Storms Delay Summerjam

About 40 kilometres away in Düsseldorf the storms were so bad that telegraph poles were torn from the ground, prompting Cologne authorities to tell German promoter Klaus Maack not to let fans onto the Summerjam site.

Reports of lightning storms in the North Rhine-Westphalia region had city councils and emergency services on alert and planes flying over German airspace were diverted from the area.

“We were about to open the gates at 1:30 p.m. and the city said not to do so, and by 3 p.m. it was so hot and the air was so sticky it felt something could be on the way,” Maack told Pollstar.

By 4 p.m. it was clear the storms that raged over Düsseldorf had passed by Cologne and the area immediately around the city. The doors were opened without any delay to the advertised schedule.

From fearing that his festival site was about to become a disaster zone, Maack was relieved when this year’s sold-out 25,000-capacity Summerjam turned out to be one of the best of its 24-year history.

“It was amazing that after a scary start that it turned out the festival got the best weather I can remember it having,” he said.

The acts that escaped the freak storms at Summerjam July 3-5 included Bunny Wailer & His Solomnic Reggaestra, UB40, Patrice, Barrington Levy, Sly & Robbie, Anthony B and Michael Franti & Spearhead.