Heavy rain forced three of five downtown Jazz Festival stages to close this afternoon as conditions became unsafe.

A reporter on the Strand during the afternoon downpour said one band was standing in puddles on the stage and another band's gear had been damaged by the water.

On Thursday, Jazz Festival organisers said events would go ahead as planned over the weekend, rain or shine, however this afternoon's rain proved too much.

It is unknown yet if the downtown stages will reopen today.

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Across town, despite the weather forcing the cancellation of the Greerton Village Car Fair, it did not stop people getting into the holiday spirit and enjoying the short-lived sunshine.

A jazz band performed outside Zest cafe to a keen audience and buskers filled the streets with music outside the Greerton shops.