Bill De Blasio, Clive Davis Planning Central Park ‘Mega-Concert’ To Celebrate New York City’s Reopening
Albert Foster / Daily Mirror / Mirrorpix / Getty Images – Park Life
Elton John performs in New York’s Central Park on Sept. 13, 1980. The Manhattan public space is set to host a mega-concert celebrating the end of the pandemic this August.
Manhattan’s Central Park has hosted several of the most iconic concerts ever – not just for New York City, but globally. This August, it will likely log another such historic performance, according to the New York Times.
According to a report published Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and seminal music-business figure Clive Davis are working in collaboration to produce a “mega-concert” in Central Park, tentatively booked for Aug. 21.
Details about talent remain scant, but Davis told the Times he’s envisioning a show with eight stars, performing over a three-hour program for a physical audience of 60,000 assembled on Central Park’s Great Lawn and viewers around the world.
The concert will be part of Homecoming Week, the week of programming de Blasio and New York City officials are currently planning to celebrate the post-pandemic return of the Big Apple, which fully reopened in May.
“This concert is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” de Blasio told the Times. “It’s going to be an amazing lineup. The whole week is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before in New York City.”
“I can’t think of a better place than the Great Lawn of Central Park to be the place where you say that New York is reopening,” Davis told the Times.
Live Nation will produce the free concert, while sponsorship deals ad a broadcast partner are currently in the works, according to the report.
Attendees will be partitioned into vaccinated and non-vaccinated sections, per the Times, with 70 percent of capacity going to the former group. More than half of New York City’s population of 8.3 million (52.3%) has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 44.9% of the city’s population is fully vaccinated, according to city data. On June 6, New York City’s 7-day daily average of new COVID-19 cases was 244, a 58% decrease from just two weeks earlier and the city’s lowest such figure since mid-March 2020, according to New York Times data.
New York state recently introduced Excelsior Pass, a vaccine passport to expedite entry to various public facilities and events, which has been downloaded by approximately 1.1 million New Yorkers.
News of the concert, which has the working title “The Official NYC Homecoming Concert in Central Park,” continues New York City’s emergence from the pandemic. Last month, Madison Square Garden welcomed back 15,000 fans for each Knicks playoff game, while Madison Square Garden Entertainment venues Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre announced full-capacity, maskless shows for vaccinated audiences, with the closing night of the Tribeca Film Festival and performances by Phish’s Trey Anastasio, respectively.
Many other venues throughout the city have announced programming for this summer and fall, including Governors Ball, which will return in late September. Central Park SummerStage, which holds concerts at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield and underwent a series of renovations in 2019, announced its own slate of summer 2021 programming, beginning later this month, last week.
Since 2012, Central Park’s Great Lawn has hosted the annual Global Citizen Festival, and concerts by Elton John (1980), Simon & Garfunkel (1981), Garth Brooks (1997) and more have drawn hundreds of thousands to the park.
For more about the massive Central Park concert, head over the New York Times.