Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Jennifer Hudson Announced For Central Park Concert
Michael Putland / Getty Images – Central Paul
Paul Simon performs with Simon & Garfunkel during the duo’s 1981 concert in Central Park. He’ll be a part of this summer’s massive Central Park concert celebrating the city’s rebirth post-coronavirus.
New York City’s upcoming “mega-concert,” which will celebrate the city’s post-coronavirus rebirth with performances by several musical icons in Central Park, has started to take shape.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Jennifer Hudson will perform at the event, which was tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21 as a part of New York City’s Homecoming Week when it was announced in early June. (The mayor gave no update about a potential date for the concert.)
Upon the show’s initial announcement, industry legend Clive Davis, who is booking the show, said the program would feature eight stars performing over three hours for a physical audience of 60,000 and a global livestream.
With the announcements of Springsteen, Simon and Hudson, the lineup appears to be nearly halfway there. A New York Times report indicated that Patti Smith may join Springsteen during his set, per one industry insider.
“This is going to be one of the greatest Central Park concerts in history,” de Blasio said. “this is something for the ages.”
Simon, of course, has a deep history with Central Park, between the 1981 Simon & Garfunkel performance in Central Park, released as the 1982 live album The Concert In Central Park, and a 1991 solo gig that was released later that year as the live album Paul Simon’s Concert In The Park. Both performances drew more than half a million fans.
The involvement of Springsteen, who marked Broadway’s reopening with the return of his one-man show on Saturday, was heralded by de Blasio, though the mayor was sure to note that the rocker “is beloved in New York City in an extraordinary way, even though he happens to come from Jersey – no one’s perfect.”
The Central Park concert will continue the resumption of live events in New York City that is now well underway. On June 20, Foo Fighters headlined a full-capacity gig at Madison Square Garden – the first concert at the arena since before the pandemic – and later that week the Beacon Theatre hosted two full-capacity shows by Trey Anastasio, which marked that venue’s reopening.
Progress has been aided by New York state’s Excelsior Pass, a vaccine passport to expedite entry to various facilities and events, and soaring vaccination rates. More than half of New York City residents are now fully vaccinated, and the city’s 7-day daily average of new cases is now 185, its lowest since early March 2020.