Damage From Global Citizen Festival Forces Closure Of Great Lawn In Central Park, USA

by Mallika Khurana
Damage From Global Citizen Festival Forces Closure Of Great Lawn In Central Park, USA

In the aftermath of the highly anticipated Global Citizen Festival, held just last month in Central Park, New York City, a surprising and unfortunate development has unfolded. The iconic Great Lawn, a beloved green haven within the bustling metropolis, has been closed to the public until at least April of 2024. The reason behind this unexpected closure? Extensive and consequential damage was inflicted upon this renowned urban oasis during the festival’s grand event.

Central Park’s Great Lawn Is Closed

Great Lawn
Photo Credits: Canva

As thousands gathered to enjoy performances by world-famous artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lauryn Hill, the Great Lawn bore witness to an unforeseen outcome. Despite meticulous planning and the festival’s resounding success, the unexpected consequences of the event have left Central Park Conservancy, the organisation responsible for preserving and nurturing the park’s natural beauty, with no choice but to temporarily close this beloved space. 

As per the reports from Time Out, the Central Park Conservancy, responsible for preserving and maintaining the park’s beauty, expressed deep disappointment at having to close the Great Lawn. The iconic Great Lawn is now closed. It will not be available for New Yorkers to enjoy this fall, according to a spokesperson for the organisation, The Central Park Conservancy.

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The Iconic Lawn Will Be Off Limits Until April 2024

Central Park
Photo Credits: Canva

According to Time Out, the damage incurred was a direct result of the festival, which experienced heavy rainfall and drew thousands of attendees despite the adverse weather. The combination of saturated grounds, massive foot traffic, and the use of heavy machinery to set up and maintain the stage created a recipe for disaster. A substantial portion of the lawn was damaged, and a third of it was entirely destroyed, necessitating extensive restoration efforts.

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Despite the festival’s challenges, including heavy rain, meticulous planning and coordination took place with various city agencies, such as the NYC Mayor’s Office, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Office of Emergency Management, NYPD, FDNY, and the Central Park Conservancy. These efforts aimed to ensure the safety and success of the event. Ultimately, it was decided that the festival should proceed, unaware of the significant impact it would have on the Great Lawn.

While the Great Lawn traditionally closes to the public from late November through April, this unexpected closure during early fall has left many New Yorkers disheartened. 

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva