New York’s ‘Homecoming’ to Feature a Free Concert in Every Borough
In case the other boroughs are jealous of the star-studded concert announced for Central Park in August, the city offers everyone a show of their own.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that preparations for the Great Lawn’s reopening on August 21 – featuring Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Paul Simon and others – will include free concerts in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. The concert series, which is part of what the city calls “reunion week,” is billed as a celebration of New York’s emergence from the dark days of the pandemic and an incentive for tourists to return.
If attendees must be vaccinated to attend concerts, which is not yet clear, it will also be yet another carrot that the city government is waving in front of the unvaccinated.
“Unless you want to spend the rest of your life saying, ‘Oh my God, I missed that,'” de Blasio said at the press conference, “you should be heading to New York this month. August when incredible things will happen. “
“I’ve talked to people who missed Woodstock,” he added. “Don’t let that FOMO thing happen to you.” (He was referring to the fear of missing out.)
The concerts from outside the borough are produced by the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the Bronx. Rocky Bucano, the museum’s president, told the press conference that the acts will include hip-hop, Latin, freestyle, dance, R&B, techno and funk.
He said he imagined the concerts “would be a reminder of the days when Bronx Park jams brought people, young and old, together to have a good time in a spirit of peace, love and unity.” .
The weeklong celebration in New York will also include film screenings, public art, cultural activities and the city’s Restaurant Week, according to the city’s website announcing the lineup.
A spokesman for the mayor, Bill Neidhardt, said the city plans to announce concert lineup and ticket information next week. The concerts and the additional police presence that they will require will undoubtedly be expensive; Neidhardt said there are sponsorships that will help with the costs, but the office is not yet ready to release those details.
The concerts will be held August 16 at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, August 17 at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island, August 19 at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and August 20 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens.
The Central Park Great Lawn concert is produced by veteran music producer Clive Davis. He has long been associated with the headliners of the event, including Springsteen, who is expected to perform a duet with Patti Smith, according to a person briefed on the plans. (Our bet: an interpretation of “Because the Night.”)
Ben Sisario contributed reporting.
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