Everything You Need to Know About Saturday’s Central Park Concert Whether You’re Going or Not

By Carol Tannenhauser

“We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” will take place this Saturday, August 21st, on the Great Lawn in Central Park, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. You can watch and stream it on CNN and its streaming platforms, starting at 5 p.m. ET.

But if you’re a person who likes to experience your music and historic moments live, you can still get tickets. As of Tuesday afternoon, free General Admission tickets were still available, and you can buy VIP tickets/packages. Here’s a ticket-location map.

Via Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster is the official seller and distributor of the concert tickets. You can get to their site by clicking here. There are four categories of tickets: General Admission; VIP; Gold VIP; and Platinum VIP. All VIPs enjoy a separate entrance to the concert, a “gentry entry,” if you will. Gold and Platinum VIPs also have access to premium location, amenities, specialty food and drinks, and more. Only Platinum VIP ticket holders have assigned seats.

It is important to note for those not going to the concert that, on Saturday, the park will still be accessible to the public except for the Great Lawn and immediate surrounding areas. The Park Drive will also remain in use.

For those planning to attend the concert, “each person age 12 or older must bring proof of vaccination that shows at least one dose of a Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine,” a city spokesperson told WSR. Here are acceptable forms of proof. “Exceptions are made for persons who are unable to get vaccinated because of a disability, who will be provided reasonable accommodation…. Unvaccinated minors under the age of 12 may accompany a vaccinated adult. Face coverings are required for unvaccinated minors under the age of 12 and who are over age two and medically able to tolerate a face-covering.” Masks are not required for others.

Here is the final lineup of performers:

Neither the list, nor the concert itself is without controversy. Of the lineup, Jake Offenhartz, representing the under-40 set at Gothamist, wrote, “No disrespect to Barry Manilow and LL COOL J, but it’s clear as day that the de Blasio administration didn’t consult a single young person for this line up — or else they did, then roundly ignored them… The lineup is an affront to the city’s young people, who sacrificed prime years of their lives for the common good, only to be invited to a show that features more aging soft rock luminaries and cable news personalities than actual contemporary artists. Enjoy your concert, the young kids will be in some other park.”

As for having the concert at all in the midst of a Delta surge, Curbed said the safety precautions put in place for it are “less than ideal,” since only one dose of vaccine is required, masks are not, and social distancing isn’t mentioned.

Said Michael, a long-time Upper Westsider who lives on Central Park West, “The concert should be cancelled. NYC already has an increasing rate of community transmission, and ICU vacancy is down to 30% (that is, 7 of 10 beds are occupied.) We need to remain vigilant. Music is part of my being. It is as important to me as daily exercise. This concert is a mistake and we are leaving town.”

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 91 comments | permalink
    1. Bill Williams says:

      Breakthrough cases are rampant and yet the event only requires one dose of the vaccine for entry. If the doom and gloom from government officials and the media about Delta is to be believed then this event being allowed to proceed is irresponsible at best. P.S. The only masks that work at all are the N95 and KN95 so if masks are being required then specify that or stop the charade.

      • NotImpressed says:

        This event should really not be held now.
        It’s completely irresponsible to have a mass gathering, even though it’s outside.

      • Josh says:

        I agree that this event is irresponsible. However, your N95/KN95 comment is misleading. Those types of masks, when properly worn, are the only ones that will pretty much block all chance of transmission. However, a plain cloth mask does offer some protection from acquiring enough virus to get infected. However, the cloth masks do an excellent job of stopping an infected person from passing the virus on. If both people in an interaction are properly masked with basic cloth masks, transmission rates are quite low.

        • Scott says:

          Greetings Josh. I’d like to know your qualifications for judging mask efficiency and the studies that show transmission rates are blocked completely with N95 masks.

    2. david says:

      Superspreader event, despite requiring proof of vaccination. Breakthrough cases are becoming more prevalent.

      More evidence of how out of touch our politicians are with reality.

      How many more must die due to the inept actions of our lame duck mayor?

      • Genuine Question says:

        Has Chicago seen a spike since Lolapalooza?

        • UWS78 says:

          No, they held Lollapalooza safely. Of 385,000 attendees, 203 later tested positive for covid. That’s 0.05%, or actually less than the general population rate of breakthrough infection. The fearmongering on here is saddening and insane. The vaccines work. Covid doesn’t spread outdoors. Go about your lives.

