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Keeping Cool at the Summer Music Festival.

Andy Robertson

For music festivals taking place during the summer months in countries with temperate climates an unexpected heatwave can prove uncomfortable and even dangerous. What precautions can festival organisers take to ensure that their event proceeds without any problems associated with high temperatures. 

In the UK, a typical temperate climate region, the average temperature during July and August is around of 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) however, an unexpected heatwave can see temperatures soar to over 25 or even as high as 37 degrees Celsius. Such temperatures can be dangerous and as most music festivals take place outdoors during July and August organisers should consider appropriate precautions in their planning logistics.

Safeguarding Visitors, Staff and Artists. 
The most common health concerns during hot weather are dehydration, sunstroke and sunburns. Organisers should ensure that there are sufficient supplies and access to clean drinking water which is easily available to everyone on-site. There should be easy access to sunblock and mild sunburn treatments from medical centres and vendors to ensure the safety of everyone. Although air conditioning is rare on a remote festival site it makes sense to provide air-conditioned dressing rooms for artists for example.

Medical Facilities. 
All music festivals that attract significant numbers of festival-goers are obliged to make available sufficient medial facilities. The larger the festival the larger the facilities should be and if a heatwave is forecast for the scheduled dates the medical facilities should be geared up specifically to treat anyone affected by dehydration and severe sunstroke or burns.  All these conditions can be fatal so it is essential that medical centres and facilities make sufficient plans for supplies and trained medical staff for treating such cases. 

Protection of Sensitive Equipment.
Aside from air conditioning for artist’s dressing rooms there is usually plenty of equipment that can be sensitive to high temperatures leading to failure. Any computers or other audio-visual control equipment with high processing requirements can get hot very quickly and overheat and ideally should be situated in a temperature controlled environment. General recommendations suggest keeping the ambient temperature around 20 - 21°C (68 - 71°F). The power for the air conditioning can now be sourced from hydrogen generators rather than diesel that will assist in maintaining the festival’s sustainability credentials.

Providing sufficient communication and messages about the dangers of extreme heat and sunlight are key in preventing any medical emergencies on-site. Organisers should be sending out messages to festival-goers pre-event about the precautions they should be taking along with clear procedures should anyone need medical attention. On-site there should be good signage to reinforce messages about hydration and use of sunblock for example along with directions to medical facilities and water supplies. 

For organisers planning their festival or live event in the hot summer months using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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