New York’s SummerStage concert series has announced plans to return to live, in-person concerts and performances at outdoor venues this summer.

According to the announcement, “Pending adjustments to current NYC restrictions, free music and dance performances will return to Rumsey Playfield in Central Park this summer and performances will also be held in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park/Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.

“Performances will follow all state and local regulations regarding large-scale outdoor events, including limited capacity, masks and socially distanced seating. Admittance will require a free ticket, proof of vaccine and/or negative COVID test, and health screening – such as a questionnaire and temperature checks.”

Veteran rockers Dawes will headline the first benefit show of the SummerStage season on Friday, September 16, whose new album is titled “Good Luck with Whatever.” Tickets, assuming full venue capacity, will be on sale through AXS Ticketing this Friday, April 16 at 10:00 AM ET on http://www.axs.com. Should health and safety guidelines continue to require more limited seating capacity, tickets may be refunded or modified by The Bowery Presents. Barenaked Ladies’ benefit show originally scheduled for July 8, 2020 has also been rescheduled for July 6, 2022. All previously purchased tickets will remain valid for 2022.

The announcement also notes that all in-person performances will be livestreamed on SummerStageAnywhere.org, rights permitting.

It’s all a cautiously optimistic but positive step toward the return of the live-music industry, with a series of performances at two of New York City’s most popular outdoor venues.

Also, although SummerStage neighborhood locations will be more limited this summer, the CityParks PuppetMobile will present free, family-friendly marionette theater performances in parks throughout the city.  Additionally, City Parks Foundation will soon launch a special micro-grants program for grassroots arts organizations, individual artists, community parks groups, and local community-based organizations to provide funding for free cultural programs in parks and neighborhood plazas in the city’s most under-resourced communities. Both of these efforts will help ensure that free cultural programs are available around the city’s public spaces.

“The last year has been enormously difficult for our city. Live performance, with the energy that is generated by experiencing it with others, will be a balm for our collective soul,” said Heather Lubov, City Parks Foundation’s Executive Director.  “SummerStage has been an active member of the NYS Nonprofit Outdoor Performing Arts Coalition, working with fellow outdoor venues and the NYS Department of Health to ensure that we are well-prepared to provide a safe and comfortable concert-going experience that follows strict health protocols.  SummerStage will help restore vibrancy to our city through free performances in parks, which have been such important public spaces for New Yorkers seeking safe respite during the pandemic.”

In 2020, SummerStage launched its first-ever digital festival, SummerStage Anywhere, presenting over 100 digital performances. Continuing into 2021, SummerStage Anywhere is presenting weekly digital performances and will offer live streams of all in-person performances, pending artist permission, on SummerStageAnywhere.org.

Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage is a proud member of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).