Mobile's Bayfest Music Festival to go on despite TS Karen threat

MOBILE, AL (WSFA) - Mobile's 19th annual Bayfest Music Festival will go on as planned this weekend despite Tropical Storm Karen, organizers said Friday.

Festival organizers issued a statement saying its first priority is safety for the public, artists, crews and all others involved in the popular festival.

Organizers issued a statement that reads:

Mobile is under a hurricane "watch" - not a warning. The local National Weather Service office is advising us that the storm is weakening, and currently, the timing of landfall is approximately 10:00 pm Saturday night. At the moment, it may not even turn into a full hurricane. The nature of hurricanes is that predictions can change dramatically in a matter of hours. 

This afternoon at 4:00 pm, BayFest officials will be meeting with city officials, EMS, and the National Weather Service to make a decision about the rest of the weekend. We will issue another Media Advisory as soon as that meeting is adjourned. 

To ensure the safety of festivalgoers, artists and crews, we are taking the follow precautions as it relates to the unpredictability of the storm and to minimize the labor to address logistic site issues: 

• All performances on the Coke, ATT/Southern Ford Dealers and Miller Lite/Wind Creek Casino Stages will go on;
• Bayfest Children's' area, food vendors, and most of what you have come to expect at the festival is still on track;

• The performances on the Gospel, Launching Pad, Jazz and Café stages will be cancelled due to the unpredictability of the storm and the need to focus on the main stages' logistic needs. 

Unfortunately, because of our weather concerns, we feel it's in the best interests of everyone involved, to only set up the major stages this year because they're larger and better secured.

Governor Robert Bentley Friday issued a Statewide State of Emergency declaration ahead of TS Karen's weekend landfall.

"The Governor's issuance of the State of Emergency places Alabama National Guard members and all emergency response agencies on alert for the potential impact of Tropical Storm Karen," says Alabama EMA Director Art Faulkner.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Bayfest Music Festival

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