The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Three major festivals hampered by severe weather

Gazebo Festival, Sueños Music Festival and Slam Dunk Festival are the latest victims of extreme weather

By Lisa Henderson on 27 May 2024

Jack Harlow's inaugural Gazebo Festival was cut short

Jack Harlow's inaugural Gazebo Festival was cut short

image © Flickr/Mac Downey

Gazebo Festival, Sueños Music Festival and Slam Dunk Festival were impacted by severe weather over the weekend.

Rapper Jack Harlow launched his inaugural Gazebo festival at the weekend (25-26 May), in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

However, the second day of the event was called off after parts of the city were put on tornado watch until late afternoon on Sunday (26 May).

The National Weather Service also warned of wind that could reach up to 75 mph and scattered hail up to two inches in size.

“Well. We have to cancel day two of Gazebo,” Harlow wrote on social media. “We are currently on a tornado watch. I know things cleared up a little bit, but the bad weather has damaged the site and there’s more storms and dangerous winds on the way. This means everyone on Day 2, including myself, won’t be performing anymore. I’m trying to focus on the positive because all I felt was happiness yesterday. I’m grateful for our flawless first day and for the way this city came together. Thank you so much. I’m sorry.”

SZA, Vince Staples and James Blake were among that artists that performed at Gazebo festival on its opening day.

Harlow was supposed to headline the festival’s second day, which was also due to feature performances from the likes of PinkPantheress, Amaraee and Omar Apollo.

Sunday ticket holders will receive a full refund, while weekend pass ticket holders will be refunded 50%. All refunds will be issued within 30 days, according to a statement from Gazebo festival.

In the neighbouring state of Illinois, Sueños Music Festival was also having problems with inclement weather on its second day.

The Latin music festival was scheduled to take place across two days in Grant Park, Chicago. However, the opening of day two was postponed until 4 pm due to severe weather, prompting organisers to reshuffle the lineup.

“While the event is going ahead, we cannot guarantee access customers the experience that we had hoped”

At 7:45 pm, just before Peso Pluma’s headline set, attendees were asked to evacuate the site due to incoming storms.

The festival’s opening day featured performances by Xavi, Ivan Cornejo, Young Miko, Bizarrap and Rauw Alejandro. This year, Sueños’s third, was sold out for the first time with 65,000 attendees each day.

Also yesterday, UK festival Slam Dunk released an emergency weather update ahead of its Leeds leg, after heavy rainfall at the Temple Newsam site.

The rock, pop-punk and emo festival wrote before 10 am: “Having assessed the ground conditions for Slam Dunk North, we are sorry to inform you that due to the weather, the ground is in bad condition.

“While the event is going ahead, we cannot guarantee access customers the experience that we had hoped. While facilities including platforms and ambulant areas are still available and customers can still attend, we advise that those with mobility issues avoid the site.”

The festival also confirmed that refunds would be available for accessibility customers.

The Leeds leg at Temple Newsam went ahead with feature performances from the likes of You Me At Six, All-American Rejects and I Prevail. The southern leg took place at Hatfield Park the day prior.

The three festivals join a long list of events that have either been cut short or cancelled due to severe weather.

In the US, adverse weather coverage has “increased significantly” in the last five years, according to Jeff Torda from Higginbotham. Backing this point, a recent Billboard article claimed premiums in North America had tripled in recent years.

The latest edition of ILMC also saw industry leaders discussing ways to cope with the impact of weather on festivals and open-air live music events.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.