A step towards live events return—New York gears up for statewide festival

As vaccination distribution continues along, the highly discussed return of live events becomes increasingly within the grasps of reality. After announcing that venues could possibly open as soon as February in New York, Governor Cuomo now delivers on his word as the state of New York prepares itself for a newly minted statewide festival.

The expansive festival dubbed, NY PopsUp, will launch February 20 and program more than 300 performances, many of which will be free, throughout the five boroughs until Labor Day on September 6. In efforts to hold safe live events, the pop-up model will utilize established performance spaces without fixed seating—such as The SHED, The Apollo, Harlem Stage—and adhere strictly to Department of Health guidelines.

The events will also creatively make stages out of existing landmarks including iconic transit stations, parks, museums, street corners, parking lots, and other structures. Confirmed artists include Patti Smith, Hugh Jackman, Amy Schumer, Q-Tip, Idina Menzel, Chris Rock, Billy Porter, and more.

The series aims to be the first indoor performances since the start of the pandemic and further, provide the building blocks for both New York and the arts industry’s recovery in its attempt to jumpstart the entertainment sector. Governor Cuomo stated of the announcement,

“We want to be aggressive with reopening the State and getting our economy back on track, and NY PopsUp will be an important bridge to the broader reopening of our world-class performance venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this entire pandemic, and we will lead once again with bringing back the arts.”

Additional information will be announced soon.

H/T: Billboard