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FESTIVAL FORECAST: IT'S MUDDY OUT THERE

WEATHERING THE STORM: Technical issues, boycotts, lightning and thunderstorms dampened and nearly washed out a few high-profile events last weekend, including the U.K.’s top hard-rock gathering, the Download Festival, and Chicago’s youth-powered hip-hop gathering, Summer Smash.

This time of year, rain is something seasoned U.K. festivalgoers have come to expect, but the weather was not the only issue at this year’s Download as attendees in their wellies sloshed from stage to stage through ankle-deep mud for the better part of three days. All that to see often-delayed and shortened sets by the more than 40 scheduled performers.

Onstage feuding, poor sound and politically charged boycotts certainly had their effect on the vibe at metal’s biggest annual event. Standout sets by Limp Bizkit (ITB), Machine Head (X-ray Touring), Fall Out Boy (CAA) and Avenged Sevenfold (CAA) were credited with saving the day.

Produced by Chicago promoter SPKRBX and media company Lyrical Lemonade, Summer Smash endured an evacuation due to an intense thunderstorm on Sunday (6/16). The ensuing confusion and a mobile-phone outage sparked concerns that a riot had broken out, when in fact it was just fans exiting the venue and trying to get out of the rain. While a plastic-water-bottle fight did occur, there was no riot and the show ultimately ended up continuing as scheduled following a brief hiatus.

Earlier in the weekend, Summer Smash played host to sets by Travis Scott (CLG, pictured) and his Cactus Jack crew and Playboi Carti, who debuted many of the tracks he’s been leaking on Instagram and YouTube for the past several months.

Organizers hope this weekend’s notable events—Summerfest in Milwaukee (6/20-7/6), New Jersey’s Barefoot Country (June 20-23), the U.K.’s Isle of Wight (6/20-23) and the Netherlands’ PinkPop (6/21-23)—do not suffer similar fates. Other major gatherings scheduled for the weekend include Germany’s Hurricane/Southside festivals (6/21-23), Denmark’s Copenhell (6/19-22) and Belgium’s Graspop (6/20-23).

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