UPDATED: Paul Simon announced today he will perform the final concert of his Farewell Tour in the borough of Queens, where he spent his formative years. On Saturday, September 22 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park — site of the World’s Fair in 1939-40 and 1964-65 — Simon and his band will bring to the stage a career-spanning setlist of hits and classics, as well as a unique selection of songs the artist has selected for this once-in-a-lifetime show.
Simon will be donating all personal net-proceeds from the event to a previously selected cause, which will be announced at a later date, according to the announcement.
“It seems more like fate than coincidence that I should do the final show on this final tour at Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” Simon said. “I could have ridden my bike from home to the park in about 20 minutes, when I was a kid. But this is less a goodbye than a farewell. Thank you all for the ride, I had a great time.”
Considering the historic theme of the tour and the setting, it seems likely that Simon’s former musical partner Art Garfunkel, whom he’s known since the two attended middle school together, will be involved in the “unique selection of songs” referenced in the announcement.
“When Paul Simon sings ‘Homeward Bound,’ there’s no doubt he means New York,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The grit, beauty and complexity of this city are woven into Simon’s most haunting songs, and our greatest venues have formed the backdrop of his performing career. It’s only fitting that this son of Queens comes home to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.”
“Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound – The Farewell Performance” will be the first major concert event at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in decades. While the Panorama Festival was originally scheduled to take place at the venue in 2016, it was not granted the necessary permits. In a statement to Variety, a representative for the Parks Department said: “Parks has not changed its policy on reviewing and permitting events. Last year, Parks declined applications for large-scale, multi-day festivals in [Flushing Meadows park] based on their impact to the park and proposed displacement of popular park uses. Here, Parks is approving a one-day concert with a significantly smaller footprint and impact on park use than previous proposals. We are looking forward to welcoming Paul Simon back to his hometown for the last stop on his farewell tour.”
Tickets for the concert will go on sale beginning Friday, June 29 at 10 a.m. ET at axs.com. American Express Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Monday, June 25 at 10 a.m. ETthrough Thursday, June 28 at 10 p.m. ET. The event is produced by The Bowery Presents and Madison House Presents, New York City’s premier concert producers.
“We’re so thrilled that Paul’s final concert will be held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, a stone’s throw away from his alma maters, Forest Hills High School and Queens College. Paul’s farewell performance will be a once-in-a-lifetime event and we’re so proud to share it with him here, in the borough of Queens,” says Congressman Joseph Crowley.
“On behalf of NYC Parks, we’re elated and excited that Paul chose to hold this historic final concert in his home borough of Queens. They say you can never go home, but actually you can,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “In summer, there’s no better place to enjoy live music than outdoors in a City park, and what a night this will be. Thank you, Paul!”
“In a generous 140-minute show, the artist remained in top form and showed why we’ll miss his band-leading and arranging talents as much as his rare sense of poetry,” Variety’s Chris Willman said in his review of the tour’s Los Angeles stop.
“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end,” Simon said earlier this year when announcing the tour. “Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief.”