Of course, there are the “unknown reasons” that we can’t even fathom, but there are the old favourites which could influence a Firewalk being cancelled. Namely:
- Venue Change
- Approval not finalised
Let’s have a look at these and the likelihood that your Firewalk could be cancelled.
Of all the countries we deliver Firewalks in, it’s those in the UK and Ireland that have the organisers concerned about the weather. With such changeable climates this is understandable, and there are a few things you should know.
We have delivered hundreds of Firewalks in the UK and Ireland and the rain has only affected us once. It was a beautiful evening and just as the participants were about to Firewalk, the heavens opened, and it poured down. Thankfully it was a small group and they all got across the Fire Bed before the embers went out – we didn’t need to use the gazebo.
There are two parts of the Firewalk where it is important that it is dry – building and lighting the Fire, and the Firewalk itself.
We have had numerous occasions where it has been raining when we arrived at the venue and then the rain stopped long enough for us to build the Fire. Other times we have built the Fire under a gazebo and once it’s lit, we can remove the gazebo. Once the fire it lit, it’s lit.
If it is raining (which it hasn’t done apart from that one time…), we can set the gazebo over the Fire Lane and that will stop the embers from going out.
Robert H. Schuller
Windy conditions can make a Firewalk more difficult and we always say, we can work with the wind unless it is stormy conditions. Weather forecasters aren’t always that great, so we tend to leave this decision until the day of the Firewalk. So far, the wind has worked with us.
That said, we have had two occasions when it has been quite windy. On one of those occasions, we knew it could be windy and the venue was quite exposed. So, we brought steel drums with us and burned the wood in those to stop the embers being blown about. The other time the wind caught us by surprise, so we built a low fire and worked hard to keep the embers heaped together.
We work closely with the Firewalk Organiser and the Venue long in advance to make sure the venue is suitable. We have a lot of checklists and this part of the planning is very important. If the venue is changed at the last minute, and the venue isn’t suitable, it could result in “Firewalk Cancelled!”. The key to avoiding this is communicating with us. We are very flexible and will work with you and your new venue to make sure your event is a success.
Approval not Finalised
Here’s a story… A few years ago, we were asked by a pub to do a Charity Firewalk. The Firewalk was part of a festival and it would be on the street in the village. The pub worked tirelessly with the local council to get approval to have the fire on the street but couldn’t get it approved. One week before the Firewalk they decided to rethink, and we ended up doing the Firewalk in their beer garden.
The more bodies involved in your Firewalk usually means, more paperwork and more time to get it approved. That doesn’t mean avoid it, it just means you need to factor it in to your planning and have a plan B.
Firewalk Cancelled because of the unknown
Contingency plans are in place for the above scenarios thus avoiding a Firewalk being cancelled. But there always is the unknown…
Like the time we were driving to a Firewalk with a van full of wood and grass. The van’s engine blew on the motorway and we were an hour away from the venue. As always, we were well ahead of schedule. We always like to arrive early for events but with no engine, we weren’t going to be late, we weren’t going to make it all. Thankfully, with a little persuasion and extra cash, we were able to convince the recovery vehicle to take our van to the venue, let us unload it and then take our van to the garage. We arrived in the nick of time and the rest of the night went as planned.
So, who knows what might come up and create a challenge for your event. But rest assured if we have to say “Firewalk Cancelled”, it will be a first and hopefully a last. We are determined to deliver and will do whatever it takes to make your event happen.