Mayor Holds Out Possibility of NYC Homecoming Concert Part 2: ‘There’s Unfinished Business There’

Photograph by Keith Marder.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Mayor Bill de Blasio is not ready to call the NYC Homecoming Concert over, even though it ended abruptly on Saturday night with a display of lightning and a sudden and sustained downpour. He made that clear at his media availability appearance Monday morning, where he revealed himself to be a “glass half full” kind of guy.

“It was almost the exact halfway mark when the rain came,” he said. “This is the definition of glass half full, glass half empty. It was really sad to see that show have to end, profoundly sad, because it was getting better and better, stronger and stronger. But the first half alone, is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.”

In fact, that night, de Blasio took the mic about ten minutes after the concert was first shut down, instructing the crowd to wait out the storm nearby with the hope of the performance resuming. He defended that somewhat controversial action.

“Everyone wanted the show to go on,” he explained. “The initial information we got from our Emergency Management Department and from the weather analysts was that there was going to be an end to the thunderstorms. I mean, a summer thunderstorm is a pretty common thing, and a lot of times brief. We understood it would pass and then we’d have a good long stretch where things would be clear.”

Now, the mayor is again holding out the possibility of picking up where Saturday’s concert left off.

“There’s unfinished business there,” he said. “I had a good conversation yesterday with Clive Davis and Doug Davis. We are going to be meeting in the next few days to consider options. But all I can say is what they did in putting together that concert was one of the greatest acts of love and support for New York City I’ve ever seen. And there’s still more out there, and we’ll have updates on that as we go along.”

Photograph by Keith Marder.

Among the artists who performed Saturday night were the New York Philharmonic, Earth, Wind and Fire, Andrea Bocelli, Carlos Santana, Jennifer Hudson, LL Cool J, and Barry Manilow, who was singing when the lightning struck. Performers who were rained out include Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Patty Smith, and Paul Simon.

“Anyone who was a part of that is going to remember it for the rest of their lives,” the mayor added. “It was an amazing, amazing concert and really sent the message to the whole world that New York City is back.”

ART, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 32 comments | permalink
    1. MQue says:

      Watching the teamsters take down the stage every morning I’m sure they will be delighted to put it back up, lol

    2. Steve says:

      I think nature brought the rain to protect us all from spreading COVID far and wide. Show was a SNAFU from the start. Only 2 GA entrances. Not enough security. 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 and nobody to make sure people kept their distance – line was full of underage kids consuming alcohol). 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. None had to show vaccine cards which defeated the purpose of the 1+ mile long line. 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? There were a lot more people behind me on the line than in front or inside the show when it was called. BdB must be happy because now he will be remembered for this instead of all of his other failures.

    3. joe braun says:

      Stop!
      Wait until the pandemic is over and done with.
      Current mayor will no longer be there as well.
      Do it when the time is right.

    4. deBlahblahblah says:

      What a vainglorious idiot. His actions are directly endangering public health.

      Will no community group apply for a permanent restraining order against this fool?

      What is the protocol for removing a mayor from office?

    5. EGF says:

      Stop the insanity.

    6. Leon says:

      Hopefully the artists will be the voice of reason here and not make themselves available – that would simplify things a lot.

    7. Marci says:

      We got caught in the completely mismanaged crowds waiting to get in when we wanted to walk home through the park. Everyone was agreeable enough but few had masks on (I did), and people were shoulder to shoulder; so close that I could smell the alcohol on the guy’s breath who apologized for stepping on my foot.

      Today I tested COVID positive despite being fully vaccinated and already having had COVID. Since we are super careful and go almost nowhere, I’m pretty sure I got this in the 8 minutes I was stuck in the middle of that crowd.

      I don’t understand what DeBlasio’s hurry is to get things “back to normal” when they just aren’t.

    8. Chris says:

      Is this a tax payer funded event?

    9. UWS_lifer says:

      We all have to give credit to Bill de Blasio for one thing:

      He truly has united the city and rallied us together.

      No matter your race, class, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation we can all agree that this guy is a disaster.

      The arrogance, the incompetence, the horrendous political instincts…he truly has it all.:)

    10. Robert Fishkin says:

      The show’s unceremonious end was a disaster with mixed, contradictory messaging. First fans were told to vacate the park. Then the mayor announced to wait around, followed by more announcements the show was “canceled” around 8 pm and the field was evacuated. Then CNN reported it might still continue. Then the promoters “cancelled “ the show again at 10:30 when it was already canceled at 8 pm!! A total mess. Article after news 🗞 article reported what a great job the promoters did, but Thousands of people paid top dollar for VIP tickets and were left empty handed. Refunds are in order.

    11. Terrapin_Station says:

      I don’t understand what everyone is crying about. I had a great time. I got there an hour before gates opened like I would for any large festival event and was in in 20 minutes. I was kinda bummed you couldn’t buy a beer but we smoked a nice spliff, danced and had a great time. I was hopeful the show could restart. I have been at shows before that evacuated and restarted (Paul Simon 2016!) My friend at the Wilco show in Queens had the event stop then restart. So I held out hope for a couple of hours.

      But still I got to see 3 hours of fun music and had a great time with my date. I would LOVE if they did a part 2!

