Heat wave to take over Country Thunder music festival; deputies will patrol grounds 24 hours/day

TWIN LAKES -- The Kenosha County sheriff on Wednesday, July 17 warned Country Thunder guests to stay hydrated. The Twin Lakes music festival was scheduled to kick off Thursday, July 18, with temperatures near 100 degrees. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for all of southeast Wisconsin beginning at noon Thursday, and continuing until 11 p.m. Friday.

The sheriff said more than 100 personnel would be on the grounds at the festival 24 hours a day throughout the four-day event, including dispatchers inside a mobile command post routing calls for help to deputies out patrolling the campgrounds and concert venues.

Officials said the simplest way to avoid needing their service is to drink plenty of water.

FOX6 News found Zack Keenan with a unique way to get out of the sun -- a school bus at his campsite.

"Fully gutted it, renovated it. A/C, power, fridge," said Keenan.

"I have water bottles for mist. We have a couple of misting systems," said Vickie Freeman.

Cold air and cold water would be key for the long weekend, with the heat index expected to top 113 degrees on Friday.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said medics and firefighters would be on hand around the clock to treat heat-related calls.

"Our deputies are going up and down through all the camp areas, through all the parking areas all the time," said Sheriff Beth.

Storms were also possible -- a reminder of the freak incident in 2018 when an Illinois woman was struck by lightning on opening night. Miraculously, she survived.

David Beth

"I'd love to say that that young lady that was struck by lightning, that we could have prevented it, or done something different this year, but it was one of those things that we couldn't change," said Beth.

Beth assured his team would be in constant contact with the National Weather Service about severe weather on the way.

"As soon as we find out, we alert the management. The management puts it out on the stage. We can't anticipate everything, but we do our best," said Beth.

In the case of lightning, you should hunker down in a vehicle or RV. As always, if you need help, you should call 911.

Also, you should plan to arrive a couple hours before the concert so you have plenty of time to get in.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Country Thunder 2019.