CINCINNATI — Severe weather delayed Garth Brooks' Saturday concert at Paul Brown Stadium.
Social media posts from concert-goers just after 7 p.m. showed a message on the scoreboard telling those at the show to find the nearest concourse, ramp or stairway. Strong storms and lightning strikes passed by downtown around 7:30 p.m. The storm quickly moved eastward and attendees were allowed back in their seats by 9 p.m.
Around 150,000 people are expected to come to Cincinnati this weekend for two long-awaited concerts. Garth Brooks is playing a second show at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday after an added show Friday night, while The Who will make their return to the Queen City Sunday at TQL Stadium.
Though many people have been waiting years for these concerts, Mother Nature doesn't seem to be cooperating with the outdoor venues.
Storm Prediction Center has put the Cincinnati area under a marginal risk for severe weather Saturday and a slight risk Sunday. Take an in-depth look at the timeline for storms this weekend here.
The 70,000 tickets available for Garth Brooks' concert at Paul Brown Stadium sold out in 75 minutes in 2019, the all-time record for entertainment in Cincinnati.
Angela Jones is one of the thousands going to see Brooks after the 2020 concert was canceled. She said after waiting years for this concert, she will be there regardless of the weather.
“It’ll be great," Jones said. "Rain, shine, thunderstorms ... bring it on."
Fans are hopeful the concert won’t be canceled if severe weather moves through the Tri-State Saturday. Garth Brooks said there is a protocol for inclement weather at his concerts, explaining what happened at his concert at Yankee Stadium when there was lightning.
“Lightning, you have to evacuate the building 45 minutes before the lightning gets there,” Brooks said. “They can’t go back on the field until 45 minutes after the last lightning strike was there.”
However, even as Saturday’s show was delayed, Garth Brooks said he’s not going anywhere. He assured fans he would wait out the storms.
"Trust me, I will be out stuck in any rain — anything," Brooks said. "No matter how long it takes, I’m in."
River levels are also a concern for those who want to listen to the music from boats on the Ohio River. As of Friday morning, the Ohio River was just over 38 feet. Levels are expected to continue to go down, however, there’s still quite a bit of debris on the river.
Mike O'Connor said he planned on taking his boat out on the Ohio River to listen to the concert. Now, he’s not sure conditions will be safe.
“We will make it a last-minute decision,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for this concert for like two years.”
Nicholas Olmstead with the U.S Coast Guard said to be cautious if heading out on the water this weekend.
“You want to use good judgment whether to go out on the water to begin with,” Olmstead said.
Olmstead said just because levels are no longer in action stage, it does not mean there may not be debris or strong currents.
“Make sure that all your equipment is properly functioning prior to embarking out on your tip,” Olmstead said. “A lot of these concerts will be done after the sun sets so you want to make sure your navigational lights are properly functioning as well as your VHF radio.”
Olmstead said the VHF radio channel 16 is where all broadcasts related to safety will be pushed out by the coast guard.
"If you find yourself on the water and in distress due to inclement weather, please utilize channel 16 to request assistance and it will be dispatched and provided,” Olmstead said.
Meanwhile, TQL Stadium has been gearing up for its very first concert as The Who makes its return to Cincinnati.
“It's been a lot of work from our stadium staff to transform from a soccer stadium into a concert venue," said Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati CEO/
Umbrellas will not be permitted inside the stadium. Anyone attending the concert is asked to check out the stadium's FAQ.