Want Free Central Park Concert Tickets? Keep Trying.
Many things in life require patience. It occurs to me to DIY a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle while locking, just like doing your nails – base coat, color, top coat.
Now add to this list while waiting in the virtual queue for tickets for “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert”.
Yes, they are free. Yes, there are over four million fully vaccinated New Yorkers who qualify to attend. And the lineup for the August 21 show – featuring LL Cool J, Bruce Springsteen and punk rock goddess Patti Smith – is sure to generate some interest.
So maybe it wasn’t surprising that I found my first attempt a dead end without a ticket, an exercise in frustration.
It started at 10 a.m. on Monday when the free tickets first went online. I quickly learned that to get a ticket you need a Ticketmaster account. So began a frantic race to remember mine.
This was followed by a long queue, locked in a staring contest with a shiny white orb that represented my place in “The Queue”. I was told, with cold precision, that more than 2,000 people were in front of me.
But at 10:41 am, I was at the end of my road. Suddenly, the oval signifying the availability of general admission tickets turned from blue to gray.
As in, no longer available.
But New Yorkers are waiting in line for a living. So on Tuesday, ready for Round 2, I clicked on the “We Love NYC” block on the Homecoming2021.com website at 7am. Of course, the previously gray, “unavailable” general admission block had been replenished with tickets and was now blue. At the edge of my seat, I selected two tickets and hit “Next”.
“Sit down tight, we’re securing your verified tickets,” the screen reads. But then, as I was cooling off, I started getting the same error message: “Sorry, we couldn’t process your request, please try again later.” I tried for an hour and it looked like more tickets were available after the first lots disappeared. But each time, I got kicked out.
But there are success stories out there, folks. I know early risers who have had better experiences than me. And all you have to do is go to Stub Hub to see how many people got free tickets and now hope someone pays dearly for them: many of them were on sale Tuesday, some from $ 48, general admission, all up to $ 12,789.
The city did not specify how many tickets are available each day. (Those interested can try again Wednesday at 9 p.m., Thursday at 7 a.m., Friday at 10 a.m. or Saturday at 9 p.m.) Clive Davis, the producer, said he was looking for a crowd of around 60,000 people on the Great Lawn and the mayor’s office said 80 percent of tickets were going to be free.
Now the good news for some is that if you imagine yourself a VIP and are looking to spend anywhere from $ 399 to $ 3,450 or even up to $ 4,950, tickets for these seats seem easier to obtain.
The most expensive tickets – the Platinum VIPs – promise seats right in front of the stage, entry to an exclusive backstage lounge with a “Free Eclectic Selection of Hors d’Oeuvres”, an open bar and special admission.
Gold VIP tickets, priced at $ 3,450, include seats right behind the platinum and all the lounge comforts, food and drink behind the scenes, plus that special entry.
For $ 399, you still get a good ticket, but say goodbye to this behind-the-scenes lounge. Still, there will be a dedicated concession area – and VIP restrooms.
Everyone – freebies, VIPs and VIPs to VIPs – must show proof of vaccination to enter the concert, either by showing up in person with their vaccination card or a photo of it, the New York app City COVID SAFE or the New York State Excelsior Pass. And if you fail to secure a ticket, CNN will broadcast the concert live.
In an online press conference Monday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio was delighted that the tickets were handed out.
“It’s going to be amazing,” he said, “and it will be a big sign of the rebirth of New York City.”
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