Reading and Leeds 2011 prepared for bad weather

'There is no scenario that I have not looked at,' says organiser

Reading and Leeds 2011 prepared for bad weather

Photographer: Joanna KurkowskaFiona Gladstone on 26 August 2011

Melvin Benn, Reading and Leeds Festival organiser, has said he is prepared for any emergency, with his main priority being the safety of revellers.

This year, with rain persistent throughout the summer months, Benn has had to be ready for freak weather conditions.

Speaking to the NME, he said: “If we had something similar [to Pukkelpop] I know what actions I would take in order to make sure people were safe. I have to table top exercises with the emergency services about the actions I would take in the event of all of those things. 

Believe me, there is no scenario of an eventuality that I have not looked at, including freak storms. I know how I would deal with it to ensure peoples' safety. The level of effort over safety is immense. It's the thing which keeps me awake at night,” he added.

When speaking about Pukkelpop he continued: “It's difficult to comment how freakish the weather was. Whether the weather was with or without warning. It's virtually impossible to deal with things that are of that intensity without warning. 

“Here in the UK, I would like to think, and certainly history has always suggested, that we've always had warning and that we're able to prepare. The UK has an exemplary record in terms of safety at festivals. The festivals are all governed by very strict licensing. There has to be sign off of everything,” he said.

Reading Festival 2011 and Leeds Festival 2011, which both began today (Friday) and will continue until Sunday have been predicted rain throughout the weekend.

My Chemical Romance, Pulp, The Strokes and Muse will headline both festivals.

 

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