Wet weather plans
To say that the weather in the UK is unpredictable would
be an understatement! Should we be preparing for rain or a heat
wave (or both!)? If it isn't enough to organise a myriad of
attractions and to find enough volunteers to run them, you need to
think about a wet weather contingency plan too!
Consider your options and agree a date (based on the latest
weather reports) on which a decision will be taken. Get the latest
weather information from the Met Office on Twitter.
If your event cannot be held outdoors, do you have an alternative
indoor venue or will the event have to be cancelled?
Go ahead, postpone or cancel?
The main things to consider when rain is forecast are do you
have enough room indoors for the main money-making stalls and will
people come along? If attendance is likely to be down and your most
profitable stalls are the BBQ and bouncy castle, can you postpone
your event? If you promote an alternative date early enough, then
hopefully people will have kept the date free (to both attend and
volunteer!). If you have no alternative but to cancel, make sure
that anything you buy is purchased on a sale or return basis. Get
non-perishable prizes for stalls that are not season specific,
allowing them to be stored and used for future events.
Location, location, location
Assuming you decide to go ahead, consider whether stalls could
be moved onto hard standing such as a carpark or playground (to
mitigate against mud and slip hazards), or will everything need to
be moved indoors? If we only have drizzle and there are no high
winds, waterproof gazebos should provide sufficient protection from
the worst of the weather, but these will need to be secured in
place. Obviously bear in mind potential hazards caused by any
electrical devices that are exposed to the elements.
There will undoubtedly be some restrictions on moving your
entire event indoors, i.e. coconut shies cannot be staked; welly
wanging needs sufficient space; limited numbers in case of
overcrowding. Divide your list of stalls/attractions into those
that will go ahead in fine weather and those that can be moved
indoors if it rains.
Rain and/or high winds will present a problem for bouncy
castles, climbing walls and similar attractions. If you are booking
something like this from an external supplier, check what
alternative solutions they can offer in the event of inclement
weather. Some may allow you to postpone your booking to an
alternative date, others may be able to provide a different
attraction more suited to indoor use (space allowing). Check
When selling space to stallholders (or arranging for external
performers to attend your event), make your wet weather policy
clear in agreement documents. If you plan to go ahead outdoors
whatever the weather, then use wording along the lines of, 'The
fair goes ahead no matter what the weather, so come prepared with
rain or sun protection. There will be no refunds made in the event
of inclement weather.' Give external suppliers a contact number for
enquiries and let them know when a decision will be made, i.e. by
5pm two days prior to the event.
Risk assessment and site plans
Bear in mind that any decision to move your event (from it's
original location) will need to be taken with enough time to carry
out a risk assessment. You may be able to speed up this process by
having two site plans prepared. This should include:
- routes in and out
- performance arena
- first aid and lost children points
- communication between marshals
We'd love to hear what plans you put in place, so please email the Let's Get
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