Having a Weather Plan Makes for a Flawless Festival
by Dax Cochran, on May 18, 2018 2:33:37 PM
On Thursday, May 17, the opening party for the 2018 Hangout Music Festival was forced to evacuate due to unsafe weather conditions. The area experienced dangerous lightning, heavy rain, and strong winds which when combined create the arch nemesis for many outdoor mass gatherings. However, one does not merely see weather coming and call for an evacuation.
Organizers of this festival plan for months, in regards to weather threats and action plans. With a plan and communication structure in place, backed by a weather provider focused on your event location and team, you can mitigate threatening weather in a way that promotes safety for all while seeing operational success.
Below is a rough outline of what occurred:
6:00 am - The WeatherOps morning forecast predicted thunderstorms for the site location with an elevated (yellow) risk for any storms that impacted the site through the day and into the evening.
1:25 pm - WeatherOps Forecasters issued a Hazardous Thunderstorm Watch for the site.
7:40 pm - As effects from a nearby cluster of storms appeared imminent for the festival site, WeatherOps Forecasters released the outlook below in anticipation of expected increased winds.
In addition to these updates, festival organizers were in regular communication with WeatherOps throughout the day to stay on top of what weather was expected and what time impact was most likely.
8:18 pm - A successful evacuation began with communication to the attendees through various channels including social media.
Due to approaching severe weather, please proceed to the nearest exit and seek shelter outside of the festival site. pic.twitter.com/3gTt877tZJ— Hangout Music Fest (@Hangoutfest) May 18, 2018
With reliable weather information and communication, the site was safely evacuated before it sustained a direct hit from the storms.
“We strive to provide our clients with clear and concise weather information that allows sufficient time to plan and to take action when needed," says Chris Kerr, Director of WeatherOps Forecast Services. "Our forecasters did a great job of providing expert consultation while leveraging our technology to allow for a timely evacuation ahead of the hazardous weather.”
Having reliable weather information is not enough. Established weather plans and a predetermined process results in confident decision-making and smooth event interruptions. The Hangout Music Festival demonstrated their commitment to the audience and all involved. This is how it is done!