Gulf Shores makes ready for Hangout Fest kickoff

(Image: WPMI) This is the 8th annual Hangout Music Festival. 40-45,000 people are expected.

The stages are ready and crews are working on the finishing touches as the Hangout Music Festival is set to get underway this weekend in Gulf Shores.

Tonight there's a Kick Off Party beginning at 6pm. Tickets are still available for tonight's show. The weekend festival is sold out to a crowd of 40,000. Weather has been great allowing set crews to actually be ahead of schedule in getting up all the stages.

This music festival has stood the test of time and with reason. For fans its about the music. For the local economy its about $30 million in economic impact.

The City of Gulf Shores alone enjoys close to $700,000 in direct tax revenue each festival.

Money that goes to the city's general fund and used year round.

" We have probably the highest quality sporting facilities any community of our size would have to be able to have. the improvement to gulf place its a 15 million project that's underway now to make a more productive beach front area," said Grant Brown with the City of Gulf Shores.

Eight years running. The HANGOUT Music Festival is fast becoming a tradition for music festival lovers and the perfect opportunity to showcase the Gulf Coast with people coming from all over.

" The average drive this weekend is 10 hours our average fan is staying five nights so when you think about that that drive and the amount of nights its a week long vacation that people coming to Gulf Shores we get people from the traditional pull markets. we see a lot of people from New York from the West Coast they are coming in so we've definitely introduced the area to a lot of folks and I think that's great for Gulf Shores," said Festival Director Sean O'Connell.

"It's mainly just the fact that its on the beach so you know we're up in the mountains so we don't really get to come down too much so that's the main draw to it," said fan Zack Williams who came down from Georgia.

Well of course its the music too....

" Band of Horses, 21 Pilots I've been wanting to see them everyone says they put on a good show so they have a bunch of really good bands we liked so we said lets do it," said Courtney Flake also from Georgia.

The forecast may be changing this weekend with Sunday possibly being the best chance rain showers. Organizers want folks to know they will be on top of the weather.

If it changes concert goers are asked to stay in touch using the Hangout Music Festival


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