NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Jazz Fest organizers and vendors say they’re ready for a soggy first day of concerts.
Vendors enjoyed the good weather Wednesday as they set up, but said this isn’t their first rodeo. They expect the weather not to cooperate and said they’re ready for possible downpours and wind on Thursday.
"You gotta figure there's gonna be rain one day at Jazz Fest you know? So we kinda have been through enough of them to know that it's gonna happen," Carmelo Turillo said.
“We prepare all throughout the event. We don’t put anything up that’s not tied down. We don’t put any skins on any food booths unless they’re tied down. It’s a protocol out here. All trailers are weighted down,” said Jazz Fest Site Director Tague Richardson.
Some vendors said they’ll stay open if it’s light rain, but if it gets too bad, they’ll have to lock down their tents.
"We just kind of get everything set up and hope for the best, but we have things very quickly ready to put down and cover up if it gets too bad," Turillo said.
“When the weather’s really bad, we do not stay in the tent, it’s not safe, metal poles. Safety is a first, and we just go over to the grandstand and we all hang out, but if it’s drizzling and people can walk about and it’s not lightning, then, you know, we’re open,” Michelle Gaynor said.
Richardson said most of the booths sit on higher ground to avoid flooding.
“Countouring the festival grounds has been a plight of mine throughout the years, and whenever I can, I’ll bring additional soil in and figure out what the high points are, and work my drainage, and then work the booths so that they work within that drainage,” Richardson said.
Some vendors said even their merchandise is weather-resistant.
"The first thing we do is put the flaps down, and we're very protected. Our merchandise is very resilient. They're covered in glycine packaging, and all of our gear is pretty much waterproof," Gaynor said.
Vendors may be ready for inclement weather, but they're still worried it could affect their business.
“Gelato, Italian ice cream, is kind of, if it’s beautiful outside, we do great, but if it’s cold, and wet and rainy, you know, we’re open, but we’re not at the top of people’s list,” Turillo said.