Hangout Music Fest amps up the Alabama economy to the tune of $45 million

Hangout Music Fest amps up the Alabama economy to the tune of $45 million
The Hangout Music Fest has a $45 million economic impact on the Alabama Gulf Coast. (Hangout Fest)

Hangout Music Fest has a $45 million economic impact on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, a new report finds.

The annual music and cultural festival, which drew a high of 44,000 visitors in 2017, is responsible for supporting 581 jobs and generates $1.8 million in local and state taxes.

The study was conducted by Keivan Deravi, professor of economics at Auburn University at Montgomery. Since starting in 2010, the festival has had an estimated $290 million economic impact, the study found.

“While the Hangout Music Fest has long been a premier, star-studded entertainment event that brings energy to Alabama’s Gulf Coast every summer, it has also become a powerful economic engine in its own right,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Fans come from all over the world, and the ripple effects from their spending represent a significant contribution to the local economy.”

Other findings in the report include:

  • Visitors have come from all 50 states and 19 countries to attend Hangout.
  • The average age of festivalgoers is 26 with 38 percent of them falling between the ages of 25 and 35.
  • An average of 82 percent of attendees stay in a hotel or condo in the area.
  • More than 90 percent said they would like to visit Gulf Shores again.
  • Hotels and vacation rentals in the area report an occupancy of around 90 percent during the festival.
  • Direct condo and hotel bookings for the festival totaled $600,000.

“Ten years ago, when we embarked on this endeavor, we wanted to create the best music festival in the world,” said Shaul Zislin, founder of Hangout Fest. “A decade later, Hangout is a bucket-list music vacation and receives accolades from fans and bands as the ultimate festival experience.”

This year’s festival is May 16-19 and scheduled to include Khalid, The Lumineers, Vampire Weekend, Cardi B, Travis Scott, The 1975 and more than 70 additional acts. Tickets range from a three-day general admission pass for $299 to an all-inclusive three-day VIP ticket starting at $1,099.

Amenities include seaside beach clubs featuring a cast of up-and-coming DJs, a full-size roller-skating rink, beach volleyball, main stage inground pools and Gulf-front hammocks.

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