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Severe weather wreaks havoc for UK festivals

Weather warnings issued for the UK this weekend cause the cancellation of Houghton and Boardmasters festivals, as Boomtown implements "extensive" precautions

By Anna Grace on 08 Aug 2019

Severe weather wreaks havoc for UK festivals

Boomtown 2019

image © Charlie Raven

Following record temperatures in July and one of the hottest Glastonbury’s ever, the weather is taking a turn for the worse in the UK with heavy rain, high winds and storms causing problems for event organisers.

Houghton festival (10,000-cap.), due to kick off today (8 August) in Norfolk, is the latest event to take a weather-provoked tumble, following the cancellation of Vision Nine’s Boardmasters festival yesterday and Rewind North earlier this month.

The UK’s met office have predicted torrential rain and 60 mile-per-hour winds, warning of flash flood risks.

“Overnight, weather conditions onsite at Houghton festival have dramatically worsened and are set to deteriorate further into the weekend,” read a statement issued by organisers this morning.

“Tragically, following this morning’s reports and further consultation with authorities, health and safety and all the festival directors, the decision has been made to cancel Houghton 2019.”

The Houghton organisers, consisting of the team behind north Wales’ Gottwood festival and DJ Craig Richards, say they are “utterly devastated” to cancel the festival.

“Public safety is the absolute priority and if it comes to it, evacuation or cancellation would be considered to ensure the safety of those in attendance”

Organisers of 66,000-capacity Boomtown, which opened its gates yesterday, say “severe weather plans” are in place to prepare for conditions on Friday.

“Our experienced team have been constantly monitoring the weather forecast,” a Boomtown representative tells IQ.

“Public safety is the absolute priority and if it comes to it, evacuation or cancellation would be considered to ensure the safety of those in attendance.”

The Boomtown team has advised festivalgoers against putting up gazebos or windbreaks in the campsites.

Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, the Streets and Groove Armada are among acts to play at the festival near Winchester in the south of England.

Production experts at the ILMC Production Meeting have often discussed the measures that ought to be taken to ensure safety and the smooth-running of events in the case of extreme weather conditions.


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