Springsteen, Simon and Hudson set for New York post-pandemic concert

(Clockwise, from left) Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson and Paul Simon will star in a concert billed as a way to celebrate New York's "rebirth".
(Clockwise, from left) Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson and Paul Simon will star in a concert billed as a way to celebrate New York's "rebirth".PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon and Jennifer Hudson will star at a major concert in Central Park this summer to mark New York's emergence from the Covid-19 pandemic, officials announced on July 1.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had last month announced the concert, set for August, billing it as a way to celebrate the Big Apple's "rebirth" following the crisis that has killed more than 33,000 city residents.

He named the 71-year-old Springsteen, who hails from nearby New Jersey, singer-songwriter Simon, 79, and 39-year-old R&B singer and actress Hudson as the first confirmed acts.

Officials have not confirmed the date but The New York Times has said Aug 21 is the tentative plan.

Veteran music producer Clive Davis is organising the lineup and told the Times in June that he hopes to recruit eight iconic stars for a three-hour event that will be broadcast worldwide.

Many of the 60,000 tickets would be distributed free of charge, Davis said, though there will be VIP seating as well.

The concert will be the latest in a series of major music events hosted on Central Park's Great Lawn, like Simon and Garfunkel's classic free concert in 1981 or the Global Citizen concert in September 2019.

The announcement of the first performers come as America's most populous city seeks to relaunch its tourism industry.

The vaccination roll-out has drastically reined in coronavirus case numbers and virtually all restrictions designed to curb the spread of the virus have been lifted.

More than 67 per cent of adults in New York City have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to official data.