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A freak storm forced residents across Sydney to take cover overnight, abruptly ending a music festival and halting an A-League soccer match.
The storm delivered half of Sydney’s average December rainfall in 20 minutes, as heavy rainfall, lightning, damaging winds and hailstones hit parts of Sydney, regional NSW and extended into regional Victoria.

Several shopping centres across Sydney saw leaking roofs, a soccer match was paused and a major music festival cut short as a result of the wild weather.

The storms delivered half of December’s average rainfall in 20 minutes. (9News)

Thousands of attendees at the Good Things Festival were told to evacuate Centennial Park after organisers were forced to cancel the event.

Major international act Fall Out Boy left the stage a few songs into their set, as a message on the big screen warned people not to shelter under trees.

The revelers were left scrambling after thousands attempted to leave the venue at once through tiny entrances around 9.30pm, while surrounding roads were closed by police.

The wild weather cancelled music festivals, paused soccer games and caused rooves to leak. (9News)

Festival goers took to social media complaining about the evacuation, with some commenting it had been “the worst way” to handle a weather emergency.

“Way to make people panic and trample each other,” one said.

In a statement posted to social media after 11pm, Good Things Festival said the decision to evacuate was made by police, the State Emergency Service and event organisers.

”First and foremost, Good Things Festival paramount concern is the safety of our patrons. The entire Good Things team pour their heart and soul into the festival and strive to deliver the most incredible experiences for all our patrons within our control,” it said.

“Based on the advice from the NSW Police and the SES the Festival organisers implemented a show stop and full site evacuation in line with our approved event management and crowd safety plans.”

Meanwhile, the wild weather delayed the second half of a soccer match between Sydney FC and Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney FC paused the game due to lightning strikes within 10 kilometres of the stadium, delaying the match by nearly two hours.

The game resumed about 10.30pm, and Sydney FC won 3-2.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Sarah Scully said the storms delivered half of December’s average rainfall in 20 minutes.

“With the storms that passed through Sydney, that delivered around 40mm in 20 minutes, so it was a big storm with heavy rainfall,” she told Today.

The NSW Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning around 7.30pm.

Around 20mm of rain was recorded to fall in Sydney, while 14mm fell in the Bankstown area.

Further storms are expected into this afternoon and evening.

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