Over decades, experts have warned us about the potential devastating effects of human-made climate change and unfortunately, it’s taken us a very long time to listen. It’s reached the point where we are now experiencing personal, direct, severe effects of the climate crisis that we simply cannot ignore. With July being labelled as one of the hottest months in the Northern Hemisphere so far, with droughts, fires, deadly heat waves and events such as floods and extreme weather shifts, the environmental impact we as humans have had are seeping into our everyday lives.
Two UK festivals have been cancelled this week due to the threat of extreme weather, posing possible serious safety concerns to festival goers, performers and everyone involved. Yesterday (7th August) Boardmasters held in Cornwall, UK, were forced to cancel the event due to these weather events and devastatingly to all, this morning (8th August) Houghton Festival were forced to cancel quite literally last minute as the festival was scheduled to begin this evening. Although extremely upsetting, the festival organisers have definitely made the right move, as safety is the number one concern – especially when faced with conditions such as these. With expected severe thunderstorms and unprecedented wind speeds predicted for this weekend, many could have been thrown into a nightmarish situation if caught in the tumultuous weather.
The event, curated by Craig Richards and featuring some of the best acts in electronic music such as Four Tet and Ben UFO, decided it was in the best interest of everyone involved if the festival were cancelled following overnight news reports of weather changes, which are expected to get worse over the weekend.
The Met Office issues warnings that featured possible wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, equating to a staggering 96.5 kilometres per hour. Combined with heavy rain, this could have proved truly disastrous if the festival had gone on. Albeit disappointed, those involved and attendees praised the decision for the festivals cancellation, acknowledging the difficult move the organisers were required to make hours before the festival was scheduled to begin. Seeing the hard work and passion put into the organisation of the beloved festival go to waste due to weather conditions is truly tragic, yet it is a relief knowing that safety comes first.
Tickets will be refunded, yet details have not been released as of the writing of this article. Houghton Festival have urged all planned attendees to not arrive at the site, and to spread the news of the cancellation as much as is possible.
You can read the full statement with further information here.