New York City Plans a Central Park Mega-Concert to Celebrate Reopening


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“I was very honored,” said Mr. Davis, who grew up in Brooklyn.

Mr Davis said he and his team, which includes his son Doug, a music industry attorney, are still at work booking artists and he declined to give names of those he was on Made sense. Sponsorship deals are also in the works, he said. The mayor’s office said it will soon announce a broadcast partner.

But a number of details for the event have already been determined. Live Nation, the global concert giant, is involved in the production and most tickets will be free, although there will be some VIP seating, Davis said.

The Great Lawn – an 13-acre oval in the middle of the park near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Delacorte Theater, and the reservoir – has long been and has a feel for the city’s most prestigious open-air concert venue Heart of New York.

The Central Park Conservancy, which manages the park, has a reputation for licensing large-scale performances strictly and circumspectly. The group’s website makes little mention of concerts and notes that a 1997 renovation “restored the lawn to balance both active sports use and quiet relaxation”. But the mayor’s office said the reserve supports the idea.

The Great Lawn has hosted concerts and other large public events since the 1970s. Carole King serenaded 70,000 people there in 1973. Elton John played in 1980 – among other things in a duck suit – and the following year Simon & Garfunkel came back together for an estimated 400,000 people. Diana Ross performed in 1983, Luciano Pavarotti in 1993, and the Dave Matthews Band in 2003.

The New York Philharmonic plays the Great Lawn every summer as part of its tour of the city parks, and since 2012 the Global Citizen Festival has held regular events there with top-class line-ups such as Beyoncé, Metallica, Neil Young and Coldplay. (Garth Brooks drew hundreds of thousands to North Meadow, above 97th Street, in 1997.)



Robert Dunfee