I enjoy checking out reports and photos from the annual Burning Man Festival held in a normally barren desert. This year that desert turned into mud
In the Nine newspapers on Sunday journalist Nell Geraets looked at the implications for festivals in Australia as they struggle to deal with unpredictable (and extreme) weather conditions.
Here are some of the pertinent points and follow the link below to the full article
Since 2013, about 41 Australian music festivals have been disrupted by bushfires, floods, lightning storms, wind or extreme heat. The vast majority of these disruptions occurred in the last three years, with over 20 festivals being relocated, postponed or cancelled due to dangerous weather fuelled by climate change. The biggest of these was Splendour in the Grass in 2022, which had its first day cancelled following heavy rain and floods.
These kinds of worst-case scenarios not only deter festival-goers from buying tickets in advance (or from going entirely), they also contribute to already skyrocketing insurance premiums. Managing director of the Australian Festival Association Mitch Wilson says some operators, particularly smaller outfits, have seen premiums increase between 300 and 500 per cent since the pandemic began.
Though weather has always been a consideration when planning large outdoor events, Tara Medina, co-founder of Strawberry Fields – a music festival in Tocumwal, NSW that was cancelled because of La Niña-related flooding last year – says climate change has made extreme weather more frequent, severe and unpredictable.
“The weather for our first four or five events was reasonably consistent,” Medina says. “The variance was: you’re either going to get 20mm of rain, and it’ll be colder, or it’s going to be 35 degrees and hot. The extremes for us now are: it’s going to be 42 degrees and a catastrophic bushfire day, or it’s going to be seven metres underwater. The sweet spots are getting more and more rare.”
Medina adds that festivals are now having to purchase insurance policies far earlier than usual (she arranged Strawberry Field’s insurance about eight months earlier this year) in case extreme weather impacts the venue before the cancellation insurance is finalised.
Read the full article: Burning Man in a burning world: Is this the end of music festivals?
And if the weather isn’t enough – how about shysters running a festival: ‘Complete disaster’ event Fyre Festival is coming back, and tickets are already selling out
So I guess documentary makers will be gearing for a sequel to Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened