New York City intends to celebrate the imminent end of the lockdown with a grand pop concert in Central Park. In an interview with the New York Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the concert is part of a “Homecoming Week”, which is supposed to show the world that the city has left the pandemic behind.
The concert will take place on 21 August at the renowned Great Lawn in the park, where once, among others, Carole King (1973), Elton John (1980) and Luciano Pavarotti (1993) performed for hundreds of thousands of people.
The line-up for the three-hour show will consist of eight “iconic” stars, whose names are not yet known. The city leaves the planning to 89-year-old producer Clive Davis, known for collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.
Only 60,000 spectators are allowed to attend the concert because of corona, a fraction compared to, for example, the 400,000 spectators who attended the reunion of Simon & Garfunkel in 1981. The tickets will be free of charge and the concert will be broadcast worldwide.
The city says that it is still working on a solution to any public health complications of the large-scale event. Thus, the introduction of a vaccination passport, the so-called Excelsior Pass, is still difficult. So far, only 1.1 million of the 9.1 million vaccinated residents of the state of New York have downloaded the pass.
It is also the intention of Mayor Bill de Blasio that the concert emphasizes the importance of vaccination, according to the New York Times. The public will be divided into sections for vaccinees, who will receive 70 percent of tickets, and non-vaccinees.