Counting down to Hangout Music Fest

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) – The countdown is on to the opening of the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores.

Even though it doesn’t open until Friday, you may have already noticed some changes on the beach, and some big traffic changes are coming Tuesday.

SETTING THE STAGE

The Hangout Music Fest for 2014 is starting to take shape on the beach in Gulf Shores.

Festival Director Sean O’Connell said, “Today, we’re building stages. We’re starting to rig sounds and lights to those stages. And, that’s obviously incredibly important.”

And, so is the music.

O’Connell said, “The fans who come here are going to have more great music than ever. We have fourteen more bands than we’ve ever put on at any other lineup.”

WATCH FOR DETOURS

But, starting Tuesday morning at 830, traffic in front of the beach’s main entrance near Highways 59 and 182 will have to detour.

Grant Brown with the City of Gulf Shores said, “We will actually have a permanent detour around the main gulf beach area, gulf place area, just to allow the festival sites to start building the gates and the entry features as they go in.”

That will last until next Monday morning.

ECONOMIC BOOST

But, Gulf Shores officials believe the benefits of the festival outweigh any temporary inconveniences.

Brown said, “The economic impact study presented just this past spring indicated a $31 million economic impact to our area. Basically, the month of May was turned into as big of a month as the Fourth of July month.”

GOING TO THE CHAPEL

And what’s new about this year’s Hangout festival, besides the bands?

Organizers said since dozens of couples got engaged at last years festival, this year, they’re putting up a wedding chapel.

O’Connell said, “Not all bride’s mothers are going to let them get married at the Hangout, but, you know we have six or seven marriages that we know are going to happen, which we are really excited about.”

PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY?

However, those who want to make it official have to get a marriage license through the county.

Don’t want to make it permanent?

O’Connell said, “Only at the Hangout you get a three day marriage certificate.”

Just long enough to listen to the music.

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