New York celebrates a concert with thousands of people

Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith y Paul Simon They headlined a massive concert in Central Park this Saturday to mark the “homecoming” of New York City after the devastation represented by the `Covid-19 pandemic.

But a hurricane heading toward the east coast of the United States, along with a sharp increase in coronavirus cases due to the highly contagious delta variant, threatened to spoil the party at this star-studded event, which is expected to draw some. 60,000 people.

People went to the Great Lawn of the Central Park on Saturday afternoon as the New York Philharmonic played poignant renditions of classics like “New York, New York.”

All attendees over 12 years of age had to present proof of vaccination, except those who had not been able to get vaccinated for health reasons. The use of masks was not mandatory at this outdoor event, except for non-immunized children.

At least everyone is vaccinated “at the shows, said Ilana Gómez, who was very excited to see guitarist Carlos Santana’s band play.

Music is what I missed the most “during the pandemic, the 27-year-old told AFP, adding that it was” incredible “to be together with so many people, although she thought it was not” the best idea “to hold such a big event. .

“We’re back”

Speaking to local radio on Friday, the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, said the event seeks to “tell people that New York is back, tell the whole world.”

The pandemic hit New York hard in early 2020 and has left more than 33,000 dead in the city.

Bill Thompson, a 69-year-old man who has always lived in the Big Apple, said he was “more cautious than ever”, although he said “it is a pleasure” to see the city come to life.

In the week leading up to Saturday’s show, the city hosted a series of hip-hop concerts featuring performances by Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, KRS-1, and the Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killah and Raekwon.

The event was expected to last five hours and be broadcast live on television. Except for the VIP places, the tickets were free.

Also starring will be Jennifer Hudson, LL Cool J and Barry Manilow.

Henri and his threats

Although about 68% of adult New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 cases have recently soared to more than 1,850 a day, a 19% increase in two weeks.

The unvaccinated population continues to face risks both of contracting the virus and of feeling its worst effects.

My heart goes out to all who suffered, “said Laurie Ramirez, an educator in her 50s who came to the event because she won a ticket due to her essential worker status during the pandemic.

It’s extraordinary. It is the most beautiful thing “to be here, he told AFP.

The threat of bad weather also cast a shadow over the holiday, after US meteorologists raised Storm Henri to a hurricane on Saturday, predicting it would make landfall on the East Coast on Sunday.

Henri wouldn’t touch New York City, but it could still cause tropical storm conditions starting Saturday night.

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