Mother Nature challenged the sold-out Taste of Fort Collins festival this year. On Saturday, threats of lightning pushed local acts Clementine, JØHN TYLER and hellocentral off the stage during a mandatory evacuation but let headliners the All-American Rejects play for a sold-out crowd. On Sunday, however, a torrential downpour and lots of lightning meant it was too dangerous for Lil Jon to perform—even as a glimmer of hope existed that he would perform his set after gates re-opened at 8:15 p.m.

Cooler, pleasant weather drew crowds to Washington and Civic Center parks and the surrounding vendor areas outside of storm periods.

One reporter from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS, observed almost an inch of rain that fell when Lil Jon was set to take the stage. On average, that’s nearly half of what Fort Collins usually receives over the entire month of June. Parts of Fort Collins were even put under a flash flood warning that included Wellington, Timnath and Windsor.

Sean Leddy
Sean Leddy

The festival grounds had to be evacuated twice on Sunday because of the storm. The first time, the crowd was already packed in as the Thin Air Crew and DJ Channell got them ready for the main event. 

When crowds were let back into the festival grounds at 8:15, die-hard fans were ready at the barrier of the main stage. Even as the rain picked back up, they broke out their ponchos and umbrellas to brave the storm, cheering on the hardworking stage crew as they got the stage ready again.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. When the thunder is loud enough to be heard over the subwoofers, you know it’s time to be safe and get to shelter. After a second evacuation was called, Lil Jon himself came out on stage to thank the audience for being there and to tell them to get to safety.

While it’s too bad everyone had to go home, safety takes priority over rocking out with the King of Crunk. Townsquare Media and FNBO brought the party, but Mother Nature brought the rain.

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