        • Maamaa says:

          203 cases of covid attributed to lollapalooza in chicaga

    3. wombatNYC says:

      I’m confused as to what we’re celebrating? The homecoming of what ? The Delta Variant?

    4. UWS TIM says:

      To the doom and gloom people already calling this a super spreader before it even has the chance – just stay home. The rest of us are excited to restore some of the heartbeat of our great city. Also, take a look at Lollapalooza. A lot of people called that a super spreader before, during, and after. Now weeks after: 385,000 attendees, over 90% were vaccinated. 0.04% of vaccinated attendees reported testing positive for the virus. 0.16% of unvaccinated attendees tested positive. No hospitalizations or deaths have been reported. Let the data speak! I look forward to the same outcome for the Homecoming Concert!

    5. Dr. FauciNot says:

      This could be a super spreader.
      Hoping it’s not as I wish all to have a
      great time and to be careful.

      • kkee says:

        The protests last summer were not superspreaders, and most people were not vaccinated then.

        • mkmuws says:

          Alas, that was not the Delta variant then. though I agree outdoors is immensely helpful, and this concert is a fraction of the capacity of several hundred thousand.

    6. Haptenfreur says:

      It is a gargantuan folly to hold an event like this at present. The current phase of the pandemic has rapidly unfolded and the Delta variant has very high rates of transmissibility. Even if vaccinated attendees on develop mild cases from Delta they still are able to infect the unvaccinated in the days after the event. Given the wide variety of performers scheduled to appear, such an event will draw spectators from a broad cross section of New Yorkers. While that would normally be a great thing, in this case it means the impact of this proposed super spreader event will be even worse. Cancel now.

    7. Crankypants says:

      No way in hell! Another bad move from the all-time King of bad moves, our buffoon of a Mayor.

    8. Bill says:

      If we are to cancel this we might as well cancel Mets and Yankees games as well. The Yanks had 75,000 people for their two games against the Red Sox yesterday.

      • Del says:

        Bill: Great take. Fully agree.

      • mkmuws says:

        Yes, the scenario of truly shoulder to shoulder in tight seating is far riskier. People are not even considering that this is 60,000 in a space that has a capacity of hundreds of thousands. Without hard-bolted rows of chairs, it would be virtually impossible for people to be as close in the park as at baseball stadiums. Also baseball has dropped vaccine and testing requirements.

    9. Michael says:

      Last week according to https://newsnodes.com/ we logged 80,000 people in the hospital with Covid. Yesterday, we logged closer to 90,000 people currently hospitalized.

      You can ask about Lalapalooza and reference the Yankees, but we are clearly in the 4th wave of a pandemic that is already larger than the first 2 waves. Whatever logical fallacy you want to compare this to, there are still over 100 million people who refuse to be vaccinated and a positivity rate of 11.5% in the US.

      We are losing this fight because of human behavior and the government’s primary job is to protect its population, not to promote the possibility of illness. Therefore, there is nothing smart about holding this concert at the current time.

    10. Brenda says:

      Eating & drinking in a crowd during a pandemic. What could possibly go wrong?

    11. Nevada Rancher says:

      thanks for posting, i thought they were all ‘sold’ already, and grabbed a pair.

      I agree with everyone here that there is still risk out there with a heavily transmissible variant of COVID-19, but to call it a significant risk, with the proven efficacy of the three EUA-approved vaccines that will make up likely more than 95% of the attending audience (as vaccination is mandated, and i dont even know if non-EUA-approved vaccines are accepted), is unfair.

      I should say, i totally agree that it was hubristic to hold the concert, though i dont fault them for not backing out. but the risk of catching the virus, furthermore experience symptoms, furthermore serious complications, is on par with some very unlikely events. I attended a packed comedy show at the Beacon last week, a much riskier proposition. but vaccine mandates and a 99% masked crowd (aside from the lady next to us 😡) gave me no pause. I will again don my n95 and head out for a nice evening in the park, and am glad i have the option of joining the crowd on the great lawn!

      • uwsgrl says:

        Where did you get them? Because the link above doesn’t go anywhere and all I could find were the paid version.

