Wildfire Smoke Causes BRIC to Cancel Opening Night, Yankees Game, And More

The immense amount of smoke from the Canadian wildfires has caused many events in New York City and beyond to be canceled, including BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, the Yankees-White Sox game, Broadway shows, and more.

wildfire smoke
New York City covered in a smoky haze, photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

The Northeast has been affected by an ongoing record-setting series of wildfires, initially beginning in March and increasing in intensity by June. Due to this, many U.S. states, with one of the hardest hit being New York State, have seen hazardous air quality alerts. People in these areas are told to stay inside and limit outdoor activities, especially those who are most at risk including children, the elderly, or those with respiratory conditions, however, many people who aren’t in that group have complained about sore throats, coughing attacks, and overall not feeling well after being outside for even just a few minutes.

New York City is one of the hardest hit by this unprecedented event, causing many events in the area to be postponed or canceled. BRIC, the internationally-renowned arts and media institution based in Brooklyn, has canceled its opening night of Celebrate Brooklyn, the longest-running, free summer music festival in New York City. The night was going to feature co-headliners Taj Mahal and Corinne Bailey Rae and the opening act Harlem Gospel Travelers. BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! is set to resume with their Family Day concert on Saturday, June 10, with an incredible line-up of Brooklyn-based talent including the innovative duo Soul Science Lab and openers Olivia K and The Parkers.

Chris Stapleton canceled his outdoor concert in Syracuse at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater due to the wildfires, with his team saying they hope to have an update by mid-day on June 9 on the rescheduled date. Bryant Park Picnic Performances announced the postponement of their previously scheduled dance performance on June 8 with Robin Dunn and Friends and The Lite with LayeRhythm. They will continue to monitor conditions for their Friday, June 9 7:00 pm performance with Dance Heginbotham and Jennifer Muller/The Works and Joffrey Concert Ballet Group. The Summertime Lunchtime Jazz Concerts outside of Brooklyn Borough Hall were also canceled, hoping to resume Wednesday, June 14.

wildfire smoke
Photo by Prospect Park Alliance.

Concerts are not the only thing affected by this, sports games and Broadway shows have also been postponed. The Yankees-White Sox game for June 7 was rescheduled because of poor air quality and will be made up on June 8. The WNBA announced the postponement of the New York Liberty vs. Minnesota Lynx game at Barclays Center due to smoke entering the arena, reported by Howard Megdal. The Broadway performances of Hamilton and Camelot, as well as a Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet were canceled as well. Notably, Hamilton was canceled just two hours before the curtain call due to cast members calling in sick. Hamlet hopes to resume performances this weekend, according to a spokesperson for The Public Theater, noting that health experts “will continue to closely monitor the ongoing situation.”

Gov. Ball, from June 9-11, is still set to go on, with forecasters suggesting the smoke will clear up in a few days. Jen Carfagno, a Weather Channel meteorologist, told CBS News that, “forecasts show the wind will switch directions ‘at all levels of the atmosphere and bring in cleaner air.’ For now, the best thing to do is limit the amount of time spent outdoors, and if you have to go outside, wear a mask to help filter the air you’re breathing in.

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