Hangout Music Festival / what goes up must come

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 4:43 PM CDT
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GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - It took two weeks to set up but will come down in just four days. Teardown on the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores began the moment the last act finished Sunday night, May 21, 2023 and now the race is on to get the beach ready for one of the biggest weekends of the year.

The annual Hangout Music Festival wasn’t a sellout this year, but more than 30,000 music fans came from across the country and the world to be a part of it. Police said with that kind of crowd often comes an undesirable element. Gulf Shores Police, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and other assisting agencies made more than 100 arrests, mostly drug-related but city officials say they’re pleased with the outcome.

“It went exceptionally well. It was an amazing and clean event this year,” said Grant Brown with the city of Gulf Shores. “The artists that they brought in town seemed to draw good crowds. The crowds that were here were very respectful. It’s an amazing, produced event.”

Motorists and heavy equipment shared the road Monday as tear down of the Hangout Music Festival...
Motorists and heavy equipment shared the road Monday as tear down of the Hangout Music Festival continued(Hal Scheurich)

Roads were open Monday morning to allow visitors to leave town easily. During that time, motorists and heavy equipment had to share the road. West Beach Boulevard in front of the festival site was closed back down at 2:00 p.m. to allow semi-trucks to stage for loading.

“We’ll shut it back down overnight Monday night and remove all the larger elements…the stage members and other types of things and then, sometime tomorrow on Tuesday…we’re not exactly sure when…traffic conditions will be back to normal,” Brown explained.

It’s a monumental undertaking in logistics and manpower to get all that comes with the Hangout Music Festival packed up and removed in just a few days. Those who’ve seen what goes into it are amazed at how it’s done.

“This is a way bigger operation than I expected it to be. This is a big undertaking,” said Josh Drake. “Watching them build it for the last couple of weeks and then, watching it come down now. It’s something. It’s pretty neat to watch. It’s huge.”

Crews will work around the clock to have the beach cleared and clean by Thursday afternoon. The city has Smores on the Shores scheduled for that night at Gulf Place which rolls right into Memorial Day weekend.