NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The City Parks Foundation “SummerStage” concert season kicks off this weekend.
Those heading to the show in Central Park are in for a whole new experience.
“Everything is in pieces. It is like a big Lego set. You put it together and then you take it all apart,” Heather Lubov from the City Parks Foundation said.
Except for some reliable bleachers, everything at the performing arts festival’s temporary venue in the heart of the park is brand new this year.
LED screens, a new sound system, and a higher, larger, and stronger stage canopy will compliment the bigger stage.
“Our stage was almost 20 years-old and we were having trouble with some artists who were wanting to come in and had shows where we couldn’t support the weight of the production… of the lights that they needed and the sets that they needed,” Lubov explained.
The price tag for this renovation project was $5.5 million, but the price for the public to enjoy it is still free.
“We do sell tickets to a handful of shows every year. That money goes in part to support all of our free work around the city and we also rent our venue periodically,” the foundation’s director added.
“We are doing a lot of fundraising. You can become a member of SummerStage and help support our work, but the goal is to make everything free.”
The foundation said the improvements were also necessary to keep up with competing venues.
Shipping containers were transformed into upgraded dressing rooms with showers and a comfortable performers’ patio.
Guests can enjoy raised bleacher seating to see over crowds and a new VIP member lounge comes with air conditioned bathrooms.
More than 200 renowned artists from around the world will take the Central Park stage this summer.