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Photograph: ShutterstockRIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 21: US singer Bruce Springsteen performs among the audience during the Rock in Rio 2013 concert , on September 21, 2013, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson and Paul Simon will headline giant Central Park concert

Organized by Mayor de Blasio and music veteran Clive Davis, the concert will celebrate the 'rebirth' of New York City.

Written by
André Wheeler

Central Park has long hosted some of the city’s most iconic concerts, from Diana Ross singing in the rain to Elton John donning a Donald Duck costume while rocking out on his piano. So it’s only fitting that rock legend Bruch Springsteen is set to front a massive "Homecoming Concert" inside the historic park this fall, Mayor de Blasio confirmed during a video press conference on Friday. Springsteen’s performance will be part of a glitzy celebration of New York’s reopening, with American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson and singer-songwriter Paul Simon also on the lineup. 

The concert is set to take place in August, although a specific date has yet to be announced. “This is going to be a great moment for the city, marking our rebirth, marking our comeback,” de Blasio said during the press conference. While announcing Springsteen’s performance de Blasio joked, “He’s beloved in New York City — even though he’s from New Jersey but, hey, no one’s perfect.” The mayor also praised Springsteen for recently reviving his wildly popular Broadway concert residency and “starting the Broadway rebirth.” 

More performers are expected to be announced closer to the concert. Veteran music executive Clive Davis is producing the event. According to The New York Times, insiders believe Patti Smith and Springsteen will perform a duet at the concert. 

Mayor de Blasio has previously stated the concert will feature separate vaccinated and non-vaccinated sections. And the show will likely not resemble the scaled-back affairs we’ve grown used to during the Covid-19 pandemic: over 60,000 concertgoers are expected to attend the three-hour show. However, 70% of tickets are expected to be allotted specifically for vaccinated attendees. 

The concert is part of de Blasio’s “Summer of New York” initiative. In April, de Blasio promised the city would "fully reopen" by July 1. And while this week has seen concerns grow around the fast-spreading Delta Variant across the nation, de Blasio did not address if rising cases could affect plans for the concert.  

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