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Boomtown weathers the storm for sold-out fest

The 11th edition of Boomtown took place this weekend amid high-speed winds, as “robust planning measures” ensured a successful event.

High winds and heavy rains battered the UK over the weekend. Despite the cancellation of Boardmasters and Houghton festivals, organisers of Boomtown decided to brave the storm, with 66,000 people attending the event from 7 to 11 August.

Strong winds caused the temporary closure of Boomtown’s Relic stage on Friday, after part of the stage fell into the crowd. All acts were rescheduled to perform on another stage, with Relic reopening on Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

“It was inspiring to watch the entire Boomtown community come together, demonstrating nothing but support, patience and respect for each other”

Campsites were also affected by high winds. Festivalgoers were encouraged to contact festival staff if they wished to move campsites or obtain alternative shelter due to weather conditions.

Organisers admit that the weather was “challenging”, but say they are “humbled by how everyone pulled together” to ensure the show went on to the standard expected.

“It was inspiring to watch the entire Boomtown community come together, demonstrating nothing but support, patience and respect for each other,” reads a statement from organisers.

Artists including Prophets of Rage, Chronixx, Groove Armada and Lauryn Hill performed at Boomtown 2019.

 


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Severe weather wreaks havoc for UK festivals

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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Boardmasters axed amid weather worries

Vision Nine’s Boardmasters festival (50,000-cap.) has been cancelled twelve hours before gates were due to open, as severe weather warnings hit the UK.

The organisers of the live music and surfing festival announced the “potential risk” to attendees’, performers’ and crew safety was “too severe” for the event to go ahead.

Campers were supposed to arrive at the festival site in Newquay, Cornwall today (7 August), with music beginning on Friday.

Wu-Tang Clan, Florence and the Machine, Foals, Jorja Smith and Dizzee Rascal were all billed to play the festival.

“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled,” organisers posted on social media at 11 p.m. last night.

Organisers say they “sincerely regret the disappointment to fans” and apologise for disruption to local businesses.

Information regarding refunds will appear on the event’s social media pages in due course. Tickets were priced from £69 for one day to £205 for a five-day camping pass. VIP camping options cost £280.

“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled”

James Barton’s Superstruct Entertainment acquired Boardmasters from Global Festivals in April, along with the UK’s South West Four, Kendal Calling and Tramlines, as well as Croatian dance festival Hideout.

Prior to forming part of the Global portfolio, Boardmasters was owned by Impresario Festivals.

Severe weather conditions caused the cancellation of Rewind North in Cheshire, UK, earlier this month and was cited as the reason for the axing of Roxodus festival in Canada. Flood risks also forced the last-minute venue move which resulted in the cancellation of Neo Sala’s Doctor Music Festival in Spain.

The consequences of extreme weather has been a subject of discussion at the ILMC Production Meeting for many years, with production experts urging more long-term monitoring of weather conditions.

Great Western Railway is allowing all those with return tickets from Newquay to use their returns from today. Bus company Megabus is making extra seats available on it service from Newquay to London.

 


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Fans criticise evacuation of NSW Wine Machine event

Attendees of Wine Machine, an 11,000-capacity live music and wine festival in New South Wales (NSW), have criticised festival organisers following the event’s cancellation and evacuation due to severe lightning storms.

Organisers evacuated the festival site after an electrical storm hit Australia’s Hunter Valley, where the event was held. The cancellation occurred before festival headliner Hot Dub Time Machine had performed.

Festivalgoers have since criticised the way in which organisers handled the severe weather conditions, citing aggression from security staff and a disregard for safety. Fans objected to being “shoved out on to roads” and prevented from finding shelter on site.

“The safety of all patrons, artists and staff is of absolute priority,” wrote the Wine Machine organisers in a statement.

“The Hunter Valley last night experienced an extreme weather system causing an initial show stop and eventual evacuation of the event. This sucked for every single person on site,” read the festival’s statement, adding that “evacuations of this nature are never pleasant.”

Organisers invited attendees to provide email feedback on how police and security staff handled the evacuation.

Fans also criticised Wine Machine for its overpriced food and drink, poor sound system and excessive queues. Some attendees compared the event to Fyre Festival, while others suggested it be re-named “Line Machine” due to the long queues.

“The safety of all patrons, artists and staff is of absolute priority”

Festival organisers addressed the complaints, saying that “due to the current climate in NSW, severe licensing conditions were placed upon the event limiting drinks to two per person causing unacceptable congestion at the bars.”

