Alabama Governor Bob Riley addressing reporters in Gulf Shores. photos by Jamie Younger.
Alabama Governor Bob Riley said Thursday that the beaches of Gulf Shores are safe for this weekend’s Hangout Festival despite the oil rig explosion that continues to dump as much as 200,000 gallons into the Gulf daily.
“The atmosphere has never been as electric, and I don’t think Orange Beach and Gulf Shores has ever looked as attractive as it does now,” Riley said from the Hangout.
Since the oil rig blew nearly three weeks ago in the Gulf, festival organizer Shaul Zislin has maintained that the show will go on barring any imminent threats to public health. Promoter AJ Niland told American Songwriter that they expect 20,000 to 30,000 festival-goers per day.
Festival tickets are available online at www.hangoutmusicfest.com. Ticket prices are $159 for a three-day pass and limited $79 day passes are now available. VIP ticket and travel packages start at $500 and are available online or by phone at 1-888-512-SHOW.
The festival boasts a dazzling array of talent, with Friday alone featuring performances by Zac Brown Band, Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, The Black Crowes, North Mississippi Allstars Duo, Girl Talk, and Pnuma Trio.
Zislin also added a pair of dance-friendly, late-night shows (featuring Gift of Gab, Alex B. and Big Gigantic) to the bill. All proceeds from these events will benefit environmental groups.
Earlier this week, tar balls washed up on the beaches of Dauphin Island, Alabama, which lies thirty miles to the west of Gulf Shores. As of Friday morning, there have been no reports of tar balls on the beaches of Gulf Shores. Riley said the situation at Dauphin Island is irrelevant to the Hangout Fest. “This could be an absolutely spectacular weekend,” he said.
Gulf Shores officials said they will perform hourly air and water tests throughout the weekend as a cautionary measure.
–Be sure to check AmericanSongwriter.com this weekend for live coverage of the Hangout Fest.
Festival organizer Shaul Zislin talks with Gov. Riley Thursday morning.