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Hangout Fest Cleans Up

11:01 AM Thursday 5/24/12 | |

Though this year’s Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 18-20 was deemed a success, organizers were apparently left scrambling to clean up the site in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

The fest, which drew 35,000 fans with headliners including Dave Matthews Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jack White, featured an expanded site this year.

  • Hangout Music Festival 2012

    White sandy beaches and a cerulean sea provide a picturesque backdrop for the Gulf Shores, Ala., festival.
    May 18, 2012

    (John Davisson)


“The expanded site was phenomenal,” the city’s cultural affairs director, Grant Brown, told the Press-Register. “People could walk the grounds easier and I think people enjoyed that. And it helped as far as public safety.”

But with that expanded site also came an expanded cleanup effort.

“We have the monumental task to have everything ready for Memorial Day,” Brown added. “They spent 1-1/2 weeks building it, so it takes a while to remove it and haul it away.”

Gulf Shores Public Safety Director Mark Acreman told the paper there was a “huge improvement” in trash pickup compared to last year. Trash was picked up at night following the fest, he said.

Hangout was originally imagined as a way to jump-start the summer tourist season in Gulf Shores, but the Deepwater Horizon oil spill changed the tone of the inaugural fest in 2010. Proceeds from that year’s event went toward cleanup efforts and tourism campaigns in the region.