We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert in New York, a nationally televised event in Central Park that was slated to include live performances by Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen, was canceled mid-show due to extreme weather conditions .
At around 7:30 p.m., as Barry Manilow sang “Can’t Smile Without You”, an announcement was posted asking fans to quickly leave the Great Lawn to their safety. Rain and lightning ensued – the first manifestations of Hurricane Henri, which is due to hit the east coast this weekend.
Earlier today, New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio, who had been criticized for staging a large-scale event (though only vaccinated) amid the spread of the Delta variant, had tweeted: “At this time, we don’t expect the weather to have a major impact on tonight’s concert in Central Park and the show will continue!” A few hours later, DeBlasio said state of emergency for New York City.
Before the abrupt cancellation of the concert, several groups including Jennifer Hudson, Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas, LL Cool J, Journey and Earth, Wind and Fire were able to play their sets without interruption. “I wanted all genres of music to be represented tonight,” said legendary music director Clive Davis, who hosted the concert alongside Live Nation, leading the show. The event was also broadcast live by CNN. “I hope you have a moving and truly memorable tonight, celebrating music and celebrating the reopening of our great New York City.”
Watch Barry Manilow’s “We Love NYC” Set Shorten
In addition to Springsteen and Simon, artists yet to take the stage included Patti Smith, the Killers, Elvis Costello and more.
A similar incident happened on the Great Lawn in 1983 during a free concert by Diana Ross. The singer, who tried to continue performing despite heavy rain, wind and lightning, was forced to wrap up her set after around 25 minutes.
Watch Diana Ross fight the weather in Central Park
As Hurricane Henri hits the east coast, several other shows have been postponed. Kiss pushed back a date in Hartford, Connecticut, set for August 22, while the Eagles postponed their August 22 concert at Madison Square Garden later this week.
The concerts are back: opening night plans for major rock groups
As the world slowly begins to reopen, the artists plan to return to the stage.