Red Rocks Hailstorm: 7 Hospitalized, 80+ Injured | Inquirer

Massive Hailstorm at Red Rocks Amphitheatre Leaves 7 Hospitalized and Over 80 Injured

/ 05:38 AM June 23, 2023

A fierce solstice hailstorm caused chaos at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison. The incident left some concertgoers with cuts and broken bones.

This incident has ignited discussions about the hurdles of giving on-time weather warnings. It also highlighted the need for better safety measures at the iconic outdoor venue.

Seven concertgoers were hospitalized due to injuries at a Louis Tomlinson concert. West Metro Fire Rescue confirmed the number of injured concertgoers.

Some of these injuries required urgent medical assistance. In addition, 80 to 90 individuals had bruises and lacerations. They received on-site treatment from medical personnel and paramedics.

Weather Warning

At 9:26 pm, the National Weather Service posted a bulletin on Twitter. The agency is alerting the public to watch out for “golf-sized hail or larger” in the Red Rocks vicinity.

Concertgoers were advised to seek cover properly. However, seeking shelter at the Denver-owned Red Rocks Amphitheater venue was deemed to be challenging.

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A Whittier Daily News report confirmed that the distance to the nearest parking lots would require a 10-minute trek or more. Rideshare options left the concertgoers without available safe shelter.

Furthermore, earlier in the night, Red Rocks officers had confirmed delays to the Tomlinson concert due to lightning warnings. They urged attendees to stay inside their vehicles until they announced an all-clear to resume the show.

Some attendees decided to leave. But as the event resumed and storms continued, heavy hail started pouring at 9:30 pm, which caught attendees off guard and some without shelter.

Videos of the havoc circulated online, showing attendees desperately seeking shelter. Backstage areas, restrooms, and a visitor center quickly became crowded.

Others even huddled under signs to cover themselves from the hailstorm. Nicole, a concertgoer, shared her frightening experience on Twitter.

Nicole said, “Tonight was the scariest night of my life. It started pelting people with hail at Red Rocks, and my sister and I luckily found shelter under a sign. I am bleeding and have huge bumps on my head from the hail. Hoping everyone made it out safely.”

Red Rocks’ Response and Investigation

Following the hailstorm announcement, it wasn’t until 10:25 pm that Red Rocks officers officially canceled the event. Hailstones filled the paths, seating areas, and parking lots then.

Denver Arts & Venues manages the Red Rocks, relying on Skyview for weather advisories based on National Weather Service forecasts.

The city’s spokesperson for Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Brian Kitts, noted that the venue managers rely on that advice as they are not meteorologists.

In addition, red Rocks officers quickly responded by displaying red emergency evacuation alerts on screens at the venue about ten minutes before the hailstorm struck.

However, accusations of concession workers mocking and recording videos of panicked attendees surfaced. Red Rocks officers are actively probing these allegations, expressing their disapproval of those behaviors.

This severe weather incident that injured concertgoers sparked discussions on the need for better safety protocols at Red Rocks Amphitheatre during events.

While city officers haven’t planned on building shelters around the iconic red sandstone rocks, this incident has raised concerns about the threats of outdoor venues to extreme weather instances.

Moreover, Red Rocks officers promised their commitment to reschedule the Tomlinson event. They also assured the ticket holders that they would provide refund details via Live Nation, the event’s promoter.

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What safety measures should be taken during hailstorms at outdoor venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre?

While nature and weather disturbances pose challenges for outdoor venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre, here are some essential safety measures to ensure the safety of attending outdoor events.

Improved Weather Monitoring: Outside venues should invest in advanced weather monitoring data systems, including hail.

Shelter Options: Venues, particularly those that are outdoors, should evaluate and build shelter options for attendees.

Evacuation Plans: Detailed evacuation guides and plans should be in place with a clear outline of safe routes for the exit.

Education and Awareness: The event’s organizers should inform attendees about the risks that come with severe weather forecasts like hailstorms.

Staff Preparedness and Training: Regular improvement and evaluation of safety measures should be a top priority. There should be incident reports, feedback from concertgoers, and evaluation of previous events.

Overall, the hailstorm at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on the eve of the Louis Tomlinson concert has brought challenges that outdoor venues usually face.

Some concertgoers were injured, while others panicked as they scrambled for shelter. This event led to discussions of the safety of outdoor venues.

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TAGS: Colorado, storm, Trending
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