      • TJ says:

        Here here for some positivity on this feed! We also had a blast, and were incredibly emotional at the downbeat of the evening (Marin Alsop conducting the Phil on Bernstein’s Candide overture). The ending was a bummer, but I’m sure a lot of us have some great memories of walking home in the rain. Felt like NYC had really returned.

      • joe braun says:

        Glad you had a great time.
        Wait for the next one to be AFTER the curse of Delta is ovew & done with.

      • John says:

        Smoking is illegal in the park

    12. Alfonse says:

      Hey Billy boy. Accept the fact that this isn’t going to be people’s defining memory of you. The only thing people will remember was that you f-ed up the city in ways that will take years, perhaps decades to recover. What I will remember is that not one Democratic Mayoral candidate wanted your endorsement.

    13. GG says:

      Let’s not forget that de Blasio and his wife were viciously booed when they were introduced and took the stage Saturday night.

      He immediately started thanking Clive Davis and the front line workers so that people would have to start cheering. Sort of a cheap politician’s trick but it worked like a charm.

      Reminded me of the original Simon & Garfunkel concert in Central Park when Paul was thanking everyone: NYPD, FDNY, Parks Dept…cheers. Mayor Ed Koch…BOOOOO!!! 😂

    14. yoyomama says:

      The confusion was inexcusable. Everyone was predicting Hurricane Henri and DiBlasio is thinking this:

      ““I mean, a summer thunderstorm is a pretty common thing, and a lot of times brief. We understood it would pass and then we’d have a good long stretch where things would be clear.”

      He clearly didn’t have a Plan B and C for an impending hurricane.

      As a result, the crowd was confused. CNN (live broadcast) was confused. The artists that CNN got on the phone were confused.

      How is it possible to have so much confusion when everyone knew a storm was coming? What planet was the mayor on?

    15. Jean Luke says:

      I got online at 6pm and by 7:30pm was finally near the front when lightning appeared. Worst entrance to a concert I have ever experienced. 2 entrances were not enough and not enough security. Typical DeBlassio mismangement.

      I am super glad to hear there may be a 2nd opportunity to have the rest of the show again. Would love to see Paul Simon and Bruce and please bring Barry back as well.

    16. Enough Is Enough! says:

      Five days after the Mayor’s Gran Fiasco, dozens of filthy, stinking toilets are still around the Great Lawn.

      There are still huge (disruptive and destructive) trucks in the park at night, slowly-slowly-slowly hauling equipment and material away, blocking access for nighttime walkers, runners, etc.

      The Great Lawn began to be barricaded on 8.15, and was progressively less accessible through 8.21. Today, 8.25, the Great Lawn still isn’t completely restored to normal, or fully accessible.

      I’m sure he thinks he’s “sticking it” to “wealthy” UES and UWS residents, but in fact that park is used by all residents, and in a brutally hot August serves as a recreational outlet for people of all socio-economic levels, day and night.

      These ridiculous mass-audience events are too big a disruption and serve no public purpose. They only serve as a vanity-project of a greatly reviled mayor, and line the pockets of some promoters and artists, ALL at great risk to public health.

      Enough is enough! Restore the park immediately, and stop holding these scam-ola events that block access to the park for 10 days in the hottest part of the year. Enough is enough!

      • TomF says:

        Well put, Enough. I’d add that it is odious to sell expensive VIP tickets for an event in a public park, especially Central Park, whose creators conceived it as as an act of social reform and intended it to be freely accessible to all citizens. I’m disappointed that the Conservancy, as guardians of the park’s legacy, didn’t put up any resistance.

    17. SaulMax says:

      DeBlasio has officially joined the ranks of notable self-absorbed pandemic morons like DeSantis and Abbott. This idea was sweet but definitely stupid given the nature of the Variant. Why would anyone put so many people at risk?

    18. janet says:

      Such a great photo by Keith Marder!!

    19. RWC says:

      Deblasio Ego boosting nonsense .
      No one needs another concert in Central Park and wasting our tax money and resources.

    20. KAB says:

      This wonderful set of comments may be the first time I’ve ever seen the caring readers of WSR all in accord! This mayor certainly has unified us in frustration and fatigue with his chaotic administration.

    21. UWSIDER says:

      Insanity to hold while COVID is spiking, efficacy of early vaccines is waning, and boosters are still months off for most. Also, I walked around the Great Lawn yesterday and it’s a mess; the grass looks awful. These events are great in normal times but they are always really tough on the park.

    22. Suzanne says:

      Sure, keep spending and spending on his way out of office…and having super spreader events despite vaccine cards. How many who are “double vaxxed” months ago still have antibodies or have been antibody tested? Sounds like more frivolous spending, and the height of hypocrisy, once again.

    23. Fabricated story ! says:

      Not in your life will there be a part 2! Bill de Blasio should have never promised this.
      Total BS!

    24. Jim Cash says:

      Best mayor ever.

    25. Steven says:

      This is what de Blasio spends his time on?

      How about the filth and homeless people that define his time in office. How about fighting the outrageous helicopter problem undermining the basic quality of life for millions of New Yorkers n this city.

      This concert is a joke.

    26. Nelly says:

      Yes, would love for this concert to “finish what was started”. Great up and until the rain interrupted our NYC’s comeback outdoor concert!

    27. ST says:

      Some disgusting moldering plastic outhouses are still up in Central Park. No one needs this.