Crews busy setting up Rockfest keep an eye on the sky with rain in the forecast

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It’s the biggest one-day festival our city sees each year, and unless there is lightning, the shows will go on. Rockfest crews were hard at work on Friday morning up setting up and and keeping an eye on the weather.

Rainy weather for the majority of the month of May has turned Penn Valley Park into large mud pits. AEG Live is the production company behind Rockfest. A spokesperson told FOX 4's Megan Dillard that keeping an eye on the forecast is just as much a part of the setup as the stage, tents, and fencing.

Radar is a tool that plays a strong part in the planning for the festival. Joe Litvag is an executive producer with AEG.

“We’ve got three different radars set up in our production trailer. We have an actual meteorologist who comes on site, basically glued to radar all day,” Litvag said.

It’s one way the production company is making sure the festival is set up safely and goes on without a hitch.

“They’re able to watch things in real time and help us make predictions,” Litvag said.

Predictions show rain for now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for down and dirty rock fans. Litvag said, “The good news is the fans that come out for this festival don’t mind getting a little dirty. It’s kind of part of the fun.”

A new hometown headliner, a strong set list, and tens of thousands of tickets sold amount to the huge event. It’s one reason the Parks and Recreation Department understands the draw.

“I think it’s great for the city; big economic push into the city for a huge concert. [It’s] obviously very popular,” superintendent Forest Decker said.

So popular in fact that similar weather turned 2010’s festival into what some now call “Mudfest.”

“This park was turned into a giant field of mud.” Decker said, “We learned a lot in 2010; AEG learned a lot in 2010,” Litvag said.

It’s a partnership that that includes the understanding that rain will create mud and the promise that AEG will restore Penn Valley Park.

“That’s what we did then and that’s what we’ll do again if it gets too muddy,” Litvag said.

Decker said, “Everybody loves their grass in Kansas City!”

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