Not every festival can storm

80df9e62e68e3bc65e8929638ddea397 - Not every festival can storm

Amsterdam – Still not all festivals in the Netherlands are well equipped to withstand extreme weather. In particular, smaller events will run for seven years after the drama at Pukkelpop is still a risk, say experts.

The date 18 August 2011, when five people were killed on the Belgian Pukkelpop, Jeroen Breedijk etched in his memory. The stormchaser was followed by a heavy thunderstorm from France to Belgium drew. “We saw him at Charleroi visit. Then I thought: this is wrong quantity. That mood was so heavy.”

Fellow chasers called the KMI, the Belgian meteorological office. The communication: the storm pulled in the direction of Pukkelpop. This is where it went horribly wrong. The air moved in rapidly, the wind turned. Large hailstones were the festival-goers the marquees. That way by the wind and branches that the awning came. “The organization was warned, but did nothing with the information. For me that was the starting point for Meteorological Services,” says Breedijk. He informs organizers on weather risk.

“Where everyone still struggles with, is the question of what impact the weather has on a festival”, says Klaas Dros of Meteogroup together. Rain can make for boggy meadows, heat for drying, storm damage. The biggest risk, however, extreme thunderstorms, because they are difficult to predict. That proved to Pukkelpop.

Pukkelpop August 19, 2011.

But the last years it was often wrong or just good. In 2012 fell sixteen people injured in the songwriter dicky Woodstock festival in Steenwijkerwold. when a tent collapsed from the forces of nature. In 2010, the Black Cross during the construction of the broadside, which makes marquees collapsing collapsed, the main stage became damaged and people were injured. The zomerstorm of 2015, spurred festivals to cancellations. The drama at Pukkelpop shook the industry to wake up. Since then, requirements municipalities more often that contact should be recorded with a weather centre. Stormexpert This acknowledges that not every festival equally. “I think at the smaller events, where professionals work, the risk. Sometimes we need organizers to protect themselves,” he says.

By the small budget can be smaller events, not lightning rods for hire. In addition, the organizers often are not familiar with what their tent can handle. Suddenly, a violent thunderstorm is very dangerous.

Rescuers at the festival of Pukkelpop in Hasselt. H


Festival organizers don’t always get the right financial incentives to make bad weather to intervene. Still, there are, for example, insurers only pay out if the municipality of the quantity cancelled, instead of the organization. “It happens that there than waiting for the government”, says Willem Westermann (public event line). “We find that your common sense should let you speak.

And also on the festival site, play financial interests. “As a festival must, you are obliged ponchos to hand out in the rain. But they are in sealed boxes. If you zegeling breaks, that costs a few thousand euros”, says weerbewaker Jeroen Breedijk. According to Westermann holds that, indeed, a part of the events. “Great organizers to buy ponchos. But you can also have a party rental and if you get those boxes open, you go pay for what you use.”

He continues: “on the Other hand you can your festival, so I really let it go.”

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