Less than three hours after it started, the NYC Homecoming Concert in Central Park stopped, as lightning in the area led to evacuation orders from organizers of the event.
Shortly before 8 p.m., the NYPD issued a concert advisory, urging attendees to move to the nearest exits and seek shelter as the storm blows through.
According to Central Park NYC, the event is currently “on pause” due to inclement weather, though organizers of the event say the goal is to resume the show later tonight.
It appears some concertgoers have reentered the space, however, those we spoke to said, given the time and effort it took to get through COVID vaccination and security checkpoints, it’s unlikely they’ll head back in.
“They said to seek shelter around — but then they said they were going to try to bring people back, but I don’t understand how they are going to bring people back because it took literally two hours to get in there and they checked bags and vaccine cards, so how are they supposed to do that all again?” said Vaughn Broderick, an Upper East Side resident who attended the concert.
“It wasn’t a great night. We were there 15 minutes. It took us about an hour and a half to get in, and then they called it off,” added Kevin Voorhees. “Barry Manilow kept singing. We kinda appreciated that, respected it, but overall, very disappointed.”
Still, other concertgoers said the experience was worthwhile nonetheless.
“What I liked about it was the fact that everyone was vaccinated and it felt like a safe environment,” said Kristina Brown of Prospect Park Lefferts Gardens. “I definitely felt safe being here. There were some protesters outside screaming at us about anti-vaxxers. But other than that, I definitely think this is a way to welcome back NY. I loved it.”