Despite a weekend of wacky weather, the show must go on at Edmonton festivals

From monsoon-like rain to nickel-sized hail and then sunny skies, the weather has posed a challenge for festival organizers in the city this weekend.

Interstellar Rodeo Music Festival producer Shauna de Cartier says heavy rain has turned the festival in Hawrelak Park into a bit of a game of musical chairs with attendees.

“This year’s show has been a challenge, weather-wise,” she said. “We’ve had to open and close our tents and get people into safety four times.”

The festival had to evacuate attendees to safety due to the rain three times Friday and once Saturday.

Everyone onsite was cooperative and understanding, de Cartier said. Organizers have plans in place for any kind of weather, and the festival has only ever had to cancel a night once due to weather, she added.

“We are required to have a fairly extensive emergency response plan,” she said. 

“This is a lot of work on our part to really develop and refine a plan which we’ve done over the 10 festivals that we’ve produced to date. Running that one scenario four times in one weekend, we’ve got it down cold.”

Ticket sales are high this year despite the at-times gloomy weather, says Interstellar producer Shauna de Cartier. (CBC/Scott Neufeld)

de Cartier says ticket sales are up for the festival, with some tickets still available for the final day — Australian indie rocker Courtney Barnett will headline the festival Sunday night. 

Friday’s deluge of rain also put a damper on the K-Days midway and delayed headliners Billy Talent.

Taste of Edmonton shut down early Friday due to a severe thunderstorm.

The forecast for Sunday is more festival-friendly — a high of 22 C with a 30 per cent chance of showers in the afternoon, according to Environment Canada. Wind will be from the northwest at about 30 km/h. 

There is a 60 per cent chance of showers overnight, with clouds and a high of 18 C on Monday.

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