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In New York, a big concert cut short under the threat of Hurricane Henri

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A huge concert organized in Central Park and intended to celebrate the “reunion” of the artists with the inhabitants of New York finally had to be canceled under the threat of Hurricane Henri.

Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen or Simon and Garfunkel … A big concert organized in Central Park, New York, to mark the “reunion” of the artists with the inhabitants of this city strongly affected by the Covid pandemic. 19, was finally arrested on Saturday, August 21, under the threat of Hurricane Henri.

Some 60,000 spectators were expected at this concert as the hurricane, with winds of 120 km / h, approached. It is expected to reach the US east coast by Sunday.

The show had started at 5 p.m. (9 p.m. GMT) with groups of spectators dancing, clapping and spreading picnic tablecloths, ready for five hours of live music. But Barry Manilow, who co-starred with Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and Paul Simon, was interrupted in the middle of a song by a voice urging viewers to move quickly but calmly to the nearest exit because of approaching stormy clouds.

“I find that, for safety, that is understandable. Besides, I hear the thunder”, reacted Maria Fuentes, a spectator.

Proof of vaccination required

Before the arrival of the clouds, many spectators remained worried about the epidemic situation, despite the obligation of vaccination, proof of which was required at the entrance.

All participants aged 12 and over were required to provide a vaccination certificate, except for those who could not receive a vaccine due to a disability. Masks were not required for this outdoor concert, except for unvaccinated children.

“At least everyone is excited,” said Ilana Gomez, who came especially to see guitarist Carlos Santana’s group play. “Music, that’s what I missed the most” during the pandemic, told AFP the young woman of 27, who found “great” to be at this concert with so many people, everything recognizing that it was not “the best idea” to organize such a big event.

The mayor of America’s largest city, Bill de Blasio, told local radio on Friday that the event was planned “to really tell people that New York is back, to tell the world.” .


Since the start of the pandemic, New York has deplored more than 33,000 victims of Covid-19.

“It’s a joy” to see the city come back to life

On the lawn of Central Park, Bill Thompson, a longtime New Yorker, said he was “more than ever on (his) guards”. “I am delighted that this is a vaccinated audience and that we have to show proof,” said the 69-year-old after applauding Diana Ross and Simon and Garfunkel on stage.

“It is a joy” to see the city come back to life, he said, despite persistent concerns related to Covid-19. “You feel so free to be able to take advantage of what people have missed for so long.”

In the weeks leading up to the event, a series of concerts also took place across different parts of the city, including Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, KRS-1, as well as Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, members of the group Wu -Tang Clan. The legendary George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars also performed at a concert in the Queens borough on Friday night.

With the exception of certain VIP seats, tickets were free to attend Saturday’s concert during which Santana, Jennifer Hudson, LL Cool J, Barry Manilow, and Earth, Wind and Fire were announced.

More than 68% of adults in New York are fully vaccinated, but the number of infections has rebounded recently in the city with more than 1,800 cases daily, up 19% from the situation two weeks earlier.

With AFP

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