How outdoor concert venues stop you from becoming overheated
- Carolyn Malachi: You don't need to die if you want to see her.
Going to see Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday? Months ago, when you bought tickets, you might’ve planned on getting baked, but probably not baking. But, thanks to a stretch of record-high temps that started on Wednesday and is expected to last through the early part of next week, this weekend's outdoor concerts could end up being pretty miserable. Well, more miserable than usual.
At Merriweather, overheated weed-rap fans will be treated to misting tents to help them stay cool. And venue spokesperson Audrey Fix-Schaffer reminds everyone that Merriweather has a more liberal policy about patrons bringing in their own water than a lot of venues. Each guest is allowed to have two sealed bottles of water with them when they enter the Columbia, Md., venue—and people are less likely to get dehydrated if they can sip water without paying $5 a bottle for it.
Merriweather isn't the only place taking extra precautions. So, if you’re thinking of skipping out on some show you really want to attend, don’t – venues in the area are taking extra care to make sure you have a good time, sans heat stroke.
Rita Gunther, the facility manager for Rock Creek Park’s Carter Barron Amphitheatre, says there is a plan to keep people from overheating during tonight’s Washington Post-sponsored R&B show, headlined by Grammy-nominated artist Carolyn Malachi. There will be extra staff on hand (to better monitor the crowd and to allow workers to take frequent breaks), a ton of little fun-sized bottles of water will be given out for free, and there will be signage reminding people to drink up and stay hydrated. Gunther says the park doesn’t have the capacity to chill all of the 8 oz. water bottles, but “your body absorbs water better if it isn’t ice cold.”
“I’ve been here 10 years, and this is the first show that I know of where the weather has been so extreme,” Gunther says. “We’ve had hot and humid—I have fond memories of just being drenched while standing still—but I don’t think it has ever been quite this bad. I’ve never had it be quite this hot, and I’m a native Washingtonian.”
Carter Barron will also cut about five minutes out of each of tonight’s sets so that “the audience and the artists aren’t just sitting out there in the heat,” Gunther says.
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