News / Halifax

Halifax Jazz Festival organizers thrilled with attendance despite construction concerns

Organizers were concerned that construction of the new Queen's Marque Development on Lower Water Street could impact the number of concert-goers.

Blue Rodeo plays for a near-capacity crowd at the Halifax Jazz Festival main stage on Friday night.

Zane Woodford / Metro Order this photo

Blue Rodeo plays for a near-capacity crowd at the Halifax Jazz Festival main stage on Friday night.

The construction happening on the Halifax waterfront doesn’t appear to have deterred music lovers from attending this year’s Halifax Jazz Fest.

Despite having some concerns that construction of the new Queen's Marque Development on Lower Water Street could impact the number of concert-goers, Andrew Killawee, chair of the board of directors for the Halifax Jazz Fest, said the overall turnout was great.

“I kind of expected it to be a little worse than it was in that sense, with the construction, but people seem to have adapted pretty well to it,” said Killawee on Sunday, which was the event’s final day.

The main stage was home to Blue Rodeo on Friday and Anderson .Paak on Saturday. It was located on the corner at Lower Water and Salter Street, just a few blocks south of the major construction zone, where sidewalk access is limited and has been replaced with a floating boardwalk.

But Killawee said the forecast for rain during the Wednesday and Thursday night shows appeared to impact attendance more the first two nights, than any construction did throughout the five-day festival.

“I think people in Halifax are a little more affected by the weather than traffic, I guess,” he said.

“Friday and Saturday were basically sellouts at the main stage, the St. Matts church venue did very well also.

“The other stages I can only speak from kind of being there and seeing them, but they all looked pretty good from what I could tell,” said Killawee.

He said following the concert people seemed to alter their route, walking away from the waterfront instead of along it, and parking for the event didn’t appear to be an issue.

“It didn’t seem to be as bad as people, including myself, was kind of worried about,” he said.

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