For over 100 years, Central Park has been a place hosting public events where people from every aspect of society come together. One of the very first concert series was held at Naumburg Band Shell starting in 1905. Even though Naumburg Orchestra Concerts’ first audience was elites, short after working-class attended the concerts and enjoyed classical music, even fought for their right to attend concerts and changed the schedule of concerts according to their working hours. Naumburg Orchestra Concerts are one of the oldest concert series of its kind and continue to meet their audience every summer. Especially during Events Era (the 1960s), Central Park hosted varieties of concerts and theaters. Definitely, the most important one that even lasts today is the “Shakespeare in the Park”. Public Theater performed Shakespeare plays for free for the people by The Turtle Pond. Later, thanks to the donations of Delacorte Family, they started to perform their plays at The Delacorte Theater. Since then, Public Theater presents free Shakespeare plays every summer with surprising cast members. See here how you can take a horse carriage ride there: https://centralparkcarriagerides.com/
Starting in the 1990s, after the restoration of Rumsey Playfield which is located byEast 72nd Street, SummerStage has become the city’s favorite place for concerts welcoming artists of all type of music. Organized by City Parks Foundation, SummerStage Festival brings many singers/bands to meet their audience. Most of the concerts are free, some big-name concerts are benefit concerts in order to fund the rest of the season. Good Morning America concerts that air live are also held at SummerStage for more than 8 seasons. The Metropolitan Opera Recital Series started to perform classical music free in collaboration with City Parks Foundation in every borough of New York City. Since 2009, they have performed at Rumsey Playfield every summer for Manhattan audience.