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JazzFest Prepared For Possible Storms

July 16, 2010, 4:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

JazzFest Prepared For Possible Storms
SIOUX FALLS, SD - JazzFest is in full swing this weekend, but planning for the event is a year-round activity.

The biggest chore for those who are flowing into the park Friday will be to stay hydrated. But with a chance of severe weather during Saturday night's performances, organizers are already making sure everything is in order in case a storm joins the festivities.

It draws tens of thousands of people each year, but with such a large crowd, the free JazzFest is far from free of worries for organizers.

"JazzFest is rain or shine, so if it's raining we're going keep going as long as the artists aren't upset about getting a little bit of wind or a spritz in their face," Rob Joyce said.

But if the lights and music are joined by lighting and wind, organizers can decide to temporarily stop the show or cancel the remainder of that night. If a storm is approaching, JazzFest organizers want to make sure that everyone in attendance knows, so they could even take the stage and inform the crowd of all of the details of the storm.

"We will not put people at risk to come out if there's going to be lightning or strong winds.  As soon as we know there's a chance, we're going to let people know," Joyce said.

With just one phone call, the staff of JazzFest can notify Sioux Falls police of their plans and have School Bus Inc. bring in multiple buses. They estimate they'd need 30 to 45 minutes to get the grounds cleared, in a worst case scenario.

"The most important thing about this event is that we have people come and have a great time and also make sure it's safe, and watching the weather is an important part of that," Joyce said.

Organizers also have a communication system and code with all of the volunteers and vendors to keep them informed.  There's also wireless internet so those in attendance can use their wireless device to track any possible storms.

JazzFest 2010 Schedule
FRIDAY: 6 p.m. to 11:45 p.m  
Main Stage
Davina & The Vagabonds 6 p.m.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 8 p.m.
Los Lobos 9:30 p.m.

Second Stage
Polyphase 6 p.m.
We All Have Hooks For Hands 7:30 p.m.
Trey Lane 9 p.m.
Soulcrate Music 10:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: Noon to 11:45 p.m.  
Main Stage
Johnson-McKinney Quintet 12 p.m.
Short Fuse 1:30 p.m.
Dotsero 3 p.m.
Homemade Jamz’ Blues Band 4:30 p.m
Los Lonely Boys 8 p.m.
Corey Stevens 10 p.m.

Second Stage
Houdek 12 p.m.
The Public Domain Tune Band 1:30 p.m.
Elisabeth Hunstad and Take Two 3 p.m.
“Jazzed” 4:30 p.m.
Lazer Rocket Arm 6 p.m.
Lunar Funk Theory 7:30 p.m.
Blues Bashers 9 p.m.
The Kickback 10:30 p.m.

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