CHICAGO (CBS) — Vacuums worked to suck up the water from Northerly Island, ahead of the three-day country music festival that is underway.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports the organizers of the music fest don’t want Northerly Island to turn into a mud fest, so they’re taking extraordinary measures.
Crews were busy sweeping up water, dumping garbage cans of water at a time, as well as moping and vacuuming the stage area.
“We bought 100 wet vacs in an effort to outrace Mother Nature,” said Brian O’Connell, the creator of Chicago’s country LakeShake Festival.
Much of what is being vacuumed looks like grass, but it is fake turf.
“We put down 100,000 square feet, I think it’s pretty much unprecedented,” said O’Connell.
Despite the turf on top of the ground, puddles of water are still forming.
When asked how you find that much turf last minute in Chicago, O’Connell responded with “Google.”
Based on workers on the turf, Mother Nature may be winning the battle, as it is squishy. CBS 2’s Mai Martinez says it is like walking on a leaking water bed.
“We are not afraid,” stated O’Connell. “Some people think a little weather, the world is gonna end. It doesn’t end. What we do is we fix it.”
Outside the gates, several die-hard country fans lined up hours early, armed with umbrellas, ponchos, and tarps.
“We came prepared,” said festival attendee Hannah Stubitsch, “we knew what it would be like.”
A group of event goers from the South side said they showed up six hours before the gates open with one goal in mind.
“Front row is the goal,” said Stubitsch. “Go big or go home. It’ll be a sprint to the gate to the front of the stage. It’ll be the fastest we run all year.”
O’Connell described the weather as “inconvienient.” He says canceling was never considered.
Lake Shake had to be evacuated in 2015 because of lightning and potential danger. That will not be the cause during the fest on Friday.
The festival will take place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this weekend. Tickets are still available.