Storms delay Detroit Jazz Fest but the show goes on

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Not even a lightning strike and a downpour could put a damper on the 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival.

Aficionados and casual jazz fans alike packed Hart Plaza to send the summer off with a strum after severe weather forced the evacuation of the festival.

"I went to a couple of the people working streets to get them clean - and I said buddy can you get me some garbage bags," said John Couture. "He said sure and I said I am going to pay that guy handsomely. And we had ponchos in about two seconds."

They would not need them for long, the ominous clouds moved out and fans could enjoy the last day of the jazz fest, now in its 40th year, rain free.

For many there, like Laverne Swint, the roots run deep, recalling the jazz legends she has seen over the years, referring to herself as a true aficionado.

FOX 2 caught up with Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the jazz festival who summed up this year's concert series this way.

"In the words of some of our Italian tourists who were here, 'unbelievable,'" Collins said. "Not only have our audiences been amazing for the artists, the artistry that has been happening onstage, is a testament to the sound, the staging and all the incredible people that put this thing on. But also, the beauty of playing outside with the city as a backdrop."

Collins said that over the course of the weekend, more than 325,000 people came to the jazz festival - about a third of them were from out of the state or out of the country.