After Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York announced a Nov. 17 concert and fireworks show to celebrate the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, concerts were booked not for the one-year anniversary but for the second anniversary and a few beyond that. By November, the shows were canceled, postponed or sold out.
The Sept. 11 fundraiser concert, at which Cruz Azul band performed, was one of the first concerts to be canceled. The Mexico City band had been set to perform Nov. 17 on grounds near Cipriani Wall Street.
“It was a national tribute concert and not in keeping with the spirit of the Sept. 11 anniversary,” said Caitlin Keohane, a spokeswoman for MSG, the concert’s organizer.
In September, the governor’s office said that the New York Daily News had reached out to the Cuomo-endorsed One World Festival to book a number of shows to raise money for Sept. 11 charities. The Daily News writes that the Cuomo administration has been particularly helpful in building a $63 million state memorial for the attacks.
Cuomo visited Ground Zero last year for a concert to raise money for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the One World Trade Center. The concert was put on by David Chang of Momofuku fame.
The Empire State Development Corp. — which was formed in the wake of the attacks — raised $4.5 million from concerts that were planned throughout the years, a spokesman told the New York Times. “We do work with the artists and the venues to keep the show viable,” the spokesman said.
MSG spokeswoman Keohane said the nonprofit One World Foundation was a co-sponsor of Azul’s Nov. 17 concert. Last week, she said, it was unclear whether the band would be a finalist in the “Emerging Artist of the Year” category when its public voting begins.
The concert promoter had been offering refunds to people who had bought tickets, but no one has come forward to claim them.
The musical consensus in New York is that it’s too late for refunds and that fans have been sold out for too long.
In fact, post-Sept. 11 activity has been shifting from the arenas to arenas of which they were once such a big part. Many long-forgotten acts have been put on the map by the governor.