have played on the marquee the same day they appeared on Letterman’s show include Phish and Audioslave. Apparently organizers were able to keep Paul McCartney’s July 2009 appearance on the marquee a secret until the morning of the show when people noticed the crew setting up for the performance. That gig ended up attracting 4,000 fans.

Photo: AP Photo

Click here for the New York Post article.