SummerStage to bring back in-person performances with COVID restrictions this year

Photo courtesy of SummerStage

A New York City staple is returning with in-person performances this coming summer.

Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage has announced that the annual concert series will bring back in-person performances for the summer of 2021. Pending adjustments to New York City restrictions, free SummerStage performances will return to Rumsey Playfield in Central Park this summer, as well as Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park/Richard Rodgers Amphitheater.

In 2020, SummerStage launched its first-ever digital festival, SummerStage Anywhere, presenting over 100 digital performances throughout the summer. All performances in the summer of 2021 will follow all state and local COVID-19 regulations, including limited capacity, masks and socially distant seating. Admittance will require a free ticket, proof of vaccine and/or a negative COVID test, and a health screening such as a questionnaire or temperature checks.

“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.”

The full SummerStage lineup will be announced at a later date. Highlights of the summer schedule include a benefit show lead by folk-rock band, Dawes, as part of their 2021 tour to support their new album, “Good Luck with Whatever,” on Sept. 16. Tickets will be on sale on April 16 at 10 a.m. EST — should health and safety guidelines continue to require more limited seating capacity, tickets may be refunded or modified by The Bowery Presents.

The CityParks PuppetMobile will present free, family-friendly marionette theater performances in parks throughout the city. Additionally, City Parks Foundation will launch a program providing micro-grants to 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.

Originally scheduled for July 2020, the Barenaked Ladies Last Summer On Earth tour benefit show that was postponed due to the pandemic has also been rescheduled for July 6, 2022. All previously purchased tickets will remain valid for 2022.

All in-person performances will be live-streamed online, rights permitting. For more information, visit SummerStageAnywhere.org.