Many events and festivals are held during the summer period. Organisers and attendees should therefore be aware that very hot weather is possible. Below, RIVM shares a few general tips and things to keep in mind for a safe and healthy event in very hot weather.

As an organiser, there are measures you can take to prevent discomfort and minimise health problems during extremely hot weather. Which measures are best will depend on the type of event, the target group and the weather forecast. For specific advice and answers to questions, you can contact the Netherlands Municipal Public Health Services and/or Medical Assistance in Accidents and Disasters in your region. Inform participants in advance and communicate effectively with attendees about potential measures during the event, so that they know what to expect and which steps they can take themselves.

Deciding whether an event can go ahead as planned

The municipality (mayor or competent authority) decides whether an event must be cancelled due to heat or when bad weather is forecast. The Municipal Public Health Services can give the mayor and organisers advice about this decision. The following options can be helpful:

Adjusting the event

Make sure people have more room and create extra areas of shade. Plan extra breaks, hand out free water and create additional facilities at the first aid station. Getting people wet, such as by spraying them with water hoses, is not recommended. Let attendees choose when to get wet, for instance by installing water spray booths in certain spots.

Shortening the event

Shorten the duration of the event (or part of it).

Rescheduling the event

The heat is at its worst between the hours of noon and 16:00. You could consider holding the event (or part of it) outside of these times.

Cancelling the entire event or specific portion(s)

If there is no way to check or guarantee the safety and health of attendees, the organiser or the mayor/competent authority can decide to cancel the event (or part of it).

Planning on attending an event yourself?

  • Drink plenty of water. If you urinate less than usual, or if your urine has become darker, you need to drink more water.
  • Make sure you are getting enough minerals to make up for the salt you have lost through sweat, for instance by drinking soup, broth, milk or tomato juice. If you are taking part in vigorous exercise, drink the recommended quantity of isotonic sports drink.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation.
  • Wear a sun hat or visor and wear loose, breathable clothing.
  • Stay in a cool place or in the shade whenever you can, especially during the hottest hours of the day (between noon and 16:00).
  • Keep children in the shade.
  • Adjust your activity level based on the weather and take more breaks.
  • If you feel unwell during the event, go see the first-aid workers. If you get symptoms after the event has ended, call your GP.
  • Look after each other.