City Plans Central Park Concert for the Vaccinated: LL Cool J, Santana and More

NYT Music

LL Cool J, Elvis Costello, Andrea Bocelli, Carlos Santana and the New York Philharmonic will join Bruce Springsteen and other artists next month at the starry Central Park concert that the city is planning to herald its comeback from the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

The mayor said that concertgoers would need to show proof of vaccination.

“We want this to be a concert for the people,” Mr. de Blasio said at a video news conference, announcing more of the headliners — and the name — of the event, “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert,” which will be held on the Great Lawn on Aug. 21. “But I also want to be clear: It has to be a safe concert. It has to be a concert that helps us keep moving forward our recovery.”

“So, if you want to go to this concert, you need to show proof of vaccination,” he added.

The lineup features artists and musical icons from a number of eras, genres and styles, including the Killers; Earth, Wind & Fire; Wyclef Jean; Barry Manilow, and the previously announced performers, including Paul Simon, Jennifer Hudson and Patti Smith.

While 80 percent of the tickets will be free, proof of vaccination will be required to attend. (Reasonable accommodation would be provided for those unable to get vaccinated because of a disability, the city said in a news release.) Masks will be optional, given the vaccination requirement and the fact that it is being held outdoors.

Free tickets will be released to the public in batches at nyc.gov/HomecomingWeek beginning Monday at 10 a.m. Others will be available for purchase Monday.

Gates will open for the concert, which is being produced in partnership with Live Nation, at 3 p.m. on Aug. 21, and the show will start at 5 p.m. CNN will also air the event live worldwide, including on CNN en Español.

The venerable music producer Clive Davis, a Brooklyn native, has been working on the concert since May. He has lived almost his whole life in New York, he said at the news conference, but has never witnessed anything like the events of the past year and a half.

“As a born, bred and true New Yorker, I well know how resilient we are, and how New York always comes back,” Mr. Davis said. “And yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are coming back. And I cannot think, really, of a more appropriate way to celebrate this than an unforgettable concert in the most special venue in the world: the Great Lawn at Central Park.”


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