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Central Park’s iconic Great Lawn closed until spring due to storm, Global Citizen Festival damage



NEW YORK – Central Park’s iconic Great Lawn will be closed until at least next year following damage from last week’s flooding and Global Citizen Festival, which went ahead despite torrential rain. 

As CBS New York’s Natalie Duddridge reported, there was perfect fall weather Tuesday to relax in the Great Lawn, but you can’t until next year at least. Signs say it’s closed due to weather and maintenance after last week’s storms and concert damaged the lawn. 

That’s what the red flags mean around the park – stop, do not enter. There’s also fencing to keep people out. 

We reached out to the Central Park Conservancy, the private nonprofit that manages the park under the city. They told us they’re disappointed the Great Lawn is closed and unavailable to New Yorkers this fall. 

They said the use of heavy equipment and intense foot traffic from the Sept. 23 Global Citizen concert damaged a third of the lawn. 

Central Park’s iconic Great Lawn was closed due to damage from the Global Citizen Festival and torrential rains. 


The concert, headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lauryn Hill, drew tens of thousand of people, but it absolutely poured that night. 

A food truck operator near the lawn will have less foot traffic this fall, and said all those feet stomping around left the park a mess

“Yeah, muddy. Full muddy,” he said. 

“I know the Chili’s were here this past year. It’s very special to see that in this venue, but is it worth the extra month of closure during peak fall conditions?” Koby Caplan said. 

“I think the conservatory does a fabulous job and keeping this park, so well kept,” one person said. 


Duddridge spoke to some people who said they’d like to see Global Citizen Festival move to another venue so the park is not impacted. That includes City Councilmember Gale Brewer, who wrote a letter to the mayor asking the park no longer host the event. 

“The combination of heavy rain, foot traffic, and machinery used for staging destroyed one-third of the Great Lawn. The Central Park Conservancy determined the extent of the damage necessitates immediate closure of the lawn for re-seeding. As a result, 12-acres of public greenspace will be unavailable to New Yorkers until April 2024 or later, all to accommodate a one-day event,” Brewer wrote. “I have never been a fan of the Global Citizen Festival because so little, if any, of the grants are allocated to non-profits in New York City. However, I believe the festival brings in $2 million to the general fund. I urge you to schedule the Global Citizen Festival in a venue other than Central Park, such as an arena or stadium.” 

We’ve reached out to the city for a response. 

The Central Park Conservancy said they’re working restore and reseed the Great Lawn, and the hope is it will reopen this spring. 

Source: CBS

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