Electric Zoo Canceled Due to Weather

(NEW YORK, NY) – Electric Zoo 2014 organizers have evacuated and canceled the festival due to extreme weather conditions. The festival released the following statement from spokesperson Stefan Friedman:

Screenshot_2014-08-31-17-30-35-picsay“Electric Zoo has made the decision to shut down the festival for the remainder of the day. We apologize to our fans, but ultimately our main concern is for the safety and security of all attendees, artists and staff.”

Electric Zoo Cancelled

Fans Exit the Shelter of the Overpass After the Storm

To the dismay of festivalgoers today, Electric Zoo was officially shut down after this short and sweet press release was sent out. Basically, pretty suddenly a short but intense storm hit the festival. What seemed like a nice morning quickly turned to monsoon. Approximately 10 or 20 minutes before the storm hit the festival grounds, stages were shut down and people were asked to evacuate the grounds. I personally happened to be standing near the entrance where hundreds of people were still planning on entering the festival. People I interviewed said wait time was anywhere from 1-3 hours prior to the evacuation, making the resulting cancellation even harder to bear. Thousands of festivalgoers were herded under the overpass just outside of
the festival, safe from thunder and lightning. Others still on the festival grounds sought shelter under stage tents. At the peak of the storm, it really was pretty intense with heavy rainfall, fairly strong winds, and lightning. A flash flood warning was issued for the area and you could see why– fans seeking shelter on the festival grounds reported that the sudden downpour of rain had no where to go to and just made huge pools of mud and water while under the over pass we saw water gushing down drainage pipes from the upper level of the overpass causing cascading waterfalls. The whole downpour was quick, however, lasting about 30-50 minutes.

Fans Waited Outside the Festival Hoping for EZoo to Continue

Fans Waited Outside the Festival Hoping for EZoo to Continue

While fans griped that it was just a passing storm and the festival should never have been cancelled, I think no one probably suffered more than the festival owners Mike Brindra and Laura de Palma. Regularly they could be seen all weekend long surveying the festival grounds with various staff personnel, checking out the grounds and personally making sure everything was going smoothly. This personal attention to detail shows the commitment Mike and Laura have to this festival. Their presence on site didn’t go unnoticed– I saw one fan ask to take a selfie with Laura, which she agreed to, and afterwards the fan excitedly bounded over to his friends, thrilled to have the opportunity to take a photo with her. Staff throughout the festival know both Mike and Laura (always referred to by their first names) as being laid back but also seriously committed to the festival. I feel for them that once again they were forced to cancel the festival but I think they made the right choice. The storm may have passed, but because of rain and wind, who knows what kind of damages the stages may have potentially sustained. There was no way they could have safely resumed the festival.

Fans Hide Under Tent on the Festival Grounds During the Heat of the Storm; Photo by Festival Goer Nick Roberts

Fans Hide Under Tent on the Festival Grounds During the Heat of the Storm; Photo by Festivalgoer Nick Roberts

Volunteer Zookeepers Handed Out Water to Fans as the Exit the Festival

Volunteer Zookeepers Handed Out Water to Fans as they Exit the Festival

Kristen Grennan

Follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenGrennan Kristen Grennan joined Sensible Reason in the fall of 2010 while living abroad in France. She helped co-manage Binghamtronica Presented by Oxfam and HeadCount in March of 2011 and graduated from Binghamton University in May of 2012. Besides writing for Sensible Reason, Kristen taught English in Le Havre, France and is a backpacking hooper and hippie. Kristen is currently enrolled at Columbia University and is seeking a Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in International Media, Advocacy, & Communications.

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