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.