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Bluedot, Pitchfork latest fests disrupted by weather

Other festivals hindered by adverse conditions include Spain's Primavera, the Netherlands' Awakenings and the UK's Kaleidoscope

By Lisa Henderson on 24 Jul 2023

Bluedot at Jodrell Bank Observatory

Bluedot at Jodrell Bank Observatory

image © One Eye In

Bluedot (UK) and Pitchfork Festival Chicago (US) are the latest festivals to be disrupted by extreme weather conditions.

Organisers of the music and science festival Bluedot were forced to cancel Sunday day tickets due to the “unprecedented amount of rainfall over the past seven days that saw the water level reach saturation point during [Saturday] night”.

This rendered the day ticket holder car park, pick-up and drop-off point and entrances “impassable,” according to a post on the festival’s website and social media.

“We have worked hard this weekend and throughout last night, laying over 1.5km of additional track mat and trackway, 130 tonnes of sustainably sourced wood chip and bringing multiple trucks on site to pump out standing water, however… it is not possible to accommodate further audience vehicles on site” read the statement.

Sunday’s schedule, which was headlined by Grace Jones, went ahead as planned but only for the weekend campers that had been at Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire, since Friday.

“An unprecedented amount of rainfall over the past seven days that saw the water level reach saturation point during the night”

The 25,000-capacity event, which was acquired by Superstruct last year, welcomed artists including Pavement, Roisin Murphy, Leftfield and Max Richter between 20 and 23 July.

Across the Atlantic, Pitchfork Music Festival was evacuated for an hour on Saturday (22 July) “due to dangerous weather conditions”.

The word went out at 16:40 asking festivalgoers to evacuate Chicago’s Union Park, and steer clear of metal fencing and stages, due to ominous clouds and the threat of lightning.

Vagabon’s delayed afternoon set was just underway when the announcement came. Earlier that day, the festival’s opening sets were also affected by a weather delay, with Palm’s set cancelled, and delayed start times on sets by Black Belt Eagle Scout and others.

Pitchfork and Bluedot are the latest live music festivals affected by adverse weather conditions, after Primavera (Spain), Dutch festivals Awakenings, Bospop and Wildeburg, Alexandra Palace’s Kaleidoscope Festival and Robbie Williams’ concert in Austria.

Elsewhere, festivals such as Austria’s Nova Rock and Australia’s Splendour in the Grass this year invested in site improvements after their 2022 editions were hit with extreme weather.


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