Thunderstorms Force Made in America Fest to Evacuate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alec Shimell

    Heavy rain and flashes of lightning forced officials to order fans attending the Made in America music festival to leave the area and seek shelter.

    Attendees at the music festival located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway heard the music cut out around 6:15 p.m. Sunday and then an announcement came over the speakers ordering the crowds to evacuate.

    About ten minutes later, a tweet from the Made in America's official account urged fans to remain calm as they left the site. 

    The decision was made jointly -- officials from the City of Philadelphia, Roc Nation and Live Nation made the call to evacuate together, according to the city government's official twitter account.

    The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather advisory for Philadelphia and surrounding counties just before 4 p.m. Sunday.

    "Showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight could produce locally heavy rain, potentially leading to flooding in poor drainage areas," according to the NWS advisory.

    Fans were advised to hold on to their tickets to make reentering the grounds as easy as possible. 

    About an hour after thousands of people heading out of the festival site, officials told fans they could return.  

    Adjustments were made to the performance schedule to ensure each act still made the stage. Here are the updated start times:

    7:45 p.m. - Spoon at the Rocky Stage

    8:25 p.m. - Girl Talk at the Liberty Stage

    8:45 p.m. - Gareth Emery at the Freedom Stage

    9:05 p.m. -  Pharrell Williams at the Rocky Stage

    9:55 p.m. - Tiesto at the LIberty Stage

    10:45 p.m. - Kings of Leon at the Rocky Stage

    The new schedule also affected SEPTA, who added more runs to its regional rail lines Sunday night and early Monday morning to accommodate festival attendees.

    Officials with the transit agency said, "SEPTA will continue to operate its Made in America Regional Rail schedule as posted, but we will do our best to accommodate those concertgoers who wish to stay until the end of the show."

    Those passengers who remain until the show ends may experience significant delays, SEPTA officials said.