‘Scandalous’ car park delays rile festivalgoers

Festivalgoers attending Nyon’s Paléo festival have reacted in anger after bad weather created long delays to exit car parks on Wednesday night.

'Scandalous' car park delays rile festivalgoers
Stromae performed on Wednesday night. Photo: Paleo/Lionel Flusin

Drivers leaving the festival after Wednesday’s headline concert by Belgium’s Stromae vented their frustrations on social media when lengthy queues formed at the site’s various car parks.

“Two hours to exit P3. Scandalous!” wrote one driver on the Facebook page of newspaper 20 Minutes.

Wait times at the site’s P4 car park grew to three hours, provoking one driver to comment “I’ve never seen that in 15 years.”

Another disgruntled driver, Christine Sauterel-Doutaz, wrote on Paléo’s Facebook page “Wednesday evening was brilliant until we tried to leave the car parks!!! 2h!! And an utter mess! Thank you to the volunteer who gave out water.”

Several parking areas were closed after festival organizers implemented a “rain plan” due to heavy rain earlier in the week.

As a result festivalgoers had been told to use public transport where possible rather than arrive by car.

On Wednesday the festival’s website advised drivers to park in Nyon and take advantage of shuttle buses to the site.

Oragnizers also implored attendees to exercise “patience and courtesy”.

Despite the weather, large crowds were wowed by Stromae last night.

The 90-minute set of 29-year-old Paul Van Haver, aka Stromae, was judged a “sensation” by Swiss media.

The disruption is likely to continue as rains descend again and crowds arrive to see British veteran rocker Elton John perform tonight.

Around 230,000 spectators are expected at the festival, which runs until Sunday.

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Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.