      • nycityny says:

        I’m sure the “lady next to you” wasn’t the only one not wearing a mask. I’m sure plenty had them on their chin, or didn’t cover their nose, or used an ineffectual material, or…

        That’s the problem with mask mandates – many ignore them and nobody enforces them. I believe they are absolutely necessary but in large indoor crowds they cannot be relied upon because of the lack of participation by many. Hence, a pandemic that’s lasted 18 months and counting, with no end in sight.

    12. Michael says:

      You can watch the show on CNN or stream through their apps.

    13. ml says:

      Seems like it is not really the event – outside – that is the risk. It is people’s behavior afterwards, like going to bars etc.

      BTW worth noting that an outdoor concert in the Netherlands in early July was determined to have been a super spreader and contributed to a rapid rise in cases. Attendees were to have shown proof of vaccination or negative test.

    14. Just Sayin says:

      Offenhartz is right. The only current artist of any note on the list is Polo G, who admittedly is a very good new rapper.

      • Just Sayin says:

        I guess also Kane Brown if you’re into country.

      • Gmabee says:

        The “elderly” are entitled to listen to some “real” music instead of lyrics that no one understands or are full of F-Bombs.

    15. Anderson says:

      I got vaccinated in Canada, will they accept my card as proof?

    16. Confused UWSider says:

      At the same time, Lincoln Center started conducting their Restart Stages events without any proof of vaccination. Thousands of people were standing on. line yesterday without masks or social distancing and later seated. Nobody asked if we were vaccinated. There is such a great inconsistency in requirements that understandably it causes mistrust in the most disciplined people and not just skeptics. Why are the requirements for the Central Park event are different from requirements for the Damrosch Park?

      • Huh? says:

        Restart stage events are outdoors so no vaccine checks are required.
        None of the spaces for LC Restart hold “thousands” so I’m not sure what you saw. Most events are by reservation and entry time is based on your pod location. There is a standby line but if someone in the line is too close you can move. The seating locations are spread apart.

    17. This doesn’t say anything about how to reserve for free admissions.. nor does the ticket site.

    18. Chris says:

      Great will see a spike in COVID after this. This should not be happening at this time.

    19. UWS Craig says:

      Shame on the organizers for including Barry Manilow in the concert lineup, which will attract the sort of elderly attendees most at risk from COVID.

      • lynn says:

        This is the funniest post I’ve read in a long time, thanks for the much needed laugh. Barry Manilow is not much older than Patti Smith and he’s a year younger than Paul Simon, lol.

    20. Tom Burkert says:

      Seems amazing that GA tickets are still available!!

    21. Bobby Panza says:

      i’ll be at Dead and Company @ CITI Field, registering voters with HeadCount on Saturday.

      Please feel free to stop by the booth and say hi. We’ll be giving away free pins for participation on Charity Row.

    22. Sam J. Nole says:

      Will there be food to purchase at the concert, as well as drinks??

    23. Debbie Downer says:

      Well, just add a possible hurricane (Henri) to the roster for Saturday — according to the latest weather forecast. So bring an umbrella.

    24. Mike says:

      Why is this event not cancelled. People still can spread covid even after being vaccinated. Why is CNN not reporting the break through death cases. Get vaccinated to help protect you Like wearing a mask just gives you some protection. But the best medicine is stay away from others. This concert will not be practicing social distancing so it’s time to cancel.

    25. Joseph Irving says:

      What are we celebrating? The rise of Covid 19? The fall of Afghanistan? Inflation? Crime? Increased murder rates? This concert is completely inappropriate and will be for years until the next presidential ekection. This stupid idea of a concert celebration must be canceled immediately.

    26. Mark says:

      There are those of us who have complied for the last year and a half. We are vaccinated and will have masks. If u want to live in fear after doing everything u can then that wil be a sad life. We choose to have some fun and we will. If u dont like it thats on u and stay away from the park on Sat

    27. Josh says:

      There is no other take: this is a monumentally bad idea. The only saving grace is that the lineup is so terrible that turnout should be dismal. Regardless, this is an embarrassingly tone deaf move. A week(ish) before school starts and the city decides it’s superspreader event time. Just nonsense. MYC is better than this.

      • Huh says:

        I don’t disagree that it was a bad idea. But please get your facts correct. Public schools in NYC start Sept 13, and what’s the connection anyway?
        Turnout was huge as expected. Just because you don’t like the lineup doesn’t mean an event is unpopular.
        But it should have been cancelled in advance anyway.

