Close to 100,000 Lollapalooza attendees will be descending on Chicago’s Grant Park this Friday for the opening of the 3-day festival. ABC Chicago reported today that Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management is recommending music fans take the CTA, and bring bottled water. The OEMC is planning on temperatures in the 90’s and reports that complimentary cooling buses will parked in the area.
The Weather Channel disagrees with the OEMC’s forecast and currently shows temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s for all 3 days of the festival. The heat may not be a problem, but you should be concerned with the threat of isolated thunderstorms forecast for Friday.
Last year the festival was evacuated for the first time in its history due to severe thunderstorms, which swept through the area in the late afternoon of the second day. Over 60 thousand fans were sent packing with little or no direction where to seek shelter.
Was the 2012 evacuation the right decision? Yes, they did do the right thing in clearing the park. In 2011 a storm swept through the Indiana State Fair, causing a stage to collapse, killing 7 people.
The problem with last year’s evacuation was the lack of information on where to find shelter. This year the OEMC is alerting attendees that there will be blue and white signs directing them to extreme weather shelters in the event of potentially dangerous weather.
Prepare for the worst.
1. Decide before hand where you will go to seek shelter in case of an evacuation.
2. Make sure all of your friends agree on where to meet up should you get separated during an evacuation.
3. Don’t wait until the last minute to leave the park. If you are planning on seeking shelter at one of the many bars and restaurants nearby remember there will be tens of thousands of other attendees thinking the same thing.
Dos and Don’ts for Lollapalooza:
1. Do drink a lot of water and don’t over indulge in alcoholic beverages. Your head will thank you in the morning.
2. Don’t bring valuables you don’t need. Bring cash and only as many credit cards as you absolutely need for the day. Pickpockets will be working the crowd especially near the entrance where choke points will form.
3. Do put your cash and other valuable in your front pockets. You will have a better chance of protecting them than if they are in a back pocket or backpack.
4. Don’t rush the fence and attempt to get in for free. In 2011 an older man was knocked down and almost crushed when one group broke through the fence. There will be plenty of security and you may end up in jail.
5. Do stay alert as you leaving at the end of the day. Leaving the event is when you will be most vulnerable. At the end of the day you will be tired; maybe a bit drunk and distracted as you make your way through the large crowd leaving at the same time you are.
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