NEW YORK (PIX11) — Central Park’s Great Lawn will be closed until the spring after torrential rain and concertgoers damaged the grass during the Global Citizen Festival last month, officials said Tuesday.
The popular 12-acre lawn will be off limits until at least April after “heavy rain, foot traffic, and machinery used for staging destroyed” the grass, according to a letter New York City Councilwoman Gale Brewer sent to Mayor Eric Adams. The Central Park Conservancy said one-third of the lawn was ruined and needs to be reseeded, the letter said.
The free festival happened while Tropical Storm Ophelia drenched the city on Sept. 23. This year’s concert was headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lauryn Hill.
The festival has been held in Central Park for 11 years, but Brewer asked the mayor to consider moving the popular festival to another venue, according to the letter.
“I have never been a fan of the Global Citizen Festival because so little, if any, of the grants allocated to non-profits in New York City… I urge you to schedule the Global Citizen Festival in a venue other than Central Park, such as an arena or stadium,” Brewer wrote.
Adams responded to the letter during a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday, saying he would speak to Brewer about the issue and that he doesn’t want to see any public lawns damaged.
Mira Wassef is a digital reporter who has covered news and sports in the New York City area for more than a decade. She joined PIX11 News in 2022. See more of her work here.