Global Dance Festival 2019 was a tale of two days. Indeed, snatching up those two-day passes quickly is usually everyone’s choice. With a diverse lineup spread across five stages over two days, that’s the best way to get the full GDF experience. If not, you have a tough decision to make- day one or day two. Certainly, in hindsight, choosing to hit up the party for the day one festivities was correct. Although, anyone suffering through that heat at the time, might have 105 reasons to disagree. Regardless, night one’s offering of solid production and beats is among the best in the event’s 18-year history. Thus, the dense cloud-cover everyone sees while making their way to Broncos Stadium at Mile High is a welcome day two surprise. Of course, that was before realizing GDF’s second night would be far different from the first. Here’s how it all played out.

The Day Two Timeline

3 PM

In typical Colorado fashion, early day two weather fluctuates between cloudy-cool and sunny-hot. This, likely is what leads many of us to be so caught off guard by the impending storm. Even Global Dance themselves didn’t see it coming with local officials stepping in at the last second to put a damper on things. Instead of blurbs about open gates, the GDF social media update is:

Day two of Global Dance Festival 2019 started off with news of unfortunate delays.

Meanwhile, many festival heads are still making their way down to the stadium. In its 18 years, canceling is something Global Dance Festival never has to do. The majority of those already at or on their way to the venue, probably never see the update.

5 PM

Due to the temporary gate closures, many were enduring 2+ hour waits in cars at this point. If not, shelters in Gate 10 is where you anxiously await reprieve from the storms. At 5 pm, two hours into day two, that reprieve finally came. At this point, nearly everyone’s eyes are glued to the GDF social media pages, in search of answers. All at once, waves of partiers flooded the grounds after seeing this:

However, quite a few people arriving in their cars could see things differently. A much-worsening storm making its way across the region proves GDF is unknowingly jumping the gun. Despite this, some attendees begin gaining access to the grounds.

6:21 PM

Nearly 90 minutes after day two’s gates are supposedly open, storms pounding the area for hours still aren’t letting up. Additionally, slow-moving entrance lines suddenly grind to a halt causing confusion. In response, attendees receive an ominous update at last:

As people continue to slowly gravitate toward the entrances, reports of long lines begin to surface. Consequently, shelters at gate 10 are reaching capacity. Crowding can be seen in these photos from inside:

Some of those lucky enough to make it in early catch some of Mom & Dad‘s set. Unfortunately, pending damage assessments, sets at other stages are not yet underway. Possibly, you score some headphones at the silent disco hoping to make the most of a tough situation. Valiantly, the DJ’s attempt to soothe the restless crowds with beats. As a result, headphone supplies quickly run out from the overwhelming demand. Besides that, someone apparently forgot to kill the scheduled posts on the event page.

Telling people to stay hydrated as they stand in line during a rainstorm probably isn’t a good look. Without question, things are beginning to come-to-a-head. Drenched from rainstorms, anxious to get inside, and getting no information, those in line take matters into their own hands:

An attendee waiting in line to enter the festival caught the chaos as fans rush the barricaded entrances.

6:57 PM

Finally, once the massive storm relents, safety officials can fully assess the situation and make the call we all anticipate:

Nearly four hours into day two, GDF attendees begin slowly departing the stadium grounds. This too becomes a chapter in the saga of a party-turned-nightmare. For many, it means enduring hours of traffic, slowly loading up cars to depart the emptying lots. Others, frustratingly search for a signal as they attempt to quickly secure an Uber or Lyft. In any event, we all turn the page on GDF day two in disappointment, wondering what could’ve been.

Soaked grounds, broken fencing and empty water tanks remain in the wake of day two's storms.

The Aftermath

After spending hours at Broncos Stadium only to be turned away, tempers are obviously high. There are reports of looting concession stands and trashing the festival grounds, to illustrate. However, the majority of us took it in stride and quickly begin plotting our next move. Furthermore, Global Dance didn’t hesitate to express its dismay, immediately ensuring everyone should expect a day two refund. From this, many opted to explore alternative methods to release their pent-up day two energy. With Kyle Watson, and Omnom already on official GDF after-party duties, that isn’t a difficult task. Some artists on the bill even hung around to rock shows for fans too. For instance, Space Jesus came through with a solid lineup in the clutch:

With several area crews’ after-parties already on deck as well, a shortage of back-up options is never a real risk.

Above all, the most important takeaway from GDF day two is that the organizer’s priorities are straight. Certainly, postponing opening times and keeping people in long lines is a tough choice to make. Likewise, is telling those waiting hours in a sweltering arena that their struggle is all for naught. Not to mention, accepting the reality of losing revenue while disappointing fans and performers alike. Facing a harsh decision and a crowd nearing riot status, organizers made the call. Too often, we see huge festivals make bad decisions which endanger us all. So, it’s reassuring to see Global Dance Festival avoid those same mistakes. Truly, canceling day two was easily the right call to make. With parts of the huge main stage reportedly crashing down shortly afterward, that call didn’t come a moment too soon.

Shout out to Global Dance for putting on a solid event on day one. You can see some of those highlights here. More importantly, we owe them thanks for keeping us all safe as best they could. This should be the highlight of day two. We can’t blame them for things beyond their control, such as the weather. We can, however, applaud them for doing what is right. Be sure to follow Global Dance here for news on their upcoming events.