Ontario music festival forced to briefly evacuate due to se…


Attendees at an Ontario music festival were briefly told to seek shelter as a severe weather system passed through the area Saturday.

The festival, Boots and Hearts, is being held north of Barrie, Ont., between Thursday and Sunday, with attendees set to camp at the site. Its headliners include Nickelback, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw.

On Saturday afternoon, the festival issued a warning to festivalgoers and began evacuating the entertainment area.

“Seek shelter inside your vehicles,” Boots and Hearts said in a post on social media, warning of severe weather.

Provincial police echoed the warning, urging people to shelter inside vehicles or under safe structures until the weather system has passed.

A severe thunderstorm warning posted by Environment Canada said an incoming storm could produce nickel-sized hail, heavy rain and strong winds up to 90 km/h.

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“Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles,” the warning said.

In an update later in the afternoon, provincial police said the gates had reopened to the festival and warned of increased traffic in the area.

The Boots and Hearts festival was also temporarily evacuated due to extreme weather in 2022.

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