News and Commentary

NYC Plans Mega Concert For Reopening, Majority Of Tickets Will Go To Vaccinated
Great lawn in Central Park - stock photo Tetra Images via Getty Images
Tetra Images via Getty Images

New York City is planning a mega-concert in Central Park to celebrate its reopening later this summer. 

As reported by The New York Times, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview that the concert will be part of a “Homecoming Week” celebration for people who live in New York City and for people in the area who may not have come to the city for a long time. 

“This concert is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Mayor de Blasio said. “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.”

The show will be produced by Clive Davis, who said in an interview, “I can’t think of a better place than the Great Lawn of Central Park to be the place where you say that New York is reopening.”

“It’s an absolutely stunning place for the concert,” de Blasio said. “It makes you feel a deep connection to New York City.” The mayor noted that he wants to portray that New York City is prepared for September when many employees are reportedly expected to come back to Manhattan offices. 

As the Times reported, “The show, tentatively set for Aug. 21, is still coming together, with no artists confirmed, though Mr. Davis — whose five-decade career highlights have included working with Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston — said he is aiming for eight ‘iconic’ stars to perform a three-hour show for 60,000 attendees and a worldwide television audience.”

According to the Times, de Blasio’s office said there would be sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated people at the event and that around 70% of tickets would go to people who have been vaccinated.

New York has pushed its residents to get vaccinated with various efforts, including the introduction of a “vaccine passport” program called the Excelsior Pass. 

As The Daily Wire reported last month, Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the new program in March that allows New Yorkers to present a COVID-19 “passport” to get into sports arenas, theaters, or other places of business.

New York website’s page about the pass states, “Excelsior Pass supports a safe reopening of New York by providing a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. Think of it as a mobile airline boarding pass, but for proving you received a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test.”

Venues and businesses are able to scan the passes in order to make sure that a person meets the “vaccination or testing requirements for entry.” The person will also be asked to provide a photo ID to prove that the Pass is theirs. The website added, “Participation in Excelsior Pass is voluntary. New Yorkers can always show alternate proof of vaccination or testing, like another mobile application or paper form, directly at a business or venue.”

Approximately 1.1 million Excelsior Passes had been downloaded onto phones and computers as of late May, according to the state as reported by The New York Times.  At the time, however, 9.1 million New Yorkers had reportedly been fully vaccinated, calling into question why the “passport” program was not initially more popular. Over 9.3 million people have now been fully vaccinated in New York. 

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