Hangout Fest releases 2020 lineup before securing Gulf Shores permit
Gulf Shores and Hangout officials meet following each festival to gather information and address the city’s concerns. And although the Hangout fest has a contract with Gulf Shores to use its public beach through 2025, the city also has the option annually to not renew the assembly permit for the festival, according to Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft.
Speaking during the Dec. 2 city council meeting, Mayor Craft said the city still has concerns about the festival’s negative effect on residents, who have been complaining for the past 11 years about festival patrons’ bad behavior. Another city concern is the fact that the fest will have less space to work with this year.
“We’ve told him (festival founder Shaul Zislin) in writing that we will not approve a permit until he satisfies us that he’s made significant progress toward controlling the noise and vulgarity permeating outside the festival site and into residential areas,’’ Mayor Craft said. “The negative impacts to the area are overnight parking and parking on the street.
“There’s a loss of 4.28 acres that he currently utilizes. He’s got to have a site plan that shows that he can survive. He’s got to prove it to us without question.’’
The Hangout has until 60 days before the event to secure its permit.
“He does not have a permit. He hasn’t even submitted a permit application yet. But we’ve told him if he can meet these things for 2020 then we’ll give it to him. But then he’s got to prove that those work,’’ Craft said.
“You will see a statement in the paper or somewhere advertising where he’s releasing a lineup. He doesn’t have a permit to operate that. But that’s Shaul taking the steps necessary to proceed assuming that he gets permitted. And he’s committed that he can answer these questions. That remains to be seen. There are still boxes to be checked before he gets the permit.’’
“We’ve had a lot of discussions of does that deserve to be here. We’ve had a lot of negatives comments after the last festival that were specific to certain things. Parking overnight and using the restrooms and bathrooms in the yards in all the different residential areas down there. The noise permeating the community. We’ve told him if he can’t fix that, it can’t happen. He thinks he can and we’ll be hearing from that later on. But when you see the presentation tomorrow know that he doesn’t have a permit. We have told him if he can solve these things, he’s got 2020. He won’t get anything beyond that if it doesn’t work.’’