The homecoming show required everyone 12 years old and up to show proof that they had had at least one dose of a vaccine; children younger than that, who are still ineligible for the vaccines, were required to wear masks.
“When it comes to the concerts, they are outdoors — they are for vaccinated folks only,” the mayor had said on Wednesday. “We are definitely encouraging mask use. But I really want to emphasize the whole key here is vaccination.”
The Central Park show came after the city had hosted a week of free hip-hop shows, with local heroes including Raekwon and Ghostface Killah in Staten Island, and KRS-One, Kool Moe Dee and Slick Rick in the Bronx. Tickets were required to attend the concert on the Great Lawn — most were free, but V.I.P. packages cost up to $5,000 — and the show was broadcast on television by CNN and on satellite radio by SiriusXM.
The concert was programmed by Clive Davis, the 89-year-old music eminence, who, in an interview this week, stressed the role that music could play in shaping society.
“It’s vital and important that New York be back,” he said.
From the stage on Saturday night, Mr. Davis, a Brooklyn native, made a plea to the audience: “Tonight, I only ask one thing: When you’re having a great time, cheer loud — loud enough so they can hear you all the way in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights.”
The abbreviated concert came at an uncertain moment for the music industry. While some high-profile artists, including Garth Brooks, BTS and Nine Inch Nails, have canceled tour dates recently, the show is largely going on in the live-music business — but it hasn’t been easy. Concert protocols, in New York and elsewhere, have been in flux for months, as the federal authorities, local governments and businesses have adjusted to the changing realities of the virus.