Summer music festivals are a lot of fun, but they’re also notorious for their humidity and sweltering temperatures. Direct sunlight and high density seating can make the hot weather teeter on unbearable – but this summer, some of the biggest music festivals on the planet are taking steps to cool off music lovers. Here’s how.
Coachella: Cool tents from sponsors and VIP perks
Located near the desert town of Indio, California, Coachella is notorious for exceedingly high temperatures. The festival’s promoters and sponsors have taken steps to ensure that people have access to air conditioning during the often triple-digit temperatures.
During the April 2014 event, there was an air conditioned oasis tent strategically sponsored by Spotify. While this particular tent only held 150 people, the music festival featured other ways to enjoy air conditioning.
Samsung sponsored a similar tent with free air conditioning and Wi-Fi. But the best A/C was enjoyed by attendees who bought the VIP packages offered at Coachella. Festival-goers were able to reserve a fully air conditioned tent to have all to themselves. While reserving these special climate-controlled tents was considerably more expensive than the regular price of admission, they came fully furnished and sealable so as not to let any cool air escape. Sometimes, comfort is worth a little bit extra.
As for the food and concert facilities, Coachella promoters also had to supply cooling and air conditioning for vendors serving ice cream, cocktails, and other cold food items. The festival also had to keep performers and festival employees protected from the hot weather as much as possible.
Bonnaroo: Mist tents and air conditioned movies
Nestled deep in rural Tennessee, Bonnaroo pays homage to the traditional camping music festival, allowing people to sleep in tents on the festival grounds. Naturally, these tents do not come with air conditioning – so the event promoters are implementing air conditioning in various areas throughout the festival. Because the festival lands in June, one of the summer’s hottest months, there are tents with air conditioning, as well as showers, mist stations, and drinking foundations. And this year, the festival will feature Bonnaroo Cinema 2014, which is an air conditioned venue with seats to watch films and television like the NBA Finals.
As at Coachella, Bonnaroo’s best air conditioned venues are accessible with a VIP pass. Unless you are a vendor serving iced drinks or frozen treats, it is unlikely that you will get your own air cooling system. But knowing the layout of the festival is the best way to enjoy a tent with A/C. Many of these tents are cooled through on-site air conditioners and air cooling systems.
Lollapalooza: Different passes for different temps
Chicago’s Lollapalooza is another summer music festival synonymous with hot weather. Located in the heart of the city’s Grant Park, the Lollapalooza Music Festival happens in August, a supremely hot and muggy month. The way that this festival offers air conditioning is based on the level of pass you buy. While there are air conditioned areas for everyone, they are often overly crowded (which sort of defeats the purpose of getting cool at a certain point). Lollapalooza’s Platinum pass gives guests access to a special air conditioned VIP-only area on the north and south sides of the venue.
While all of these festivals require a bit of a “grin and bear it” (or “have a beer and forget it”) attitude toward heat and crowds, the AC systems they’re using are pretty innovative. The vast majority of the on-site air conditioned facilities are portable or collapsible – in other words, when the festival is over, these systems are taken down. This is a prime example of how far heating, ventilating, and air conditioning capabilities have come over the years.