NY PopsUp: An Upcoming Performing Arts Festival

“NY PopsUp,” a statewide festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances, will begin on February 20 and run through Labor Day, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. NY PopsUp will aim to help revitalize the live performance industry before it can officially reopen, and will bring all genres to locations throughout the city and state: theater, dance, poetry, comedy, pop music, opera and more.

The public/private partnership will overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts and Empire State Development. Programming will be led by interdisciplinary artist Zack Winokur.


While the performances will take place throughout New York, many of the events will not be announced in advance, “given the impromptu nature and surprise element of the pop-up format.” The idea is to provide entertainment in a way that’s safe while avoiding mass gatherings.

Performances are expected to take place at locations including transit stations, parks, subway platforms, museums, skate parks, street corners, fire escapes, parking lots, storefronts and more.

Some of the already confirmed performers include Hugh Jackman, Renée Fleming, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Q-Tip and many more.

The 20th Anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival and the Festival at Little Island at Pier 55 will serve as the apexes of NY PopsUp.

Says Cuomo about the upcoming festival, “Creative synergies are vital for cities to survive, and our arts and cultural industries have been shut down all across the country, taking a terrible toll on workers and the economy. We want to be aggressive with reopening the State and getting our economy back on track, and NY PopsUp will be an important bridge to the broader reopening of our world-class performance venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this entire pandemic, and we will lead once again with bringing back the arts.”

As COVID restrictions loosen, NY PopsUp is also intending to pave the way towards the reopening of “Flex Venues” – established performance spaces without fixed seating which can thus adapt to social distancing.

More details about NY PopsUp are expected to be revealed soon. For updates, follow @NYPopsUp on Twitter and Instagram and visit www.nypopsup.com.

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