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People fill Sheep Meadow in Central Park on May 31, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images
People fill Sheep Meadow in Central Park on May 31, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Less restrictions, more celebrations: NYC plans for 60,000-person concert in Central Park

As COVID-19 restrictions ease across the country, NYC is set to celebrate with a music festival in Central Park this summer.

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After more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many cities and states are easing their mask and social distancing mandates, and more in-person events are being planned.

New York City announced on June 7, its own easement of COVID-19 restrictions once 70% of adult New Yorkers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To celebrate the city’s reopening, a mega concert in Central Park is set to take place as part of a “Homecoming Week,” representing the city’s COVID-19 recovery. 

“The lifting of our COVID restrictions is a sign of how hard New Yorkers have worked to contain the spread of the virus and protect their communities," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “While we have come so far, it is still imperative that those who have not received the vaccine do so, so that they may enjoy the state's reimagined reopening to the fullest extent possible."

As a sense of normalcy starts to settle in, this will be the city’s first return to live music on such a mass scale, with as many as 60,000 attendees set to enjoy music on the Great Lawn in Central Park. 

The New York Times reported that the large-scale outdoor event is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21, with at least three hours of live music.

According to the Times, New York City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio’s office said there will be vaccinated and unvaccinated sections to ensure COVID-19 safety. 

Cuomo announced in early May that large-scale outdoor venue capacity can operate under 33%, but the new guidelines state large-scale outdoor venues will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity as long as attendees are fully vaccinated with an additional requirement of attendee’s proof of full vaccination. 

“Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers and our partners in government, we are now able to increase capacity limits for businesses, event venues and residences,” he said. 

The event has not yet confirmed any artists, but de Blasio enlisted Grammy award winning music producer Clive Davis to obtain a lineup of artists, and tickets will reportedly be free. 

As many cities begin easing restrictions, events such as New York City’s Central Park concert will only be the beginning to showcase the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. De Blasio is even branding the event as a celebration for residents and those looking to visit the city again. 

“This concert is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” de Blasio said, according to the Times. “It’s going to be an amazing lineup. The whole week is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen before in New York City.” 

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