Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Black Keys Deliver on the Great Lawn in Central Park

NEW YORK , Central Park –  Neil Young and Crazy Horse did not disappoint, and neither did any of the big-name bands leading up to the rockers’ thunderous performance in a packed Central Park last Saturday Night.  Young, the Black Keys, the Foo Fighters, Band of Horses and K’Naan wowed the 60,000-plus fans who turned out Saturday night for a free concert in Central Park to call attention to extreme poverty.

Neil Young in New York's Central Park

Neil Young in New York’s Central Park

The Black Keys and Foo Fighters delivered raucous, loud, riff-heavy sets, and John Legend made a surprise appearance, playing “Imagine” at a piano on the Great Lawn stage, a short walk from where the song’s author, John Lennon, once lived, and died.

But it was Young, with his on-again off-again band Crazy Horse, that brought the night’s trancendent performance, starting with a 14-minute barrage of distortion and harmonies in the song “Love and Only Love” from the album “Ragged Glory,” and ending with the Young anthem “Keep on Rockin in the Free World,” backed by the night’s previous performers, all wide-eyed and smiles as they performed with a true musical legend still at the height of his uncanny powers.

The concert was scheduled around the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week and organizers used an innovative approach to ticket distribution so that many concert-goers were forced to learn about an array of global problems, such as polio, malaria, child mortality, and polluted drinking water, in order to get a ticket.

Anyone wanting free tickets had to register at globalcitizen.org, which then required users to watch videos or read information about poverty-related issues. Each time material was consumed, users could earn points toward a drawing for tickets. Points were also accumulated by sharing information by way of Twitter or Facebook.

“Our social media campaign has been off the charts,” said Hugh Evans, CEO and co-founder of the Global Poverty Project. The approach demonstrates a new model for harnessing digital tools that may be repeated for other big events with political or social messages.

Organizers said more than 71,000 people had signed up online, resulting in more than 3.5 million page views. On average, they spent just over six minutes consuming content or sharing information. Nearly 200,000 pieces of information were shared on Facebook, and just a bit more than that on Twitter. About 170,000 people signed petitions via the site, and there were 98,000 videos viewed to completion.

Evans said the project achieved its goals, set out last year, of getting more than 100,000 people to take action related to extreme poverty while telling a new story about the challenges. To that end, the site conveys information in detailed, documentary-like accounts and uses an array of video, graphics and stories that are friendly for mobile and digital consumption.

Financially, he said, the project also achieved its yearlong goal — working with an array of organizations like the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the Earth Institute and Rotary International — of garnering $500 million in commitments to help fight poverty.

So now what?

Evans said that he’s hoping the audience, built online and at the concert, will continue efforts by tweeting President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney to halve extreme poverty by 2015, which is the key U.N. anti-poverty goal. And Evans is working on an announcement in October or November about “a major rock band” getting involved with the anti-poverty efforts.

 

New York Philharmonic in Central Park 2012

This year’s scheduled performance by the New York Philharmonic on Central Park’s Great Lawn promises to be another great opportunity to enjoy great music under the stars at the center of Manhattan.Performances begin at 8 p.m., so if you want seating close to the stage, plan to arrive about 2 hours early — if you’re less particular, and depending on the size of your group, you can arrive up until the show begins.

Great Lawn in Central Park, Manhattan
Friday, July 13, 2012

New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert
– Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 4
– Respighi – Fountains of Rome
– Respighi – Pines of Rome

Great Lawn in Central Park, Manhattan
Monday, July 16, 2012

New York Philharmonic conducted by Andrey Boreyko
James Ehnes on Violin

– Lyadov – Polonaise in Memory of A.S. Pushkin
– Tchaikovsky – Violin Concerto
– Brahms – Symphony No. 1

Directions:Westside entrances: West 81st or 86th Streets at Central Park West; Eastside entrances: East 79th or 85th Streets at Fifth Avenue

Things to Bring:

  • Food and drink (alcohol is generally tolerated, but there are police around, so keep it low-key)
  • Candles (it gets dark as the night goes on and it can be difficult to see your companions)
  • Jacket or Sweater (after the sun sets, the temperature can drop and you’ll be happy to have it)
  • Bug spray to keep mosquitoes away (citronella candles can also do double duty)
  • Balloons are a good way to help you find your friends (cell phones work too) [Please dispose of your balloons in the trash — releasing them into the air is essentially littering and can be harmful to wildlife.]
  • Blankets to sit on (a plastic garbage bag makes a great liner between your blanket/beach towel and the moist ground)

Black Eyed Peas To Play Central Park

The band will perform in Central Park on June 9 to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation and fight poverty in the city.

“This isn’t helping some person that’s half way across the world. This is somebody you walk by every day – it’s personal. It’s about the love of New York,” Fergie told Elvis Duran on the Z100 Morning Show.

Beginning on May 11, you can enter to pick up a free ticket by registering at BlackEyedPeas.RobinHood.org – 54,000 free tickets will be available only through a random giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Good Morning America Concert Series

“Good Morning America” announced its  2010 Summer Concert Series lineup with acts covering a wide spectrum of popular music – from artists such as RihannaBlack Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys to pop sensations the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, and Miley Cyrus all the way to country artists Sugarland and Lady Antebellum, “GMA” will be a popular morning destination all summer long in Central Park.  And for those 80’s nostalgia fans “GMA” will also feature The GO-GO’S in their final television performance.  The 2010 Summer Concert Series returns for the second straight year to the Rumsey Playfield, for a live performance every Friday.

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE MAP TO RUMSEY PLAYFIELD.

“GMA’s Summer Concert Series” begins off this Friday, May 21 with the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato performing songs from the highly anticipated “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.”  Fans interested in joining “GMA” in Central Park are encouraged to arrive at Summerstage Rumsey Playfield via the 72nd Street entrance on Fifth Avenue at 6 a.m., when the park opens to the public.

All concerts are free and open to the public and will take place live during “Good Morning America,” Fridays from 7 to 9 a.m. ET. Additional dates and acts will be announced throughout the summer. Concerts scheduled-to-date include the following:

May:
May 21 — Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, Camp Rock 2
May 28 — Sugarland

June:
June 4 — Diddy– Dirty Money
June 11 — Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan
June 18 — Miley Cyrus
June 25 — Alicia Keys

July:
July 2 — Mary J. Blige
July 9 – To Be Announced
July 16 – The GO-GO’S
July 23 — Sheryl Crow
July 30 — Black Eyed Peas

August:
Aug. 6 — To Be Announced
Aug. 13 — Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, Camp Rock 2
Aug. 20 — Rihanna
August 27 — Lady Antebellum


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