NYC Mega Concert Canceled Midway Through: ‘Mother Nature Put Her Foot Down’

Photograph by Keith Marder.

By Carol Tannenhauser

At 7:37 p.m., Saturday night, We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert was suspended after lightning flashed above the Great Lawn in Central Park, where the concert was being held. 60,000 people were estimated to be in attendance.

Barry Manilow was just getting started with a peppy yet plaintive rendition of “I Can’t Smile Without You,” when a man walked on stage and gave the musicians the cut sign, and an announcement replaced Manilow’s voice.

”Please pay close attention to the following safety message. Due to approaching severe weather, all persons should move quickly and calmly to the nearest exit….”

The Associated Press posted a video of it happening here.

At first, there were reports that the concert might resume, promulgated by the mayor himself. According to the New York Post, “Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed optimism that the show would go on. ‘We need everyone for a brief period of time to move to some place safe because of thunder and lightning, and then we will bring the concert back,’ he said at the mic.”

It was not to be. “Sources said the mayor stubbornly pushed the NYPD to allow the show to resume from 10 p.m. to midnight, but persistent thunder and lightning made that impossible,” the Post reported.

A WSR commenter wrote,

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

Blame it on the rain.

Correction: The concert was suspended at 7:37 p.m. not 8:37 p.m. as we originally reported. 


ART, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 19 comments | permalink
    1. Anon says:

      Where did the mayor and the organizers expect the 60,000 attendees to wait out the storm — a place which would allow them to return to the park after ot had passed? Im sure some of them were UWS residents or UES but did they expect the rest to squeeze into a Starbucks until the storm was over?

      • Not the sharpest says:

        Didn’t you see the notice? They were supposed to go to their “vehicles” LOL. It was a great way to show how in tune with NYC they are.

    2. Huh says:

      It was stopped around 7:35 not 8:37

    3. Honest Abe says:

      Bill DeBlasio pulled a Diana Ross

    4. UWS_lifer says:

      UWSiders in the know went to watch the soundchecks on Friday afternoon.

      It was amazing. Barry Manilow was great at around 3pm and Paul Simon came out around 8pm. Unfortunately Paul was only going to play a couple of acoustic songs, The Boxer and Sounds of Silence, but I was hoping for something from Graceland. Still great!

      Patty Smith was impressive too. Her Because the Night is excellent but I heard during the real show Bruce was going to sing it with her. He didn’t show up for the soundchecks though.

      I also missed Elvis Costello’s rehearsal which would have been the highlight for me. Bummer!

      • Lifer says:

        I heard Elvis Costello at the rehearsals on Friday. It was indeed a highlight.

        • UWS_lifer says:

          Oh wow!! You are so lucky. I’m jealous.:)

          Did he play What’s So Funny About Peace, Love & Understanding?? Watching the Detectives?

          Anyway, unfortunate that there was no Plan B here considering they knew about this hurricane like 5 or 6 days ago.

    5. Mark Moore says:

      At least we know Barry Manilow wasn’t lip syncing when they stopped him mid song.

    6. Brenda says:

      Can’t stop thinking of the 6 or so people who actually bought the $5,000 tickets

      • Alex says:

        Wait people paid 5 grand to go attend a free show? Oh dear. Some people don’t have enough things to spend their money on. Must be nice!

    7. Carlos says:

      Apparently after “I can’t smile without you” Manilow was going to do “I made it through the rain.” Unfortunately, the concert did not make it through the rain.

      After everyone had left, was Paul Simon still there singing “Hello darkness my old friend?” And was Springsteen Dancing in the dark? Or singing thunder road?

    8. Jim Cash says:

      I tried to warn but wsr rarely allows my glib critical remarks to get through.

    9. Stan says:

      Who is trying to make the Mayor look foolish?

      For what purpose?

      • steve says:

        I think he does a fine job of that on his own.

        • Stan says:

          Why would anyone make the Mayor look purposely foolish?

          For how long does a Mayor stay in office after defacing the property in front of a sitting President’s home?

    10. Steve says:

      SNAFU from the start. Not enough entrances or security if my experience is in any way common. 520 PM I got to my gate. 602 PM I found the end of line (it was more than a mile from the gate with no security). Not sure what time we got to 72nd Street gate where they checked our proof of vaccination but after the vaccination check, I saw 5 or 6 unchecked people jump the barricades and join the line – one was let in by a security guy who opened a gate for him. We finally got to the entrance to the show 2+ hours after we started and were turned away because the weather started to change. Why did BdB give out so many tickets if he didn’t have enough people to check vax status and good security to make sure only vaxed people could get in? Maybe the rain was nature’s way of protecting us! There were a lot more people behind me on the line than in front or inside the show when it was called.

    11. EGF says:

      The entire debacle never should have happened in the first place.

    12. Stan says:

      Was the Gov. humiliated at his Tuesday, 31 March 2020 Press Conference too?

      Comeback Concerts and Press Conferences are quite public venues. Well publicized. Especially, if there is a hurricane involved. And, they live on the Internet forever.