New York Philharmonic "Concerts in the Parks"
Looking for information about the concerts on June 15 and June 16 on the Great Lawn? We've compiled everything you need to know right here, including our Top Ten Tips to help you plan the best night ever.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Great Lawn is open all day) Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Great Lawn is open all day)
We hope you enjoyed this year's concerts in Central Park! Check out our Facebook page for a video of fireworks over a sea of concert goers on the Great Lawn.
Read our Top Ten Tips for the concert
1. Getting there
The Great Lawn is located mid-Park between 86th and 79th Streets. The best Park entrances to use are: West 85th Street, West 81st Street, East 79th Street, and East 84th Street. Download the Official Central Park app for an interactive map.
The closest subway stops to the Great Lawn are:
- B,C train at West 81st Street or West 86th Street
- 1 train at West 79th Street or West 86th Street
- 4, 5, 6 train at East 86th Street
2. Getting a great seat
The concert starts at 8:00 pm, but the Great Lawn will be open all day. The earlier you can arrive to snag a great seat, the better!
Handicap accessible seating located on the northeast side of the Great Lawn. Enter at 84th Street and Fifth Avenue for easiest access.
3. What to bring
Blankets are a must (no lawn chairs please). Don't forget your bug spray and sunscreen, too. The evening breeze can get chilly, so you may feel comfortable bringing an extra layer or two as well. As always, no dogs are allowed on the Great Lawn.
You'll see some serious picnickers in the crowd (think tablecloths and flatware!) so if you want to avoid picnic envy, you'll need to bring your culinary A-game. There aren't many food shops on Fifth Avenue or Central Park West near the Great Lawn, so make sure to do your shopping in advance to ensure a bountiful array of treats. Please remember that alcohol is prohibited in Central Park, and in all New York City parks, according to the rules and regulations of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
5. Setting up
When you lay out your blankets, please keep them as close together as possible and leave room for your neighbors. This way, people can walk through the crowd without stepping on your picnic! To hear the music most clearly, set up your picnic near a speaker. (There are many spread throughout the Great Lawn)
6. Finding your group
If you're meeting up with a group, try to choose a general location in advance. Cell reception isn't as reliable as the crowd grows in size, but there are a few easy ways to find someone on the Great Lawn.
- Set up your picnic near a speaker, an entrance, a large tree, or another recognizable landmark.
- All of the ballfields on the Great Lawn are numbered, so if you set up on or near a ballfield, you can share that exact location with friends.
7. Path Closures
Some of the paths north of the Great Lawn (surrounding the Arthur Ross Pinetum and the basketball courts) will be closed and used as a staging area. Please plan to enter the concert via the south, east, or west to avoid this area.
The nearest restrooms are located behind the Delacorte Theatre, near the southwest corner of the Great Lawn. Portable restrooms will also be set up by the Parks Department around the perimeter of the Great Lawn.
Carry in, carry out! Please take all of your trash with you when you leave the Great Lawn and place it in a trash receptacle on your way out of the Park. If a bin is full, please wait and place your waste in a different can.
10. Getting out
You can imagine the traffic jam that occurs when 50,000 people leave the Great Lawn all at once. Please stay on paved paths and do not trample lawns or plantings in an attempt to exit the Park faster! Instead, find your way to the Park's east or west drive for a wider path and faster route out of the Park.
This green 55-acre area is the geographical center of Central Park, and one of the most famous lawns in the world. It is located Mid-Park from 79th to 85th Street.
The site of the present-day Great Lawn was not always the pastoral meadow we see today. From 1842-1931, the area served as the York Hill receiving reservoir, part of the Croton Aqueduct system that first brought fresh water to New York City. The system leveraged water from Westchester’s Croton River (thirty eight miles upstate) to the York Hill reservoir, and then on to the distributing reservoir on the site of today’s Bryant Park. The arrival of fresh water in New York City was one of the most important public health advances of the 19th Century, and today New York can claim the title of "the world's oldest continuously running urban water supply."
When Central Park was established and designed in the 1850s, Olmsted and Vaux detested the harsh rectangular shape of the reservoir, and installed large plantings along its tall stone walls in an attempt to camouflage the site. Its design was anathemic to their plan for curvilinear paths and naturalistic landscapes.
The reservoir was decommissioned in 1931 and filled with excavation material from Rockefeller Center and the Eighth Avenue subway. A flurry of site proposals soon followed. Suggestions included a World War I memorial, airport landing pads, a sports arena, an opera house, underground parking garages, and even a vault to store motion pictures. Olmsted and Vaux's vision of a rural retreat ultimately prevailed, and a lush oval lawn opened on the site in 1937 with baseball diamonds added in the 1950s.
Through the years, the Great Lawn played host to memorable performances by Simon and Garfunkel, Diana Ross, Bon Jovi, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New York Philharmonic. Unfortunately, such large gatherings and unregulated use through the 1960s and 70s left the oval a "Great Dust Bowl." In 1997, Central Park Conservancy completed a major two-year restoration of the Great Lawn to its original splendor.
Please note: Dogs are not allowed on the Great Lawn. See our Dog Owner’s Guide to Central Park for details on off leash hours, dog-friendly drinking fountains, and other important information for dog owners.
Each winter, the Great Lawn closes for the season. This allows our turf crew to provide much-needed care for the landscape, ensuring that it will be ready for the influx of visitors come spring. For specific information about when the Great Lawn will re-open in the spring, please visit the Alerts and Closures page or follow us on Twitter.
Mid-Park from 79th to 85th Street.