Rendering of the new, improved Central Park SummerStage; image courtesy of City Parks Foundation.
CityParks SummerStage is New York City’s largest free outdoor performing arts festival, with 100 performances happening annually in neighborhood parks around the city as well as in Central Park from May-October–the majority of which are free of charge. In 2019, City Parks Foundation’s flagship SummerStage venue in Central Park will be getting a new stage, new sound system, more lighting, upgraded backstage areas, raised seating and an overall improved concert-going experience.
Everyday People perform at SummerStage; image courtesy of City Parks Foundation.
The overhaul is an opportunity to update a stage that’s 20 years old and a sound system nearly 10 years old, and re-envision the 5,500-capacity space holistically. The transformation will include:
- A stage canopy increase of 20% in diameter and foundational support reinforced to allow for greater weight load of production elements.
- A new stage that will include front thrust, added side wings, and improved access ramps.
- New LED screens on stage and at positions to the left and right of the stage.
- New sound system designed by Acoustic Distinctions.
- Upgraded production lighting designed by Al Crawford/Arc3Design.
- Upgraded artist dressing rooms.
- Enhanced backstage patio area for artists and guests.Relocating pedestrian circulation around the perimeter,
removing pathways that currently cross in front of audiences and disturb viewing.
- Bleacher seating for up to 880 will be raised 3 ft. above ground to improve sightlines over crowds standing on the
- Ground seating with chairs can be added for up to 1900.
- Upgraded VIP area at center of the house with increased capacity for 160, covered bar area, air conditioned bathrooms,
and new viewing balcony for 80. Adjacent VIP-only bleacher seating can be available for up to 260.
- Upgraded VIP seating with direct sight lines at stage left for 50 under covered area and additional standing room for 30
on raised platform; plus backstage bar, seating area, and air conditioned bathrooms.
- New raised, covered artist guest viewing platform for up to 150 at stage right with direct sight lines and air conditioned bathrooms.
- Additional bathrooms and ADA access throughout.
- Enhanced landscape and architectural lighting, pathway and egress definition.
- New concession areas with high quality, accessibly-priced choices.
The venue will continue to present iconic and emerging artists from diverse genres to help make summer in New York City memorable. You can find out more about the renovation here.
Summerstage isn’t the only arts-focused upgrade happening in Central Park: As 6sqft recently reported, the Delacorte Theater will get its first major renovation since it was constructed over 50 years ago. The Public Theater announced it has tapped architect Bjarke Ingels’ firm BIG to design a $110 million upgrade for the open-air theater, home to the free productions of Shakespeare in the Park. Kicking off in 2020, the project aims to reorganize the theater’s space, improve its resiliency, and make it overall more safe and efficient.
- Bjarke Ingels tapped to design $110M upgrade for Central Park’s Delacorte Theater
- $150M revamp announced for Central Park’s Lasker pool and ice rink
- Central Park Boathouse returns this week with a new look, a new menu and a $2.9M makeover
- Central Park’s Belvedere Castle will close for restoration next week