5 Aug 2012 02:00 PM EST
-by Vania Andre, Staff Writer; Image: Concert-goers in the rain after being evacuated from Lollapalooza (Image Source: Chicago Tribune)
Tens of thousands of music lovers were forced to evacuate the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago’s Grant Park on Saturday due to an approaching storm with high winds.
The music festival was suspended at about 2:30 p.m. ET. Attendees were directed by police and festival organizers to one of three underground parking garages.
“Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists,” said Shelby Meade, communications director for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza. “We regret having to suspend any show but safety always comes first.”
The festival was suspended for about three hours.
“Heavy rains, wind and lightning are the main threats from these storms,” said meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss.
The National Weather Service recorded wind gusts of up to 70 mph.
“We want to thank the tens of thousands of festival goers, staff, and artists who calmly and safely exited from Grant Park today,” Charlie Jones, partner of C3 Presents, which promotes the festival. “We also applaud and thank the City of Chicago for their cooperation and commitment to making Lolla a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Once again Chicago has come through, and we’re proud to call the city our partner.”
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