If you’ve been in the private/public event business for any amount of time, chances are, you’ve done an event and experienced a problem or possibly even an emergency. We’ve done well over a thousand events in the last few years in the Austin, Texas area, and we rarely have we seen a true emergency happen, fortunately. The best advice I can offer for problems and emergencies, is to be proactive, as much as possible. Here’s what happened and what we learned from it.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, in 2015, we had major storms and flooding in the central Texas area. My fiance at the time, now, wife, Diana, DJed a wedding in Dripping Springs, Texas. There was rain in the forecast, but it turned out to be much worse! Despite the weather forecast, the bride insisted on having an outdoor ceremony, even though we strongly advised her to reconsider. The ceremony started and then, out of nowhere, torrential rain came pouring down! The entire ceremony area became flooded (the canopy didn’t help) and people ran inside. Diana had to take down the ceremony PA system while it was pouring, getting the equipment wet, despite trying to remain covered. Finally, she got everything moved and had to set it all up, AGAIN, inside (and she was soaking wet).
About 15 minutes later, she was ready to go and the ceremony resumed. The thunderstorm wouldn’t let up and the lights were flickering! Diana informed me that there was an even worse part of the storm directly approaching the area. As the first dance began, everyone began getting TORNADO WARNING alerts! I told Diana to speak with the venue manager and suggest stopping the event. The bride was pretty intoxicated by this time and said NOT to stop the event! The first dance finished and the power went out! The bride was understandably upset, but asked Diana to still play music off the laptop, which she did until 10pm (way above & beyond expectations). I tried to drive out there, but due to flooding, the roads were closed to/from that area. No one was able to leave the wedding! The rain finally stopped and the water went down and Diana was finally able to leave at 2AM!
The very next day we changed our contracts to prevent this from ever happening again! We learned, the hard way, that not everyone will be considerate of their vendors and guests. We’re thankful that an actual tornado didn’t hit the area!
Filed Under: Business, Weddings
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