Music festivals across NSW are struggling to adapt to the government’s new licensing regulations, which place events under much closer scrutiny and require many additional licensing and security costs.

The Wine Machine organisers also cited “staffing issues” for external bar operator Prime Collective. The bar supplier said it takes “full responsibility”, explaining that “two of our staffing mini-buses carrying 32 staff were reportedly involved in an incident whilst en route from Sydney, resulting in bars being under staffed.”

Wine Machine headliner and founder Hot Dub Time Machine has announced two free shows, the first on April 11 at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre (2,500-cap.) and the second on April 12 at the Newcastle Exhibition Centre (7,528-cap.), to make up for the missed set at the festival.

“Wine Machine and I both appreciate all the support over the years, so we wanted to make it up to you with this small token of our appreciation,” said the DJ.

Wine Machine is held in six locations across Australia, including the Yarra Valley (Victoria), Swan Valley (Western Australia) and Canberra’s Lake George winery.

 


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14 hospitalised as storm hits Backstreet Boys concert

At least 14 people were injured at a sold-out Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees concert over the weekend after a storm battered the WinStar World Casino and Resort venue in Oklahoma.

12,000 concert hopefuls were queuing outside the venue when heavy rain and winds as strong as 80mph caused trusses located at the entrance of the open-air venue to collapse on top of the crowd. Videos taken by witnesses to the scene show fans helping the injured before emergency services arrived.

Staff at the venue had begun the process of evacuation prior to the collapse, after lightening was seen close to the venue. According to a statement from the venue, however, some chose not to heed the warnings of staff, instead choosing to stay in line amongst the severe weather.

“This was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm”

“All patrons in the area were asked to move and to seek shelter from the storm. However, about 150 patrons who were standing in line for the Backstreet Boys concert did not heed staff’s warnings,” the statement reads.

“We know that fans often suffer through inclement weather for their favourite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm.”

One prospective concertgoer shared a video of the scene on Twitter, showing the aftermath of the collapse, complete with ambulances and police cars.

Members of Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the turn of events. From their official Backstreet Boys Twitter account the band said: “We never want to put our fans in harm’s way and with tonight’s weather and the injuries from earlier.

“We have decided to cancel the show and will attempt to reschedule. The most important thing is for everyone to get home safely and we will see you all very soon!”

Band member Kevin Richardson has since confirmed on Twitter that the concert will be rescheduled and has advised fans to keep their tickets.

 


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Closing day of Camp Bestival shut down due to bad weather

Camp Bestival organisers were “devastated and heartbroken” yesterday (29 June) after making the decision to cancel the final day of the festival after adverse weather conditions prompted concerns over safety.

Despite having enjoyed a prolonged summer heatwave, weather in the UK turned over the weekend, with torrential rain and gale-force winds battering the 30,000 capacity festival site at Lulworth Castle, Dorset. Conditions caused tents to flood and all stages were shut down by the team, amid health and safety concerns for artists, staff and guests.

Some guests tweeted about the state of their camping equipment, after the weather took hold:

https://twitter.com/LauraRaynes/status/1023553910294896640

The cancellation early on Sunday morning meant all acts billed for the day were unable to play. Sunday headliners Simple Minds tweeted their disappointment at the news, saying they were “very sorry to announce” that they would not be performing.

Campsites remained open after the announcement was made, with organisers inviting guests to stay for the remainder of the weekend if they wished. Toilets, showers and traders also remained open. For those who wanted out, extra taxis were laid on to ferry people off site.

In response to the cancellation, organisers of Camp Bestival have already announced they will be following up with their ticket refund policy. Responding to festivalgoers on Twitter, organisers said refunds would be issued as quickly as possible.

“This has been such a tough decision but the safety of all you guys, the families, kids and our working staff has to be of paramount importance.”

Festivalgoers who opted for this year’s new cashless system adopted by Camp Bestival and its ‘big sister’ Bestival are also now able to ‘cash out’ online for the next seven days. Users are advised not throw away their wristbands until the funds have reached their bank accounts.

Despite the disappointment felt all round, organisers still reported Camp Bestival 2018, the eleventh year of the family festival, the best in the event’s history. A statement discussing the cancellation reads: “We have had the best three days in Camp Bestival’s history, it’s been our greatest ever show with all our favourite performers, shows, stages, and artists which we have thoroughly enjoyed sharing with you all.

“You are by far the best festival audience and we love you dearly. This has been such a tough decision but the safety of all you guys, the families, kids and our working staff has to be of paramount importance.”

 


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