Thursday, March 23, 2023

NYC Central Park Concert Halted Mid-Song Due To Rain And Lightning Threat

New York’s months-in-planning post-Covid-shutdown “Homecoming” concert in Central Park was abruptly halted mid-show this evening – mid-song, in fact – after lightning and rain broke out in the area.

Grammy winner Barry Manilow was on stage performing the song “Can’t Smile Without You” when an announcement was made, telling those on the scene to exit the venue and seek shelter.

While artists including Andrea Bocelli,, LL Cool J, Jennifer Hudson, Journey, Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas, the New York Philharmonic, Jon Batiste, Earth, Wind and Fire and Wyclef Jean,had already gotten their stage time before the concert shutdown, other headliners including Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Paul Simon and Elvis Costello had not yet performed.

Gayle King, Don Lemon, Clive Davis, and Steven Colbert had appeared on stage to address the audience between the performances.

The concert, created by mogul Clive Davis, was being broadcast on CNN, leaving anchor Anderson Cooper unclear on whether the show would resume, would not resume, or perhaps resume without an audience.

The “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” on Central Park’s Great Lawn was designed as a celebration of New York’s post-shutdown return to cultural life, a celebration that some New Yorkers had already been criticizing as premature given the recent surge in Covid’s Delta variant. As if that wasn’t enough, today’s concert was essentially a race with Hurricane Henri, which is expected to hit the New York coast tomorrow, possibly as a lesser storm. 

CNN currently is reporting that Davis is hoping to present the remainder of the performances – including Springsteen, Simon, Smith and Costello, among others – tonight if the rain tapers off, though an audience callback is unlikely.


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