After 1 year of cancelations, Fenway Park concerts return

BOSTON — Guns N’ Roses headline a summer concert series at Fenway Park Tuesday that gives fans their first taste of music in the historic park since before the pandemic began. Billy Joel plays Wednesday night, followed by Green Day, New Kids On the Block, and the Zac Brown Band rounding out the weekend.

“I haven’t seen a show in almost two years because of the pandemic, and I really like Guns N’ Roses,” said Rayan Atallah.

Plenty of patience has been demonstrated by those fans, many of whom are coming from across the nation to Boston for the show.

“It’s been agony, really tough. You are a music lover, you want to be out with the crowd with the live music and the gatherings,” said John Oveson.

The concerts are welcoming news for music fans, the artists, and the venue. But also nearby restaurants and bars that have suffered financially during the pandemic. Other venues like Mansfield’s Xfinity Center have been operating with concerts already this season.

The series also begins as COVID cases are ramping up again, with the highly transmissible Delta variant spreading across the state.

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When it comes to packed venues and big crowds, Dr. Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center said Massachusetts is better vaccinated than the rest of the nation.

“If there’s a place to do it, it’s Massachusetts. If there is a place to do it, it’s in an outside venue. So, for the most part, I think it will go ok; outside is still the safest place you can be,” Dr. Doran said.

Even for hardcore Guns N’ Roses fans like Nick Hart, he wouldn’t be at a concert if he did not have the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Hell no,” Hart said.

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