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Planning for Inclement Weather at Outdoor Live Events.

Andy Robertson

When live events are planned for an outdoor venue the weather should always be considered particularly in milder climates prevalent in most of Europe, even in the summer months. With good planning allowances can be made for potential inclement weather and the effect on all aspects of a live event.  

Inclement weather can cover a wide variety of potential issues that can severely impact on an outdoor live event. From torrential rain and floods to high winds and heatwaves just about anything is possible. With a bit of disaster planning event organisers can mitigate any potential damage to their event. What re the typical steps to consider in their planning process?

For many event organisers event insurance is a bit of a contentious issue in 2021. This is primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic where insurers are unwilling to insure against cancellation. However, putting cancellation insurance aside event organisers should at least be able to obtain the necessary insurance that relates to inclement weather. There is usually a mandatory requirement for public liability insurance that insures the organisers against claims by event goers injured during the event. There are plenty of insurers providing a wide range of policies so organisers should do their own due diligence in selecting a policy that suits their event.

Health and Safety. 
Compliance with any current health and safety regulations is essential particularly when it is related to the safety of equipment, rigging, electrics and other site constructions that may be affected by particularly windy stormy weather. The correct inspection of such structures before the event opens to the public is essential to ensure that they will not be affected by high winds.

Practical Steps.  
There are practical steps that organisers can take during the venue build by checking weather forecasts and double-checking rigging and eclectic installations are safe. Most outdoor events take place in fields or public parks so it's prudent to check with the landowners if any areas are prone to flooding in the event of heavy rain. The quagmire at music festivals like Glastonbury are legendary so it makes sense to construct raised walkways form wood to assist event goers. Conversely if the event is running during a heatwave the organisers should be prepared to provide shaded areas and a comprehensive medical facility to deal with visitors suffering from dehydration, sunburns or heatstroke.

Visitor Advice. 
With or without previous experience of running an outdoor live event organisers should offer ticket buyers and visitors practical advice regarding simple things like recommended clothing and waterproofs. In heatwaves visitors should ensure they bring sunblock and stay hydrated at all times. 

Event organisers have been successfully running outdoor live events for decades so there is no real excuse that inclement weather should have a detrimental effect on the event or the visitor experience as long as some simple steps are taken to plan for all eventualities.

For any live event organisers planning their outdoor 2021 events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need to plan every aspect of their event. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. 

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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