Blue skies good omen for kick off of Jazz Fest

Created: 06/20/2014 5:57 PM WHEC.com

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival showcases more than 1200 artists, and last year the event attracted nearly 200,000 people, but it’s the weather that makes all the difference to those running the show and attending the show.

Rain or shine. Everyone has a good time at the jazz festival.

Friday’s blue skies were a good omen for the start of the festival. In years past, the weather has interrupted some outdoor concerts. In 2007, a strong thunderstorm with heavy rain and gusty winds forced police to evacuate Jazz Street and close some of the tents. Event Organizer Marc Iacona says he will keep an eye on the forecast, especially when it comes to high winds, because there are some venues that rely heavily upon Mother Nature’s cooperation.

“When we plan for the open air, free concerts, knowing we can’t control the weather, we just go with the flow. Most of the time, with the national programming that we bring in, if the rain starts to fall the umbrellas come out. People are dancing and singing in the street, and we have our club pass venues that are all inside, so that doesn’t really slow down the pace of people coming out,” said Icona. “There were a couple of years that we had to ask people to leave Gibbs Street and go into some of the venues. Then the weather cleared and the music started again, but we care more about people than the music at that point.”

Event organizers have their work cut out for them, but owners of local businesses near Jazz Street also rely on Mother Nature’s blessings.

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Broken Clouds
86° | 58°
  • Feels like: 87° F
  • Wind: SW 20mph
  • Humidity: 31%
  • Tue Thunderstorms developing in the afternoon
    84° | 66°
  • Wed A few thunderstorms possible
    80° | 66°
  • Thu Clouds giving way to sun
    78° | 60°
  • Fri Plenty of sun
    82° | 58°