Hurricane/Southside Hampered By Weather

Two German flagship festivals were hit by exceptionally harsh weather over the June 24-26 weekend, causing minor injuries. While Southside had to be aborted early June 25, Hurricane was suspended on the same day. 


Southside, which takes place in the far south of Germany, experienced a summer storm the previous evening. It was severe enough to spark an evacuation of the festival’s site. This turned out to be a lucky move, as the weather situation only got worse, with heavy rainfalls, lightning strikes and wind speeds up to 100 km/h.

“I have never experienced such severe weather in my life,” promoter Folkert Koopmans told Pollstar. The rainfalls caused torrents, which even seeped into dressing rooms and offices.

One festivalgoer told Das Erste that the waterline had reached the bottom edge of her car door.

People with cars helped shelter fellow festivalgoers in their vehicles. Around 3,000 people were taken to a nearby gymnasium in buses provided by the festival’s organizers.

Forecasts made it pretty clear that the rest of the weekend wasn’t going to look much better, which is why FKP Scorpio aborted the event.

Photo: Carsten Rehder / dpa via AP
June 21

Koopmans maintains that the dozens of Southside injuries reported by German media did not necessarily result from the thunderstorm, and that injuries were minor.

Hurricane, which turned 20 this year, experienced its first thunderstorm on the day of arrival, June 23. People basically waited it out in their cars. The main problem was the rainfalls. The program could finally commence on Friday evening, but the rain continued.

Festival staff was continuously pumping out water, but couldn’t cope with the sheer amount. When they had finally gotten the place dry on Saturday, new rainfalls led to the temporary suspension.

Sunday saw almost all concerts take place, however, which included Mumford & SonsDeichkindBloc Party and many more.

“I think we only had to cancel shows by two bands on two smaller stages. All other acts played,” Koopmans said. One thing worth discussing may be the separation of parking and camping at festivals, Koopmans said.

FKP traditionally separates both out of safety concerns.

“For evacuation purposes it might make sense to merge the two, but it remains to be seen whether that’s feasible. There’s not much more we can do, really. Evacuation and communication worked well. The people attested to that.”