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New York governor greenlights state’s live music return with 300 ‘NY PopUp’ shows

On the heels of Dr. Fauci’s prediction of the safe return of live music in the fall of 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has given New York City’s arts and entertainment sectors a jumpstart with the announcement of NY PopUps, launching as soon as February 20 and running through Labor Day. With over 300 pop-up shows slated to take place over the course of merely 100 days, Cuomo has proposed the “pilot program” to assist in the return of performances to the city that is widely known as the arts and entertainment hub of the country.

“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.” 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Free and open to the public, NY PopUps is getting creative and lenient with their definition of a stage for their events, with plans for entertainers to seize anything from subway platforms to museums, skate parks to fire escapes, and more. In addition to using the city’s existing landscape and structures, the program will serve as a pilot to test the implementation of “flex venues”, reimagining traditional venues including the Shed, the Apollo Theater, Harlem Stage, La Mama, and Alice Busch Opera Theater. Further contributing to the busk-esque nature of the performances is the element of surprise, as a bulk of the pop-up style events will be impromptu in hopes of limiting the crowds for a more intimate, socially-distanced experience.

While the majority of the performances will be unannounced, the council of advisors behind NY PopUps have confirmed a number of special guests, including Hugh Jackman, Renée Fleming, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Q-Tip, Billy Porter, Patti Smith, Aparna Nancherla, Dev Hynes, Jonathan Groff, Phoebe Robinson, Danielle Brooks, Idina Menzel and more. Kicking off February 20 with a special tribute to healthcare workers, the performers will travel around New York City, meeting audiences at various locations including at the footsteps of the Flushing Post Office, Elmhurst Hospital and St. Barnabas Hospital. The events will conclude Labor Day weekend in partnership with the 20th Anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival and The Festival at Little Island at Pier 55.

More information on NY PopUps is to come, and be sure to follow their Twitter and Instagram to stay updated on the latest.

H/T: Billboard

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