Heat, Lack Of Water Access Concern CoUFest Attendees - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Heat, Lack Of Water Access Concern CoUFest Attendees

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Attendees aren't allowed to bring in water, and there are only specific places inside the festival perimeter allowed to sell it. Attendees aren't allowed to bring in water, and there are only specific places inside the festival perimeter allowed to sell it.
More than 18,000 people attended CoUFest the first night. More than 18,000 people attended CoUFest the first night.
TFD releases water from hydrants to mist the crowd in the heat. TFD releases water from hydrants to mist the crowd in the heat.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

In downtown Tulsa, Saturday night is expected to be the biggest night of the second annual two-day event. A festival spokesperson said Friday went off without a hitch, but festival-goers tell us the lack of access to water is an issue.

You aren’t allowed to bring your own water into the festival, and you only can buy water at certain places. Bars operated by the festival sell water bottles, but none of the food truck vendors are allowed to sell water.

That causes some concern in the extreme heat.

For the first time, the Center of the Universe Festival is a ticketed event, but spokesperson Stephanie Sinclair said there still was a crowd of 18,000 people Friday night.

"Last night was so much fun,” Sinclair said. “There was families walking around. We have 33 food trucks, so everybody had food in their hand."

This year, the annual street party even got innovative with high-tech bracelets.

"It has an RFID chip in it and you can sync your bracelet to your credit card and to your Facebook, and so you can just tap and pay and tap and check into your Facebook and it'll post that you're at the Guthrie Green stage or you're at the Main Stage,”a Sinclair said.

Center of the Universe Festival information, map, lineup, tickets

Despite the easy access to food and Facebook, festival-goers say they couldn't access enough water.

"We were really busy,” Alan Bates of Four Ays Food Truck said. “The heat was a little bit of a problem, especially in the truck."

Vendors like Alan Bates can't sell water.

Water bottles at the festival are sold at festival bars located in six spots throughout Brady Arts District.

Folks from Arkansas say the lack of access to water is a problem.

"Before we were even in, there were some people passing out, like waiting to get in, like, the line yesterday,” Tara Dyer said. “And we were trying to get in just to, like, buy water and we weren't even before 5, so there were actually people that had to go before we even got into the festival that were passing out."

Bates said there’s only one bit of survival advice in the triple-digit Oklahoma heat: "Stay hydrated... that's the only thing I can say."

Attendees say they're loving the energy of the artists and the urban-downtown vibe of the festival, but they wish they could bring in water or just be able to buy it at whatever vendor is closest to them.

The Tulsa Fire Department assisted with a cool down, turning on fire hydrants so they’d gently spray people who were needing some relief from the sun. CoUFest is paying for the water.

EMSA issued a heat alert for Saturday and treated 10 people citywide for heat issues, according to a spokesperson.

At CoUFest, EMSA treated two and first responders at the First Aid station said they treated five on Friday and another handful were treated on Saturday afternoon.

"We met a couple last night from Wisconsin who drove all the way here to see the bands tonight, but yet were not quite acclimated to Oklahoma heat,” TFD’s Michael Baker said. “So… we had to talk to them about hydrating and, you know, ‘Welcome to Oklahoma.’ This is how we live every summer."

But even for Oklahomans... it's hard to handle.

First responders say people should be drinking water all day to prepare for the evening, and they should continue hydrating through the night.

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