When the Black Eyed Peas canceled their June 9 concert on the Great Lawn in Central Park because of lightning, thousands of fans who were already in the park refused to leave, chanting “We Won’t Go.”
Others swarmed the surrounding streets, halting traffic on West 72nd Street and Central Park West. And Taylor Swift, who was set to appear alongside the Black Eyed Peas, posted a frowning face on Twitter: “I was like :-(.”
Now, the tens of thousands of fans who waited in vain in the rain can rejoice — sort of. They will have a second chance to see the Black Eyed Peas and hear their chant-heavy, electro-infused hip-hop on Sept. 30 in Central Park, the group and city officials announced on Wednesday.
Those who had free tickets to the June concert will be given first chance to claim a ticket for the Sept. 30 concert. Here’s the catch: anyone who went to the earlier concert to hear, in addition to Ms. Swift, any of the other performers scheduled that night — Tony Bennett, Carole King, and LL Cool J — might be disappointed.
“At this point it’s just a Black Eyed Peas concert,” said Katie Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the Robin Hood Foundation, the charity set to benefit from the sale of 6,000 V.I.P. tickets, which start at $250. “Obviously, if any special friends come about we will announce them.”
The rescheduled date was announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, who spoke on the roof of the Central Park Arsenal.
“I will do everything in my power as mayor to make sure the night of Sept. 30 brings clear skies and a pleasant 72 degrees,” Mr. Bloomberg said amid plantings of lamb’s ears and chives and black-eyed susans. (There were no black-eyed peas to be seen.)
Mr. Bloomberg cited the success of past concerts in the park by Simon & Garfunkel, Jon Bon Jovi and Diana Ross.
“I pinch myself,” the mayor said. “I happen to know all of those people I just mentioned.”
Did he really mention Diana Ross? Could he have forgotten what happened during Ms. Ross’s 1983 concert in Central Park?
A deluge stopped the concert and then it got worse. Hundreds of concert goers were mauled as they left by what The New York Times called “bands of roving youths.”
The mayor had to dash off to another event so reporters had no time to ask how familiar he might be with the Black Eyed Peas.
As for will.i.am, he sounded more like a politician than a pop star, despite wearing a suit with leather sleeves and a tan fedora adorned with feathers.
“I don’t know how to, where to, begin to tell you how proud I am to be performing here in Central Park for a rescheduled day,” he said. After a quick speech, he was shuttled off to the Arsenal’s third floor and, rather than stroll through the park to wave at fans, was led out by two bodyguards to a sport utility vehicle parked on Fifth Avenue.
Adrian Benepe, the city’s parks commissioner, stuck around, however, and recalled the disappointing cancellation of the June concert. “There were kids who had gathered out front, school kids, and they were singing the words of that song,” he said, launching into the lyrics: “You know, ‘Tonight’s gonna be a good night.’ ”
To let them down had been hard, said Mr. Benepe, who described himself as a “musical omnivore.” Of the Black Eyed Peas, he said, “They’ve got a very catchy bunch of songs.”