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New Harlem Festival Inspired by ‘Summer of Soul’ Canceled Because of Extreme Heat

Teyana Taylor, Wyclef, and A$AP Ferg were among the headliners for Harlem Festival of Culture

The inaugural Harlem Festival of Culture, which was set to take place this weekend with performances from A$AP Fern, Teyana Taylor, Wyclef and more, has been canceled due to the threat of extreme heat. 

Festival organizers announced the decision on Instagram Friday, July 28, citing President Joe Biden’s warning yesterday for Americans to “listen to public officials and stay indoors” because of an ongoing heatwave and poor air quality. 

“After strong consideration to this severe weather impacting New York City, it is with a heavy heart that we have made the tough decision to cancel this weekend’s Harlem Festival of Culture with public safety in mind,” the festival wrote. 

Organizers directed ticket holders to the Harlem Festival of Culture website for refund information. They added in their statement: “Our primary concern for the Festival was to put on an enjoyable and safe experience for all, and with the current forecast, it does not support a safe festival experience for attendees, workers or partners. While this untimely announcement changes our planned activities, this decision could potentially save lives.”


Along with the aforementioned headliners, the Harlem Festival of Culture was set to feature performances from an array of hip-hop and R&B favorites, including Fat Joe, Cam’ron, Remy Ma, Muni Long, Doug E. Fresh, Ma$e, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Ro James. 

The Harlem Festival of Culture was announced last year, with organizers taking inspiration from the Harlem Cultural Festival, the famed multi-week event that took place in the New York City neighborhood in 1969. Though largely forgotten for years, the original festival received revived interest upon its 50th anniversary in 2019, and previously unseen footage anchored Questlove’s Oscar-winning documentary about it, Summer of Soul

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