Photo credit: NYPU Subway (Photo courtesy of DKC/O&M)

Governor Cuomo announces New York Pop Up Festival to celebrate live entertainment

Over 1000 events are scheduled to take place throughout New York state.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

UPDATE: The first event as part of NYPopsUp Festival has taken place. Jon Batiste led a jazz band through an impromptu set at Javits Center. Performances as part of NYPopsUp Festival will continue through to Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2021.

With Coronavirus restrictions beginning to be lifted across New York, Governor Cuomo has announced a pop up festival across the state. NY PopsUp will serve as a pilot program to stabilize the eventual return of live performances, with festival performances beginning February 20 and continuing through to Labor Day.

News of upcoming live performances is announced at the same time as a framework for Broadway theaters to reopen, allowing for the industry to get back on its feet.

Ahead of the festival, Governor Cuomo said: "Creative synergies are vital for cities to survive, and our arts and cultural industries have been shut down all across the country, taking a terrible toll on workers and the economy. We want to be aggressive with reopening the State and getting our economy back on track, and NY PopsUp will be an important bridge to the broader reopening of our world-class performance venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this entire pandemic, and we will lead once again with bringing back the arts."

Throughout the seven-month festival, free events will be staged in all five boroughs of New York City, as well as upstate and Western New York. Performances will take place in every possible location: parks, museums, fire escapes and parking lots, in the hopes of bringing live entertainment to the masses.

The council of artistic advisors working on NYPopsUp includes Jeremy O' Harris, the Tony Award-nominated playwright whose works include Slave Play. Kyle Abraham, Jon Batiste, Ayodele Casel, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Mimi Lien, Wynton Marsalis, Claudia Rankine, Cécile McLorin Salvan, Chris Thile, Julio Torres and Whitney White also sit on the board.

The first performances as part of NYPopsUp will take place from February 20. Events confirmed so far include tributes to healthcare workers, a partnership show with the Guggenheim, a new live radio show hosted by Chris Thile and performances in storefront windows.

Artists taking part throughout NYPopsUp include Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, who will star in the Broadway revival of The Music Man at the Winter Garden Theatre. Husband and wife duo Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are also confirmed, ahead of reprising their performances in the Broadway revival of Plaza Suite at the Hudson Theatre. Broadway stars including Amy Schumer, Gavin Creel, Billy Porter, Jonathan Groff, Kelli O' Hara, Jessie Mueller and Idina Menzel will also perform.

The festival will reach its climax with the Tribeca Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021.

For more information on the NYPopsUp Festival, read here.

Photo credit: NYPU Subway (Photo courtesy of DKC/O&M)

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