Reporting Alex Silverman
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We’ve got a feeling…that the Black Eyed Peas made a whole lot of soaked New Yorkers angry Thursday night.
The free concert that was pushed back to an 8:45 p.m. start due to thunderstorms and lightning, was canceled around 8:15 p.m., much to the dismay of fans who waited several hours for the gates to open.
“We were out here since 3 o’clock. The heat was uncontrollable until about 5:30. Then the skies opened up. I can understand why they called the concert. But it’s still disappointing because we were here since 3 o’clock,” Patrick Moore told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez.
About 50,000 to 60,000 fans were expected to be on hand for the free, ticketed show on the Great Lawn.
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The show was also supposed to feature performances by LL Cool J, Carole King, MC Hammer, Debbie Harry and Taylor Swift. It was to benefit Robin Hood, an anti-poverty group in New York City.
Earlier Thursday the heat index in Central Park hit the 103-degree mark, but once the rain came through the concern quickly became severe weather. A line of thunderstorms swept across the Tri-State Area and knocked out power to thousands of homes, including many in Connecticut.
“It’s ridiculous, it’s a let down,” one man told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones, “I’m disappointed. I’m not even a fan, I came out to support the event.”
“Tonight’s gonna be a bad night,” a man named “Ron” and his family started singing as they got word that the concert was canceled after several hours of waiting for the gates to open.
“But you get what you pay for,” Ron said. “They’re free tickets. But this is New York though, you got to suck it up a little bit. They’re from Hollywood, I guess, you know?”
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“They could at least have come out and said sorry or something. They didn’t do nothing,” fan Adrianna Rodriguez said.
“I am sad, but it’s okay, because if it’s gonna hurt people out on this big open lawn, it’s for everyone’s safety and they’ll probably reschedule it,” another person said.
The majority of the benefit tickets were free. Robin Hood organizers said, for now, the concert is not being rescheduled.
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