As Hurricane Irene bears down on New York this weekend, the city and the state are battening down the hatches. Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency and mayor Michael Bloomberg is revoking all permits for shows this weekend. The list is lengthy: Dave Matthews Band at Randall’s Island, The Afro-punk festival in Commodore Barry Park, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Marcus Garvey and Tompkins Square Park, as well as Spike Lee’s Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson event. Basically if it’s outside and it’s this weekend, fugedaboutit. The New York Times has a nifty storm tracker you can check out here.
An all around bummer but after the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair and the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium earlier this month it’s the right move to make. Five were killed and 40 injured in Indiana when a 50-foot stage collapse in high winds, in Belgium a sudden storm tumbled over the main stage, killing another 5 and injuring 140.
Hurricane Irene, according to, will be “one of the more destructive hurricanes to hit the east coast in at least several decades.” The fact sheet on this one is not pretty: it’s 580 miles wide, the wind is stronger than hurricanes Ike and Katrina combined, rainfall in New York will break its record from 1882, and flooding and power outages are near-guaranteed. We’ve never seen the Weather Channel use so many exclamations points.
So, stay inside, try not to get blown away, and save your tickets and check for updates on rescheduling for your shows. Mass transit is being shut down at noon tomorrow, so you wouldn’t be able to get to the show anyhow. Village Voice music blog Sound Of The City has a very comprehensive list of what’s been canceled so far, and below is a shortened one:
Dave Matthews Band – Randall’s Island
The Afro-punk Festival – Commodore Barry Park
Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson – Prospect Park
All FringeNYC events
All SummerStage Events:
– Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – Marcus Garvey Park, Tompkins Square Park
– Henry V – East River Park
– Jagged Edge/Avant/Melanie Fiona – Mainstage at Central Park
– The Jones Beach Rib Rock – Jones Beach