    28. Stacey Kelz says:

      TicketFaster is selling $15 General Admission tickets is this legit?

      • Huh says:

        What do you think?
        Anyone who has a legit ticket either wants to go or wants to make a lot of money.
        $15 serves neither purpose

    29. yoyomama says:

      Tickets are outrageously priced. Please tell us where the money is going. If it’s to fix the subway, great.

      LOL re: the list of sleepy performers. What’s Gayle King singing?

    30. Alice schram says:

      I am a New Yorker born and raised however I’m missing this concert as it’s dangerous, don’t they see and hear about the break through cases??? I don’t get it, I wanted a ticket and my son reminded me how crowded it will be on that lawn.

    31. Mark says:

      They are not allowing anything in. Chairs, coolers, blankets, backpacks, umbrellas, food & drink.

      Does anyone know if there will be food vendors?

      • lynn says:

        It appears there is a concession for the VIP area. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required, VIP Entrance at Central Park, VIP Restroom Facilities, VIP Concession Food & Non-Alc Beverage Options for purchase, On-Site VIP Event Management. The lowest priced ticket (standing, not seated) is $399.

        There are several options, but for only $4950 you can have: Description Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required, One Entry into Exclusive Backstage Lounge which includes:, Open Bar includes Beer, Wine, Mixed Cocktails,, Ready to Drink Cocktails and Assorted Soft Drink Selections, Catering inc Complimentary Eclectic Selection of Hor D’Oeuvres, Live Concert Video Feed in Lounge area, Exclusive Platinum VIP Entrance at Central Park, On-Site VIP Event Management.

    32. MTS says:

      Gentry entry???😮

    33. KadriW says:

      “Everything You Need to Know About Saturday’s Central Park Concert Whether You’re Going Or Not” – Yet no explanation of the reason behind the event.

    34. Jimcash@yahoo.com says:

      Storm coming.

    35. Eric Fierro says:

      Will there be alcohol concessions in the general VIP area? Is does not sound like it…

    36. EGF says:

      Nero plays his fiddle while Rome burns. Enjoy.

      • J Brown says:

        I don’t know about “burns” if you’re up on the weather forecast lol! Probably Not safe to be outside in tree filled (But beautiful) Central Park during Hurricane!!

    37. John says:

      if the concert is free why is ticket master charging for tickets

    38. Kate McLeod says:

      Does anyone know if the General Admission ticket that says you have a seat is actually a seat? I cannot find the info anywhere including the great lawn website.

    39. Alan Brownstein says:

      Concert should be cancelled as Delta variant is insidious in its spread. It is amazing that precautions are very very weak. This is NYC’s Sturges event that was organized well before the current surge – where is leadership to cancel.

    40. LesleyB says:

      I was so excited to win 2 tickets but now that they’re saying “no water or any drinks, no umbrellas, no blankets, …” and we’re expected to be there from 3 till the end and a storm is coming (again no umbrellas?), I’m not so excited anymore. Those $14 tickets are from scalpers (GA was free by lottery) but now even $14 is too much. Hopefully, it will only rain during Gayle King’s set. lol

    41. Jean Brown says:

      Is No One aware that a hurricane with 75mph wind, storm surge enhanced by high tide and full moon, lots of rain, saturated soil from previous storm( trees down, power out) is also planning to attend this great outdoor concert???!!! Central Park not place to be, Delta variant would be least of your problems lol

    42. CV says:

      Does anyone know the time schedule for the performances?
      Who goes on at what time?

    43. Seph Mair says:

      Naysayers stay home and be miserable. allow vaccinated to get back to living.

    44. Susan Doscher says:

      Does WSR have a list of street closures for tomorrow, Aug. 21? No Parking signs were put up on West 71st St btwn CPW & Columbus after 2 PM today. Will this be the case for surrounding blocks? 311 has no info & referred me to the 20th Precinct but there’s no answer. This page seems to have a list but it doesn’t load:
      Can you help? THANK YOU!

    45. BabyPepper says:

      Clive Davis? He obviously is totally out of touch with what’s going on in the music industry in 2021. There is not ONE artist I want to see at this concert. Paul Simon? I’m sure the septuagenarians will be thrilled.

    46. N Johnson says:

      Are small backpacks allowed in?

