Rock the Desert Staff Keeping Crowd Cool

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND COUNTY - Triple digit heat isn't getting in the way for concert-goers at Rock the Desert this weekend in Midland County.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the 12th annual event and concert staff are making sure the crowd is staying cool while outside.

"It was hot!" Rock the Desert Supporter, Heather Nowack, said.

"I felt like I was melting literally," her friend, Nancy Juarez, said.

With temperatures topping off at over 100 degrees, everyone is trying to beat the heat at the 12th annual Rock the Desert concert.

"Dizzy, lightheaded, flushed, very sweaty, headache," registered nurse Tracy Davis said, listing a few of heat illness symptoms.

On Thursday, about 20 people were in these medical tents being treated for heat related illnesses.

Davis said they're ready to respond.

"We lay them down on the cot, start getting cold wet rags and start putting them around the patient, start getting them some water to drink," she said.

Large cooling fans have also been added, but volunteers and staff are doing everything they can to keep concert-goers from even making it inside the medical tents.

"We have 60 water cooling stations scattered throughout the property that are all totally free," Marcy Tull, a member of the concert board of directors, said.

Tull said those coolers are being refilled as much as three times an hour.

"We increased it by about 15 stations and depending on how it goes today we may add some more," Tull said.

They've also increased the medical presence at the event.

"We have strike teams walking around through the crowds and encouraging people to drink plenty of water and to stay out of the sun," Davis said.

"In the teen tent, we increased the size so more kids could fit in there," Tull said. "It's just nice to get out of the sun sometimes."

But there are many who plan on staying in the sun.

"We are going to be in this spot all day," Rock the Desert Supporter, Brian Crowder, said. "We have lots and lots of water bottles. We have eight in a bag plus a Gatorade and we have a nifty little squirt bottle which it's wonderful."

Even with the heat beating down on their backs, they all said it's well worth it.

"Definitely," Nowack said.

"Good music and having fun with everybody and good fellowship," Rock the Desert Supporter, Garret Morris, said.

"It's good music and a good message so it's really awesome," Rock the Desert Supporter, Wesley Quigley said.

Concert staff recommends drinking plenty of water and alternating with a Gatorade to stay hydrated during the concert.