Green arts initiative Julie’s Bicycle is researching the effect of weather on the UK festival industry. It’s no secret that some of our best and most loved events had a difficult summer: The Isle of Wight festival was hit by torrential rain pre-event, meaning may festival goers were stick in traffic jams on the island as the car parks struggled to cope, whilst at T-in-the-Park was transformed into a quagmire as rain fell almost continuously from the early hours of Saturday until the evening, forcing the temporary closure of the Slam Tent during the day,while parts of the site were reduced to lakes of sludge. And one of Cumbria’s largest open-air concerts was abandoned when bosses at Carlisle Racecourse scrapped a headline performance by Madness, part of the Stobart Summer Festival, due to a waterlogged course.
And the rain kept coming: The MFEST music festival at Harewood House with the Human League, Bob Geldof and Texas was cancelled, as was the Liskeard Agricultural show in Cornwall for the first time in its 109 year history, the boat flotilla on the Ouse to celebrate 800 years York’s royal charter was called off and the Argentinian Ambassadors Polo Cup at Cowdray Park in West Sussex was also cancelled – and fans were warned to stay away from practice sessions and qualifying at the muddy the British Grand Prix. The Godiva Festival in Coventry was cancelled and the second day of festivities at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, due to be headlined by Paul Weller, had to be cancelled. The outdoor stages at Cockermouth Live! were cancelled after nearly 10cm of rain fell, CockRock had to close their main stage due to strong winds, while in Liverpool the Africa Oyé event was called off, though a smaller in-door event featuring many of the festival’s line-up was staged: And the series of London 2012 events in Hyde Park were only saved after eight thousand cubic metres of woodchip were delivered – although too late to save the SAW Hit Factory event. To cap it all, Wakestock was hit by flooding and as August ended, the Creamfields dance music festival was ended a day early after torrential rain caused “heavy flooding” at the festival site at Daresbury in Cheshire.
Julie’s Bicycle have designed a survey for festival organisers to tell them how their event was affected in summer 2012. The survey takes approximately fifteen minutes to complete and calls on your experience of organizing festivals. By completing the survey you will automatically be entered into a raffle to win a bespoke sustainability consultancy package from Julie’s Bicycle worth £895.
The simple online survey can be found at http://tinyurl.com/9vquemh and the deadline for completion is the 23rd November. The results will be shared at the UK Festival Awards Conference on the 3rd December.
Julie’s Bicycle say that your answers will be used to paint a picture of the effects of weather on the industry as a whole, with a view to developing long-term risk strategies saying “The findings will also be useful for planning and benchmarking.”