Country Jam plans for heat, possbility of storms

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A.J. Avery and his crew see their share of music festivals every year.

"We do this about three to four times a year," as they set up the stage.

They see different cities, different shows, and different weather.

"Up here in Wisconsin, occasionally you get rain," he said.

The heat, the rain, is to be expected. And Country Jam plans for it.

"Obviously we're gonna be around 90 degrees and humidity is awful," said Mark Steen, the Director of Country Jam.

The idea is to make sure guests are not only comfortable and have a good time but stay safe.

"We've got a lot of watering stations, everyone's gotta keep themselves hydrated," he said. "We have a lot of faucets and they don't have to buy water."

He says every year people get dehydrated, but there is plenty of medical staff on-hand to help if needed.

If thunderstorms are the threat, those are tracked at the mobile comm center.

"We have radar in there and what happens is we send an officer to the Dunn County line, for example, if the weather is coming in from the west side, and they'll track the storm for us," he added.

Then there is the worst case scenario: a tornado. Keep in mind there are about 20,000 to 30,000 people at Country Jam.

"If the wind was serious enough where we had a chance at a tornado, and it has happened in the past where we shut the stage down, lower the roof, and say please go to your car, go to the campgrounds," Steen said.

They try to keep visitors ahead of the storm with a color-coded flag system and announcements.

But serious weather aside, Avery says most are willing to wait things out.

"The only thing that drives people away is the rain but the die-hard Country Jam fans will stay by and stick it through," he added.

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