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Levitation organizers book shows downtown after cancelling festival

Levitation festival cancelled due to severe weather/Dustin Rogers-KEYE-TV

Thousands are scrambling to find a place to sleep and for things to do after Levitation festival is cancelled due to severe weather.

Festival organizers have created a plan b by booking bands scheduled to play at the festival at venues downtown.

Last year rainy weather added to the psychedelic vibes at the festival, but this year, organizers called it quits saying the risk to public safety this time is too great. "It's a very difficult decision," said Travis County Fire Marshal Tony Callaway.

Callway said cancelling was a joint decision made by the festivals directors and the county. "With the weather conditions that were forecasted and the wind speeds that were forecasted along with the additional rain we were concerned," he said.

Recent floods saturated the grounds on Carson Creek Ranch and Callaway said the water threatens the stability of temporary structures. The excess water also makes it impossible to accommodate crowds. "Their main parking lot that was designed to hold close to 2,000 vehicles is currently holding water," Callaway said.

Cancelling the festival is a huge disappointment for people like Caleb Bergido who drove all the way from Sacramento, California with three friends. "Super bummed, really big letdown," he said. "Essentially we drove all this way to do that."

Bergido said he was planning on camping at festival grounds. Now, he is not only out of a place to sleep, he is also out of money as he waits for his $300 refund. "The refund is within 30 days," he said. "That's money I don't have to pay to get into bars."

Bergido said he plans to attend the shows offered by Levitation organizers downtown but said despite dark rain clouds, he feels moving the venue wasn't necessary. "I've played music in heavy rain and thunderstorms," Bergido said. "It's no big deal, it's actually really rad."

Levitation draws nearly 15,000 people to Austin each year, more than 2,000 camp near festival grounds.

Proceeds from all shows now scheduled downtown will go to the Red Cross for flood relief.


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