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Central Park’s iconic Great Lawn is set to be closed to the public until spring 2024 after the grass was churned up by a music festival. 

Huge crowds descended on the Manhattan hotspot on September 23 for the Global Citizen Festival, which quickly the space became more reminiscent of the boggy chaos that ruined this year’s Burning Man festival. 

About a third of the 12-acre green space was destroyed by a ‘combination of heavy rain, foot traffic, and machinery used for staging’ wrote NYC Councilwoman Gail Brewer in a letter to Mayor Eric Adams. 

Brewer urged Adams to move the event to another location in the future, with the Great Lawn – one of the most popular summer spots in the Big Apple – now closed until next April at the soonest. 

New Yorkers will have to wait until April 2024 at the earliest to use the Great Lawn in Central Park after around a third of the space was ‘completely destroyed’

The Great Lawn is usually one of the most popular spots in Manhattan for Big Apple residents to soak up the sun in the summer months 

Thousands descended on the Great Lawn for the Global Citizen Festival on September 23, churning up the Central Park lawn while enjoying the Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Central Park Conservancy, which made the decision to shut the space, said the lawn was ruined by ‘saturated conditions’, which came after large storms whipped up by the remnants of Tropical Depression Ophelia

The environmental body described around a third of the Great Lawn as ‘fully destroyed’, with images of the scene showing it consumed by mud.

While crews are now ‘working to restore the lawn’, the group said they only hope to open the space next spring due to the damage. 

‘The Central Park Conservancy is very disappointed that the iconic Great Lawn is now closed and unavailable for New Yorkers to enjoy this fall,’ a spokesperson for the Central Park Conservancy added.  

‘While we share New Yorkers’ frustration, we have had a positive relationship with the Global Citizen Festival producers and are confident any damages will be remedied expeditiously,’ a spokesperson for the NYC Parks Department added. 

The Parks Department added that it normally only cancels an event in the case of thunder and lightning, neither of which was present despite the wet and wild weather on the day. 

The annual event was also headlined by Lauryn Hill, who drew thousands to Central Park despite wet and wild weather last month

Festival-goers saw their day in Manhattan marred by the remnants of Tropical Depression Ophelia

Event organizers defended holding the event in a storm, saying it was determined before the festival got underway that this year’s event ‘should go ahead in the rain’

Cleanup crews are hoping to have the space back up and running by April, with the Great Lawn already undergoing routine maintenance in the winter months each year 

While many New Yorkers may be disappointed to lose the location for several months, officials have noted that the space is generally closed through the winter for standard maintenance. 

A city official told NBC New York that organizers of the event followed all protocols for staging permits, and will be responsible for costs associated with bringing the Great Lawn back to its former glory. 

Global Citizen holds the free event every year, with this year’s headliners including Lauryn Hill and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and drawing thousands of attendees. 

Global Citizen organizers also defended their decision to hold the event despite New York being washed out by storms at the time, saying in a statement that they worked with a number of agencies on potential risks.

They said it was determined before the festival got underway that this year’s event ‘should go ahead in the rain.’ 

NYC Councilwoman Gail Brewer has urged Mayor Eric Adams to move the annual event to a stadium, adding that she has ‘never been a fan’ of the Central Park festival

The organizers said that Global Citizen acknowledged the grass would need replacing before the event ensued, and it ‘reaffirmed’ that it would pay costs before and after the event. 

While the event has paid costs every year since it began in 2012, Brewer slammed the festival in her letter to Mayor Adams, and suggested it would be better suited to ‘an arena or stadium.’ 

She said she has ‘never been a fan’ of the festival, adding: ’12 acres of public greenspace will be unavailable to New Yorkers until April 2024 or later, all to accommodate a one-day event.’ 

‘I urge you to schedule the Global Citizen Festival in a venue other than Central Park, such as an arena or stadium.’ 

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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