FLATIRON — It's not just the Grammys that Kanye West is interrupting.
The superstar rapper is set to perform a free outdoor concert outside Madison Square Park on Thursday night — but some neighbors are angry about the crowds, street shutdowns and round-the-clock preparations West's performance will bring to the area.
West is the headliner of the free 8 p.m. concert at Broadway and 23rd Street, a promotional event for the NBA All Stars Weekend that is expected to draw 10,000 revelers. The event will shut down traffic on Broadway and Fifth Avenue between 23rd and 26th streets beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Community Board 5 recently sent a letter to local residents and businesses vehemently opposing the use of a public space for such a large commercial event, and asking community members to write to the city with objections.
“Manhattan Community Board 5 has unanimously objected to a commercial event of this size in what is meant to be a public space for passive use,” CB5 said in the recent letter. “We…object to the City’s approval system for event permits in our pedestrian plazas, which allows for no public review.”
Workers were expected to begin setting up for the event — including building a stage and doing lighting and audio work — early Tuesday and they planned to continue preparations 24/7 until the night of the concert. The stage will be taken down by 7 p.m. on Friday, according to Elliot Winick, the site coordinator working for the event’s promoter Roc Nation.
“It’ll mostly be daytime work, but the lighting can only really be worked on at night,” Winick said.
Roc Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the neighbors' concerns.
In response to concerns, the city said it has worked with CB5 and the Flatiron Business Improvement District for weeks before the event and took their concerns into account.
"The City is committed to ensuring safety of all events while minimizing traffic disruption and impact on local residents, and this event is no exception," said Emil Lissauer, acting director of citywide events coordination and management.