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Empire State Building announces new nightly light show to raise New Yorkers’ spirits

Written by
Howard Halle

The world famous tower lights atop the Empire State Building, which routinely display combinations of colors to mark various occasions and holidays, has been relatively quiet of late, lit mostly in white while the city has gone into lockdown. This staid interlude, though, is about to end in a big way tonight at 9pm when the ESB begins a nightly program of light and sound shows in collaboration with iHeartMedia's Z100 radio. The station will simulcast Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” as the ESB illuminates the skyline in a range of hues synched to the song.

Designed by lighting artist Marc Brickman, the show is meant to lift the spirits of New Yorkers as they shelter in place, and will kick off each night at 8:55pm with spotlight interviews of first responders—doctors, nurses, EMT crews and other clinical personnel—who are on the front line in the war against COVID-19.

The program will replay on Saturday, March 28, and then again from Monday, March 30 through Thursday, April 2. On Sunday March 29th, the ESB will dynamically pulse like a heartbeat from 9pm to 10 pm in support of The iHeart Living Room Concert for America being broadcast in that time slot by Fox.

New shows will premiere every Friday night starting April 3. The organizers are reminding viewers to maintain social-distancing protocol if they're viewing the event outdoors. Or if you prefer to remain indoors, you can stream the show live on the ESB's Facebook page.

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