Clive Davis and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the artists who will be joining Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Jennifer Hudson at the New York City “homecoming concert” in New York’s Central Park on August 21: Andrea Bocelli, LL Cool J, Kane Brown, Elvis Costello, Earth, Wind and Fire, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Cynthia Erivo, Jimmy Fallon, Wyclef Jean, Journey, the Killers, Gayle King, Don Lemon, Barry Manilow, Polo G, Patti Smith, Rob Thomas with Santana and guests Jimmy Fallon, Gayle King and Don Lemon, with more to be announced and presumably surprise appearances as well.
Davis noted that Springsteen will join Patti Smith for a duet — presumably on their cowritten 1978 hit, “Because the Night.”
The concert — which bears the unwieldy title, “WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert produced by New York City, Clive Davis and Live Nation” — will air exclusively on CNN.
De Blasio stressed that vaccinations will be required for the concert, which is taking place on the park’s Great Lawn as part of a weeklong celebration of the city’s reopening. According to the announcement, 80% of tickets will be available for free. For ticketholders, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for entry. Given the outdoor setting and vaccination requirement, masks will be optional.
Gates will open at 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 21; the concert will begin at 5 p.m.
Speaking with Variety on Tuesday, Davis said, “It’s really a wonderful honor to be given the responsibility to curate this incredible homecoming concert, it’s clearly one of a kind.”
He also said there is “room for two or three more performers,” but of course did not tip his hand as to who they might be, beyond saying, “We’re trying to make sure that every genre of music is represented, so if we see one that is not fully represented, that give us an opportunity.”
HAPPENING NOW: @CliveDavis joins @NYCMayor to announce a star-studded roster of talent for the #HomecomingWeek Concert at the Great Lawn in @CentralParkNYC! https://t.co/YB7hPj2AoC pic.twitter.com/58LSiwogjm
— City of New York (@nycgov) July 27, 2021
Citi is a presenting sponsor and the Official Card of the concert. Cardmembers will have access to purchase presale VIP tickets beginning Thursday, July 29 at 10 a.m. EDT until Sunday, August 1 at 10 p.m. EDT.
Free tickets, as well as VIP tickets for purchase, will be released to the public in batches at nyc.gov/HomecomingWeek starting on Monday, August 2 at 10 a.m. EDT. Additional free and VIP ticket release dates and times are as follows:
• Tuesday, August 3 at 7 a.m. EDT
• Wednesday, August 4 at 9 p.m. EDT
• Thursday, August 5 at 7 a.m. EDT
• Friday, August 6 at 10 a.m. EDT
• Saturday, August 7 at 9 p.m. EDT
Central Park’s Great Lawn has been the site of many iconic concerts over the decades, from the Global Citizen shows in recent years (which have featured Beyonce, Metallica, Neil Young and Coldplay; pictured above in 2019) to Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, Carole King and Diana Ross, who performed an iconic show during a rainstorm.
When announcing the concert in June, Davis, a New York City native, said the mayor had reached out to him about three weeks prior, around the time of Davis’s most recent, star-studded Grammy gala, which was divided into two parts this year. He said his team — including his attorney son Doug, who plays a key role in organizing the galas — began lining up performers right away.
Mayor de Blasio said on Tuesday, “This is going to be an historic, monumental moment for all New Yorkers and all Americans. I’ll put it plainly: You’re going to want to be here. This is truly once in a lifetime and we thank Clive Davis, Live Nation and Danny Meyer for all their efforts to help make this possible. This is a celebration of our city, of every working family who faced incredible challenges last year and overcame. This is a celebration for you.”
“There is absolutely no place more special than Central Park to celebrate the reopening of New York City,” said Clive Davis. “I consider the Mayor’s request a true honor; and, with Live Nation, we are curating an unforgettable show befitting of this historic occasion.”
“Live music has the unique ability to bring us together,” said Geoff Gordon, Regional President, Live Nation. “We are excited to join Mayor de Blasio, Clive Davis, and Danny Meyer in producing this special night of live music as we reconnect fans with some of their favorite artists in Central Park for the WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert.”
“New Yorkers know that their city is waking up and coming back strongly—and I can’t think of a more uplifting way to celebrate than to enjoy live music from some of the world’s most renowned artists, on the Great Lawn of NYC’s Central Park,” said Danny Meyer, Board Chairman of the NYCEDC and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group. “I’m thrilled to join Mayor de Blasio, Clive Davis and Geoff Gordon for what I know will be an event for the ages.”
Expedia is the presenting sponsor and official travel companion of the concert and will give away up to 1,000 concert tickets to select Expedia Rewards members.
In addition to the concert, NYC Homecoming Week, a citywide celebration of New York City’s resilience, will also include from August 14th through August 22nd:
• Live concerts, produced by the Universal Hip Hop Museum, in the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens;
• Free movie screenings by Rooftop Films;
• Cultural activities and public art; and
• Iconic events including NYC Restaurant Week and Summer Streets.
The five-borough week of events will drive support for the mom-and-pop businesses that define our neighborhoods and that kept the heart of our city beating throughout the COVID pandemic. For more information on NYC Homecoming Week events and tickets, visit nyc.gov/HomecomingWeek.