GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - Tens of thousands have turned out over three days at 2012's Hangout Music Festival, filling the festival grounds and packing the businesses surrounding it.
"You have to get ready," said Johnny McElroy, "This is quite the event."
McElroy, owner of Blonde John's Surf and Skate, said he hopes this year brings in as much revenue or more as last year's festival. He said the Hangout brought the best year for beach season business in 11 years.
At David's Gallery down the street, it's not any different.
"I've been here 33 years and it's been our biggest weekend of the year for the last 3 years," said owner of David's Gallery, Carolyn Hall.
Hall set up shop by the road, offering people refreshments. She said stocking up before the weekend is necessary.
"We bought lots of ice, water, clothing, everything we sell we multiplied by ten," said Hall.
But even with preparation, McElroy still sold out of some merchandise including anklets, some t-shirts and some stickers. He said sunglasses, flip flops and sunscreen are also big sellers.
McElroy said, "Of course we have people buying clothing, long boards, and skate boards have been good for transportation as well."
Both business owners are happy for the business and said patrons are in good spirits.
"They're here to have a good time. They have loose wallets so we've done really well this weekend," said McElroy.
"Most people seem to be pretty happy. There doesn't seem to be any fighting kind of a peace love and rock and roll attitude," Hall said.
As for next year, businesses can only hope the crowds keep coming. In 2011, officials said the festival brought in about $30 million in direct economic impact.
"I'm hoping we can get close to those numbers, or surpass them. That would be awesome," said McElroy.
Neither business has specific numbers yet but they estimate the Hangout weekend has brought in about 25 percent more than a normal weekend during tourist season.
"It's been magnificent. I wish we had one of these once a month," Hall said.
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