On This Date: Garth Brooks Packs Central Park With Estimated 980,000 Fans In 1997

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The level of superstar that is Garth Brooks is hard to comprehend.

Even after his long hiatus, pushing 60 years old, he still sells out NFL stadiums in a matter of minutes. A massive accomplishment in itself, and a testament to his longevity, but there ain’t nothing like the Garth Brooks of the ’90s.

Exhibit A: Central Park.

On this date in 1997, Garth Brooks performed for an estimated nearly 1 MILLION fans in Manhattan’s Central Park. A free concert that wound up being recorded for an HBO Special, it’s one of the largest free concerts in history.

There’s a number of discrepancies about the actual number of attendees, however the New York Fire Department officially notched the number at 980,000. Another figure has the concert at around 750,000.

Others have claimed that it’s physically impossible to fit that many people in there and that a number of famous Central Park concerts, James Taylor, Elton John, etc… have drastically overinflated numbers. It’s possible that the actual number fans was more like 50,000.

Either way, it was MASSIVE crowd of people and the HBO special, Garth: Live From Central Park, wound up with six Emmy nominations and 14.6 million viewers watching live at home.

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