Faster Horses returns to Michigan - How organizers are keeping people safe

‘It seems like we always get severe weather here at Faster Horses every year’
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 7:09 PM EDT
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BROOKLYN, Mich. (WILX) - An estimated 40,000 people will pack into Michigan International Speedway for the 2022 Faster Horses music festival.

The three-day event features a huge campout and performances from top country music stars.

The News 10 First Alert Weather team has been tracking the potential for showers and thunderstorms and event organizers are working to keep campers safe.

Campers rolled into Michigan International Speedway Thursday and Friday. Those that arrived early saw severe storms off in the distance that missed the area, but there is potential for more storms.

“It seems like we always get severe weather here at Faster Horses every year,” said Lenawee County Sheriff Troy Bevier.

If severe weather strikes over the weekend, campers will receive an alert on their phones to seek shelter immediately. Its possible festival transportation could be shut down during severe weather.

Authorities are asking people to pay attention to where their campsite is and to create a route back to the campsite in case of a weather emergency. Campers are urged to tie down their gear extra tight and, most importantly, pay attention to changing weather.

“It can be difficult. It can be challenging and that’s why we ask people to know where your campsite is at, know where it is in conjunction to where you are on the footprint,” Bevier said.

More safety tips for those camping at Faster Horses can be found on the event’s official website here.

The chance for severe weather isn’t the only thing officials are paying attention to. Organizers have put precautions in place to keep people safe.

Nathan Rutkowski has been to Faster Horses many times, but 2022′s event is different.

“I always work as a paramedic here,” Rutkowski said. “This is my first year as a spectator.”

He said he’s enjoying not being on the first responder side of things. He knows first-hand how hard first responders have to work.

“We’re making sure that we’re interacting with the crowd,” said Bevier. “We have horses, we have reserves, we have deputies.”

Bevier said roughly 75 law enforcement officers are working the event, making sure safety protocols are followed -- including generator setup.

Related: Three dead, two hospitalized from potential carbon monoxide poisoning at 2021 Faster Horses Festival

In case of emergencies, authorities are asking people to call 911, but there’s also a new plan.

“We have the ability to have the person send video to us and what that does is it gives them the ability to see what they’re seeing,” Bevier said. “More importantly, what it also does is it gives an exact GPS location.”

To avoid emergencies from happening, authorities are asking campers to have a safety plan. Rutkowski and his friends do.

“Stay hydrated, have fun, pay attention to your surroundings,” Rutkowski said. “Always be with your friends.”

Authorities will be on high alert all weekend.

“It’s more difficult for them to see law enforcement. If you have horses, they sit up very high and can see over the top of the crowd and the crowds can see them,” Bevier said. “They’re probably the only horses, so I guess that would make them the ‘Faster Horses.’”

More festival safety tips can be found on Faster Horses’ official website here.

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