    47. Piel Jay says:

      A hurricane is enroute. Postpone this disastrous event of a concert.

    48. Zaura says:

      I couldn’t see any free tickets!
      Cheapest I saw was $400
      That’s not FREE!!
      Others were like $5000
      For that I can get liposuction!!
      😂 or an amazing vacation!
      Many of these singers are so old!
      Probably better to watch on telly!
      Plus I read you can’t bring anything with you?
      Guess they want people to buy a bottle of water for $$
      or food!
      Nothing to sit on?

      I’m not worried about Covid
      I’ve antibodies and both Pfizer vaccines!

      I’m concerned about others though?
      Who could get ill?

      Free tickets don’t exist?

      There’s only a 24% chance of rain?
      They expect people to stand for hours?
      and not eat or drink?
      What about toilets?
      Those booths to use are nasty!

      • J says:

        Seriously, have you ever been to a Central Park concert? You sit on the grass. It’s roughing it. They can’t install toilets for you. Porta pottys are it. Jeez.
        Free tickets are probably gone by now. Watch it on CNN if you want all the comforts of home.

    49. Maamaa says:

      Bad lineup. Terrible idea. We did such hard work to turn NYC around and now this stupidity.


      We need to trust the process and get on with our lives. If everyone follows the rules and is vaccinated there is no need to fear. ” There is nothing to fear but fear itself”!!!

    51. Eliana Webber says:

      Super spreader event. DiBlasio is a moron. He’s irresponsible and will be known as one of the worst mayors we’ve had. He’s a complete and utter failure.

    52. Doug Garr says:

      I love that this a great NYC argument. I read all the comments. I’m taking my iPhone to Riverside Park to listen to my Spotify jazz mix — and I’ll have an umbrella.

    53. Nicole says:

      Just to clarify some of the mask comments – all masks help decrease the number of DROPLETS transmitted (like someone coughs in your mouth, eeew I know). Of course some masks are better at this than others.
      A properly fitted N95 mask (and theoretically a KN95 if properly fitted since they’re used in other countries but I don’t know cause we can’t use them in the hospital) also blocks AIRBORNE transmission (like particles floating in air that you inhale).

    54. Peter says:

      The risk of contacting Covid is low unless you are the one who gets infected. Then it’s 100%! So if vaccinated you only get a mild case. But who wants to be sick at all? And even with a mild case you could be a long hauler.
      I’ll stay home thank you.

    55. mkmuws says:

      While I get the concern and the optics, people really need to be less dogged about lower priority issues when there are so many high priority ones. This is far from the most dangerous event going on in the city during a pandemic. Far. And remember there is stuff in motion that was set up before really grasping how aggressive we need to be against the Delta variant, only some things will be canceled for various logistical and financial reasons. This is way safer than Lollapalooza or baseball games logistically speaking. Only a fraction of the capacity of the Great Lawn is being allowed. Outdoors. Not shoulder to shoulder. If more of the music was near and dear to me I would go, and feel pretty safe doing so, both for myself and for my community.

    56. Paul Sladkus says:

      I agree it should be canceled, who is paying for it, BROKE ny city? but more important broadcast it only, central park costs taxpayers a fortune, use the money for research on covid. I canceled our September 21
      Peace Day Times Square http://www.peacedayparty.org event due to covid..it hurts, but our conscience must think of the greater good

    57. KT says:

      Enormous thanks to all concerned. Lifting City spirits is the bomb.

    58. Jean Ennis says:

      Where do the profits from today’s concert go?

    59. Paul says:

      Did not see very many people of color at the concert tonight?

    60. james says:

      Thank You Bill Debasio Clive Davis and all artist for thier time and efforts.I appreciate you all. BUT ONLY BRUCE CAN CLOSE

    61. Jacob says:

      God is not happy. That’s why the event had to be stopped. Vaccine mandate is bad. Pray for our country.

    62. Ellen Olenska says:

      “…the city’s young people, who sacrificed prime years of their lives for the common good,”

      Are you serious? How did they do this, exactly? And why are so many of them refusing to vaccinate?

    63. MIllie Banillie says:

      Pigheadedly trying to plow through with this ill-advised ‘event’ is/was the deluded denialist ‘woke’ equivalent of Abbot in Texas.

      With no competent adults in the Deblasio administration, Mother Nature intervened and put her foot down.

      Blame it on the rain.