The 49th edition of the Regina Folk Festival could end up being the hottest yet — both in terms of musical acts and how high the temperature will be.
Environment Canada has heat warnings issued throughout the province, with many of them expected to be in effect for a majority of the weekend festival.
CEO Sandra Butel said she’s never had to deal with temperatures like this during her 20 years with the festival.
“That’s really something for us to start working on, like what are the protocols around heat, I’ve done a lot of research to make sure that we were going to be able to make people safe here,” Butel said.
One of the main things the festival is doing is ensuring they communicate and are letting people know how they can stay safe when the temperatures get high.
“That’s the biggest factor, everybody making sure they are checking in with themselves and their neighbour like ‘Hey, have you drank in a while?’”
Folk Festival has added another water station to the grounds this year, bringing the total to three. There will also be a misting station and volunteers will be going around with misters to help keep people cool as well.
“Make sure that you are still sweating, if you’re not sweating then go visit our first aid,” Butel said. No longer sweating is one of the symptoms of heat stroke.
Butel said they have an “awesome” first-aid staff who have links with EMS if they are needed. Police will also be on-site to help out as needed.
The festival, which sees about 5,000 people in the main stage area and 15,000 people in the open areas every day, kicks off Friday with Walk Off the Earth headlining.
“There really is a lot of different experiences people can have, so there’s the whole family experience you can come and have, there’s a whole partying with your friends, kind of reunion where people meet up at the Folk Festival.”
The shows will feature acts from around the globe, helping create a very diverse atmosphere.
“We work very hard to make sure there’s room for everybody, so diversity culturally, financially, that we’re here together in a community setting and that we’re really open to each other’s differences and having some fun together.”
The festival runs until Sunday in Victoria Park.