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LN named booking partner for Central Park venue

Live Nation has announced it will be the exclusive booking partner for the nonprofit Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage festival in New York’s Central Park.

Ahead of the 2023 summer season, the promoter will be responsible for booking all ticketed benefit concerts between June and October at the 5,000-cap Rumsey Playfield site.

SummerStage annually presents close to 90 free and benefit performances in Central Park and neighbourhood parks throughout the five boroughs.

“Being a New Yorker for over 10 years now, I’ve spent plenty of nights at SummerStage shows and have witnessed first-hand the significant upgrades City Parks Foundation has implemented to the venue over the last three years,” says Stacie George, Live Nation SVP bookings, Northeast. “It’s truly an honour and a privilege to book the most prestigious play in New York City’s Central Park and we’re already looking ahead to the 2023 summer season, aiming to make it the best one yet.”

“Live Nation has a fantastic roster of artists whom we are certain will follow in the SummerStage tradition”

The venue, which launched almost 40 years ago, reopened in 2019 after a $5.5 million transformation that included a new, larger stage and a new sound system, enhanced stage and venue lighting, LED screens, new and raised seating areas, additional concession areas, and improved dressing rooms and production spaces.

In 2022, it renovated its VIP space with an expansion of the member lounge to include a covered seating area with an additional viewing deck and now plans to upgrade its electrical systems and improve ground stabilisation.

“We are thrilled to partner with Live Nation for our 2023 and 2024 SummerStage benefit concerts in Central Park,” adds Heather Lubov, executive director of City Parks Foundation. “These ticketed concerts help support our free performances in parks across New York City. Live Nation has a fantastic roster of artists whom we are certain will follow in the SummerStage tradition by including some of the most important legacy artists and today’s hottest young musicians, attracting New Yorkers of all ages, while also helping raise money to keep the majority of our festival free-of-charge for everyone.”


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Storm Henri disrupts US concert comeback

We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert, the star-studded show held in New York’s Central Park on Saturday 21 August, became the biggest victim of Hurricane Henri, the tropical storm which battered New England and the north-eastern United States over the weekend.

The concert, first announced by the mayor of New York city, Bill de Blasio, in June, was put together by veteran label exec Clive Davis in association with Live Nation and was to have featured performances by Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, the Killers, Jennifer Hudson, Run DMC, Carlos Santana, LL Cool J, Andrea Bocelli and more. However, the 60,000-strong crowd were asked to leave Central Park early – at around 8pm, during Barry Manilow’s set, and before Springsteen, Simon and the Killers could take the stage – as the heavens opened and lightning filled the sky.

While most tickets for the show were given free to New York residents, VIP tickets were available, priced between US$399 and $5,000, according to AP.

De Blasio acknowledged that “while it’s disappointing that tonight’s concert had to end early”, the lightning meant that authorities had no choice but to end the show early: “the safety of everyone in attendance had to come first.”

Other events were also called off after the state of New York declared a state of emergency on Saturday morning ahead of Henri (now downgraded to a tropical storm) making landfall.

Eagles’ highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden, part of the band’s Hotel California tour, on Sunday (22 August) was cancelled by the arena, as was a Jason Mraz show at Mohegan Sun Arena (10,000-cap.) in Uncasville, Connecticut, the same night.

Elsewhere in Connecticut, Kiss’s show at the 30,000-capacity Xfinity Theatre in Hartford will now take place tonight (23 August) after being postponed from Sunday due to the hurricane.

Sporting events such as the PGA Tour golf tournament, which is in New Jersey, also cancelled or postponed scheduled fixtures.


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