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Music Festival Planning for Forecast Inclement Weather.

Andy Robertson

Music festivals that take place in temperate climates can be subject to changeable weather despite being scheduled for the summer months. This can be incredibly frustrating for organisers and festival-goers alike. What steps can be taken to ensure that events go ahead despite a weather forecast that predicts inclement weather for scheduled festival dates.  

It can take up to 18 months to successfully plan a large music festival and an inclement weather forecast for the live event dates can potentially lead to a cancellation. There are some steps that organisers can take to respond to inclement weather forecasts if they are aware of what is predicted to impact on their event dates and location.

Contingency Planning Implementation.
Good festival planning will always include a range of contingencies for multiple eventualities and one of these should be plans for thunderstorms, rain, flooding and high winds or extreme heat for example. During the site construction the contractors and safety inspectors should supply specifications for any temporary structures with regards to how water and wind proof they are. On-site inspections the day before can help to confirm that everything is within specified tolerances. If rain is forecast have provisions been made for festival-goers to take shelter and have plans been implemented to avoid flooding with sufficient drainage and temporary matting installations completed. Organisers should ensure that all staff and safety personnel are fully briefed on forecast weather conditions and know what any evacuation plans are. Festival staff should have sufficient weather proofing to hand for all electrical equipment to prevent expensive damage.

Weather Forecasts.
It is essential that organisers stay fully appraised of current weather forecasts for inclement conditions that will specifically impact their site and dates. This will require regular real time checks as weather systems can quickly change course and these checks should continue throughout the duration of the event. Keeping up to date with current weather forecasts ensures that remedial action can be taken quickly to ensure visitor safety and enable implementation of contingency plans.

Communication is key when assessing the impact of adverse weather on a festival site. Regular contact is required with on-site staff, contractors, festival-goers and local emergency services safety inspectors to discuss forecast weather conditions. Organisers should use their social media channels and ticket buyer email data to announce weather forecasts for the event. All concerned should be informed about possible on-site conditions and likely disruptions along with advice on preparations like bringing waterproof clothing, umbrellas or suncream for example. Any communications with festival-goers may also include details of refund polices should the event need to be cancelled.

Insurance Policies.
Festival organisers should check their event insurance terms and conditions so that they are fully aware what is and is not covered. This may cover public liability and damage to temporary structures or even ticket refunds.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. 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, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Photo by Gigxels via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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