Boston Pops July Fourth live show returning, with changes


BOSTON — The Boston Pops traditional Fourth of July live show is returning this year but with some significant changes, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced Friday.

Instead of holding the show on the banks of the Charles River in Boston, the Pops will play in front of a limited audience at Tanglewood, a show that will be livestreamed and broadcast live on television and radio, according to the announcement.

There will be no fireworks at Tanglewood, but the show will be followed by a live fireworks display from the Boston Common.

Last year’s live show and fireworks were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, replaced with a virtual show to honor frontline health care workers.

Although the pandemic appears to be under control in Massachusetts, there just was not enough time to plan a live show in Boston this year, the BSO statement said.

The organization said that “after careful consideration … the Boston Pops determined that in order to best ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, it was prudent to postpone its return to the Esplanade until 2022, when there would be adequate time to plan and execute the complex event.”

Guests at Tanglewood this year include Jon Batiste, bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert; gospel singer and civil rights leader Mavis Staples; the Six-String Soldiers of the U.S. Army Field Band; and U.S. Air Force Band’s Singing Sergeants.

“All of us at the Boston Pops are putting our hearts and souls into planning our Fourth-of-July live concert stream for the many wonderful fans of the Boston Pops and the July 4 holiday,” Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart said in a statement.

Attendance at Tanglewood will be limited to 9,000 people in accordance with local guidelines.

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