Market Square Weather and Evacuation Plan

I. Introduction: Weather Related Concerns

The Guelph Jazz Festival will be held rain or shine. For Friday’s event at Market Square, in the event of significant weather, programming will be moved to Mitchell Hall prior to the event. There is no “rain date” for Saturday. Performances, however, cannot occur if any of following conditions prevail:

  • Lightning
  • Tornado warning
  • Flood warning
  • Severe heat
  • Dangerous wind speed

All performers, volunteers and vendors will be advised concerning weather safety protocols prior to the Festival Date. Attendees will be able to review this document on our website at prior to, during and following the festival.

The safety of spectators and Festival participants who are not engaged in performing are also a vital concern to the Festival managers. This document will address the procedure in the event that a weather emergency arises during the day.

II. Severe Weather/Lightning/Evacuation Plan

Forecast Consistently Monitored

Festival staff will monitor the weather forecasts and satellite radar readings in advance of and during the Festival in order to be advised of the possibility of severe storm activity. In addition, the weather forecast will be monitored throughout the day on an on-site computer/smartphone on the Festival site. If, for some reason, the wireless access is not operative or reliable, festival staff will consult Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service to monitor approaching weather patterns. It is difficult to imagine circumstances where, aided by smartphone technology, the Festival staff will not be able to monitor approaching storm activity.

Suspension of Performance Schedule

Should lightning occur that is within a 20-30 minute range of the Festival site, all performances will be suspended until the lightning/storm activity has passed.

Evacuation of Festival Site

If severe inclement weather is observed on the satellite radar systems and such severe weather is approaching within 20 to 30 minutes of the Festival Site OR if the severe weather pattern is clearly discernible, then the Festival Site will be evacuated. The decision to evacuate will be made by the Festival Director in consultation with the Festival Organizational Team, Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service, and the Guelph Police Department.

Police Department/Traffic Flow

Once the decision to evacuate the Festival Site has been made, the Police Department (if not already cognizant of the decision) must be immediately notified so that police officers will be able to facilitate traffic moving from the area.

Notice to Participants/Spectators

The decision to evacuate the Festival Site will be communicated as follows:

  • Loudspeaker announcements (Market Square Manager or AGD).
  • Festival personnel/volunteers will visit each area at the venue/site to advise of the evacuation order and direct to evacuation sites.
  • Festival personnel/volunteers will canvas the spectators’ area to advise of the evacuation order and direct to evacuation sites.
  • This Weather and Evacuation Plan will be posted on the Festival website.
  • This Weather and Evacuation Plan will be provided in advance of the Festival, to each individual that has been designated as a site leader.
  • This Water Safety and Evacuation Plan will be posted at the Festival Information Tent and a copy provided to each artist participating in the Festival.

Evacuation Sites

  • Personal vehicles parked within the immediate area
  • Numerous are restaurants
  • Wilson Street Parkade
  • 10C (Artist Green Room)
  • Via Rail Station
  • City Hall

Back to Schedule.

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