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Central Park Preps for Black Eyed Peas Concert Expected to Draw 60,000

By Leslie Albrecht | September 26, 2011 7:08pm
Fergie and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas on stage in Madrid in July 2011.
Fergie and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas on stage in Madrid in July 2011.
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Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

UPPER WEST SIDE — Preparations are already under way for the free Black Eyed Peas concert in Central Park this Friday, which is expected to draw 60,000 fans and raise piles of cash for the poverty-fighting Robin Hood Foundation.

Here's what neighbors and concert-goers need to know to have "a good, good night," as the Peas would say:

Tickets are sold out.

The show is free, but tickets are mandatory for admittance. The concert was originally scheduled for June but had to be canceled at the last minute because of a storm, disappointing thousands of fans. Tickets to the June concert will be honored, but June ticket holders must have a new ticket issued to them via email. That's already happened, and so have radio station ticket giveaways. Pricey VIP tickets close to the stage — some of which sold for $2,500 — have all been snapped up as well.


The east side of Central Park West is already closed to parking from West 81st to 91st streets, and could stay that way through Oct. 4, according to a notice from the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. But parking should be relatively easy to come by later this week. Alternate side parking is suspended on Thursday and Friday citywide for Rosh Hashanah.

Bus stops on Central Park West won't be affected, and no streets around the park will be closed entirely. On concert day, East and West drives, also known as "the loop," will be closed to cars, but will remain open to cyclists, joggers and other recreational users all day.

Access to Central Park.

Some areas around the Great Lawn, where the concert is happening, have been already been closed to the public. On the day of the concert, all entrances to Central Park between 72nd and 86th streets on both the east and west sides will be closed. A crosstown commuter path that runs between West 81st Street and Central Park West, and East 79th Street and Fifth Avenue will stay open until 10 a.m. on Friday.

Playgrounds will remain open, but the Turtle Pond will be closed on the day of the concert.


Gates open at 3 p.m. The concert runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The park officially closes at 1 a.m. as usual, and then reopens at 6 a.m. the next morning.

Don't bring booze.

Alcohol and recording devices aren't allowed at the concert. For a long list of other things concert-goers should leave at home, click here.

Will Taylor Swift be there?

The June show had a long list of special guests lined up, including Taylor Swift, LL Cool J and Debbie Harry. So far none of those performers has said they'll be joining Fergie and will.i.am on stage, but a spokeswoman said the show could have some "surprise appearances."

How to donate.

Sales from VIP tickets and other concert proceeds benefit the Robin Hood Foundation. You can also make a quick donation online, or text GIVENYC to 50555.