New York City is hosting a star-studded concert this weekend to celebrate the Big Apple’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic despite the Delta variant sparking the highest number of new cases since spring.
‘We Love NYC, The Homecoming Concert’ is set to take place Saturday, August 21 on the Great Lawn in Central Park and will feature big name headliners including Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and Jennifer Hudson.
They’ll each perform two of their songs, meaning fans can look forward to an evening of classic hits.
The concert has been organized by Brooklyn-born music mogul Clive Davis, who told the New York Daily News that the celebration will strike a balance as the city reopens despite rising COVID cases nationwide.
A woman dances on Central Park’s Great Lawn a day before the ‘We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert’, at the stage for the 60,000-person event
Earth, Wind and Fire perform a soundcheck on Friday in preparation for the ‘We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert’
A man sits at Central Park’s Great Lawn a day before the ‘We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert’. It will be the largest concert the city has seen since before COVID hit
The stage is set for the ‘We Love NYC, The Homecoming Concert’ is set to take place Saturday, August 21 on the Great Lawn in Central Park
‘New York will be reopening, so we’re going to be marking that and celebrating that,’ while ‘at the same time, encouraging people to keep on top of all of the guidelines,’ the 89-year-old said.
A crown of about 60,000 people are expected to attend the event, which is set to be NYC’s largest concert since the pandemic began in early 2020.
The free concert will only be open to attendees over the age of 12 who provide proof of vaccination, but they won’t be required to wear masks.
The city organized the concert with the entertainment company Live Nation, the Daily News reported.
As New York City prepares for the homecoming concert, it deals with an average of over 2,000 new cases of Covid-19
Legendary singer Bruce Springsteen (pictured) is set to headline the NYC homecoming concert this weekend
NYC’s homecoming concert was organized by Brooklyn-born music mogul Clive Davis (pictured)
Paul Simon (pictured) is set to headline the ‘We Love NYC, The Homecoming Concert’ this Saturday
Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson – currently starring in the Aretha Franklin biopic Aretha – is also scheduled to sing
Veteran singer-songwriter Barry Manilow will also perform two of his classics
Mayor Bill de Blasio said this event will go down in the city’s history books.
‘It’s going to be one of the greatest Central Park concerts in history,’ de Blasio said last month ‘This is something for the ages.’
Davis said the Central Park location for the concert was a symbolic choice.
‘The history of the Great Lawn, with its historic concerts, I couldn’t think of a better place to have this concert,’ he told the Daily News. ‘Music is the messenger.’
The concert comes as COVID cases have surged in New York City, with the the Delta variant now accounting for 94 percent of all positive samples
NBC New York reports that the five counties that comprise New York City are considered ‘high transmission’ areas per the CDC, but the transmission rate (total new cases per 100,000 people over the prior seven days) is down about three percent in just the last week, according to the city health department’s latest update Friday.
The city’s latest data shows New York’s seven day average of new diagnoses currently sits at 1,683, slightly down from the 1,892 average recorded last week – but well above the 197 rolling average seen in July, before Delta hit.
In total, NYC has had 2.22 million confirmed cases of COVID and 53,548 deaths.
Earlier this month, de Blasio announced the ‘Key to NYC’ emergency executive order aimed at combatting the delta surge.
The order requires New Yorkers to provide proof of vaccination for individuals to enter certain indoor establishments effective August 17.
It has sparked controversy among some business owners, who claim the scheme is pointless, discriminatory and difficult to enforce.
The ‘homecoming’ event will be broadcast on CNN and be available on the network’s website and app without requiring a log-in.
Also expected to perform are Andrea Bocelli, Carlos Santana, Jon Batiste, Andrea Bocelli, Kane Brown, LL Cool J, Elvis Costello, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lucky Day, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Cynthia Erivo, Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Hudson, Wyclef Jean, Journey, The Killers, Gayle King, Don Lemon, Barry Manilow, The NY Philharmonic, Polo G, Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, and Rob Thomas.