Posted in music on June 18, 2010

Ed Sullivan

Mayor Bloomberg was in no Empire State of Mind yesterday.

Jay-Z had planned to put on a surprise performance atop the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater Monday but the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting put the kibosh on it yesterday.

Like Paul McCartney last year, the Brooklyn-born rap superstar had planned to use his appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to give a show in the middle of rush-hour Midtown.

"There was discussion of a concert, and ultimately it was decided there would be no permit," said Julianne Cho, spokeswoman for the film office.

The mini-concert was axed abruptly after weeks of planning and negotiations, sources said.

The decision came on the heels ofa free performance by rapper Drake at the South Street Seaport that was canceled Tuesday after 10,000 people -- triple what was expected -- grew unruly when the entertainer kept them waiting for 90 minutes.

Six people suffered minor injuries. Two people were arrested.

Sources told The Post that a permit for Jay-Z's performance would have been granted only if organizers could keep the show secret, but word of the show leaked out yesterday.

"Many permits are granted on the condition that the event is not made public beforehand for capacity and security reasons," Cho said. "This event was made public." [NY Post] (via)

Note that the NY Post says "10,000 people -- triple what was expected" which is different than that NY Times article which said "The concert space at the Seaport can hold about 10,000 people, but far more came on Tuesday. The police did not release a crowd estimate, but some reports have put it at 25,000..." Which is it?

That said, I wouldn't exactly start caling this the end of free shows in the city. Jay-Z for free in midtown doesn't really seem like it was ever a great idea, Drake show or not.

Speaking of free shows, JG Thirlwell leads an orchestra in Prospect Park tonight (6/18). Morning Benders, Freelance Whales & Wild Nothing play Governors Island on Saturday.

And in related news, tickets to see Jay-Z play Yankee Stadium go on sale in a week.

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Comments (23)

So, why did dude leave his fans waiting for more than an hour and a half?

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:05 AM

^^He was being a diva because he was hungry. Somebody should've given him a Snickers bar.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:13 AM

bv, when jay figures something else secret to do, PLEASE try to get the info
(post + tweet only on show day, not sooner of course)
thank u

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:16 AM

so this begs the question: are they gonna cancel Band of Horses today?

This is ridiculous. Every time cops get involved in anything, including policing concerts things turn to shit.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:18 AM

No way that space holds 10,000.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:27 AM

Ha McCartyney yes, Jay Z No.

Racism anyone?

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:30 AM

Once again the hip hop community screws themselves.

This show would have certainly went forward secret or no secret had the Seaport fiasco not happened.

By the time McCarntey hit that roof, there were a zillion people there. so that was no secret.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:32 AM

That Seaport nonsense without question effected the decision to cancel this Jay Z performance.

THe City is most certainly nervous about anything that could repeat what happened at that Drake shit.

If the show up top that sign would have been Justin Bieber, it would have gone ahead.

A large spontaneous gathering of young African American hip hop fans makes the City nervous.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:37 AM

makes me nervous

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:38 AM


New York City has a long storied history of being afraid of Rap shows, whether in a club or outside.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:44 AM

bunch of black people gathering for a free show = bad behavior... who would have thought?

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 11:56 AM

Diana Ross Central Park.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 12:04 PM

Call Hanson! I love fat girls in heat

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 12:15 PM

Free rap shows bring out the city's finest examples of ghetto and grimy gutter trash. If a free Drake+Hanson show ended in riots I could only imagine what a free midtown Jay-Z show would end up like. I'm sure they chic that was throwing chairs would go with her friends ready to start hurling lawn furniture again.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 12:32 PM

definitely drakegate

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 2:14 PM

"bunch of black people gathering for a free show = bad behavior... who would have thought?"

My God BV...I had no idea how many racist pieces of shit read and follow your site.

Posted by blackhat | June 18, 2010 2:28 PM

People let's get this straight. The mayors office finally listened to Jay Z's music and realized that since he along w/puffy ruined hip hop forever there would be no free show. Please put the Jay Z cool aid down the clown SUCKS!

Posted by anonymous | June 18, 2010 2:50 PM

Is it racist to acknowledge that out of all the shows they ever held at the South Street Seaport it was a hip hop artist with a mostly black crowd that was the only one that caused trouble?

Is it racist to call to attention the fact that out of all the gigantic free Central Park shows over the decades, (Barbara Streisand, Simon and Garfunkel, Garth Brooks, Paul Simon, Elton John, Dave Mathrews, etc- ALL white artists with mostly white crowds) that it was the Diana Ross show (the only show with a mostly black crowd) that erupted in rioting and wilding and tons of arrests?

It's a matter of record. It;s not being racist to point out these fine examples.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 5:32 PM

you know there would have a been a riot with looting and raping and pillaging. this would have been alot of fun to watch.

Posted by Anonymous | June 18, 2010 10:13 PM

This information is wrong. I was at the free drake concert and waited 5 HOURS. Not 90 minutes.

Posted by Jadelle | June 18, 2010 10:45 PM

5:32, I think the zeal with which you're spouting is maybe racist.

It's at the least creepy.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2010 12:14 AM

@Anon5:32pm - The fact that nobody rioted to protest the luke warm boredom of people like Babs, Garth Brooks and "Dave Mathrews" is the saddest part of your comment.

Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2010 12:18 AM

burnin' and a looting

Posted by bobby marley | June 19, 2010 1:36 PM

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