Send It To me
Shoulda been Central Park and I'm truly shocked its not.
I guarantee it's because he didn't want to fall short of his prior performances/attendance figures
Interesting article about how attendance figures for the free Central Park concerts were completely made up and wildly exaggerated. Actual attendance may have been as little as one-tenth
of what was reported.
]Great Lawn: A Bubble of History Bursts
About New York
By JIM DWYER JULY 23, 2008
Here is an official history of attendance at great public gatherings in Central Park: James Taylor played in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow in the summer of 1979, and officials announced that 250,000 people came. A year later, Elton John performed on the Great Lawn, and the authorities said he drew 300,000 people. Then Simon and Garfunkel performed in September 1981, and city officials and organizers reported that 400,000 people had packed into the park. Ten years later, it was announced that Paul Simon drew 600,000. The biggest concert of all, it seems, was by Garth Brooks, on Aug. 7, 1997, at the North Meadow, with a reported attendance of 750,000 people.
That march of history has come to a screeching halt.
Ten days ago, Bon Jovi played on the Great Lawn, and the city’s official head count came to 48,538 people — a number tallied by parks workers with clickers at the entryways to the lawn. This total includes only the people admitted to the 13-acre oval that makes up the Great Lawn, and not any of those gathered in the walkways and swaths of ground to the east and west of the lawn.
Still, the Bon Jovi crowd was a fraction of the colossal throngs that are part of the city’s collective mythic memory. If fewer than 50,000 people were able to fill the oval, how could a half million more people get anywhere near the Paul Simon concert held in the same space?
The answer, city officials say, is that they didn’t.
“You look out at the sea of people from the stage, and your mind tells you, ‘That’s what hundreds of thousands of people looks like,’ ” Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, said. “Now we know it’s 48,500.”
This is the sound of the hot air balloon of history being popped. It is no accident. For the last four years, the city has been struggling to defend a decision to deny permits to two antiwar groups that sought to hold a rally of 75,000 people in Central Park around the time of the 2004 Republican National Convention.
The city argued that the big crowds would damage the Great Lawn, which was restored in 1998 at a cost of $13 million. The groups argued that the city had permitted concerts and a papal Mass to be held on the lawn, and sued, claiming they had been excluded because of their political views.
In January, the city settled the suit by paying $50,000 to the groups and an additional $500,000 in legal fees, and agreed to hire a panel of experts who would advise the commissioner on the use of the Great Lawn by crowds.
“It’s the single location in Manhattan that can function as an appropriate site for mass activity, either political rallies or concerts,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a lawyer for the Partnership for Civil Justice, which brought the legal challenge to the city’s decision not to issue a permit. “They want to end that as a venue for mass political actions. It’s an historic location, where hundreds of thousands of people gathered.”
Mr. Benepe said that was not true, and that the precise counts show that the old numbers simply were in the realm of fantasy. “The truth is that those historical crowds, you couldn’t accommodate that many people if you crammed them into every open space in Central Park — Great Lawn, North Meadow, Sheep Meadow,” he said.
Of the 13 acres on the Great Lawn, only 10 can be used by an audience, with the rest of the space reserved for the stage and for aisles. Each acre has 43,560 square feet, and based on standard space allocations of five to seven square feet per person, could accommodate somewhere in the vicinity of 6,000 and 8,000 people. Of course, on the lawn, many people spread out on blankets. Just outside the lawn oval are five or six more acres of space, with poor lines of sight but within earshot.
“Capacity was not the issue when they denied the permit,” Ms. Verheyden-Hilliard said. “It was the content of the speech.”
The Bon Jovi concert had big commercial backing that was linked to last week’s All-Star Game.
“You still have Major League Baseball and Bank of America using the lawn for events that work with their advertising,” she said.
How, by the way, did anyone figure that 300,000 people came to hear Elton John or 750,000 for Garth Brooks?
“You would get in a room with the producer, with a police official, and a person from parks, and someone would say, ‘What does it look like to you?’” said Doug Blonsky, a former city parks administrator who is now the president of the Central Park Conservancy. “The producer would say, ‘I need it to be higher than the last one.’ That’s the kind of science that went into it.”
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2018-06-24 15:06 by tatters.