Music Festival deemed a success by organizers, spectators

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Months of planning and hours of work resulted in a transformation of Downtown Gulfport into what organizers called the music venue of the year.

Day one of the Inaugural Gulfport Music festival featured country acts, to the tune of thousands. On day two, even more music lovers flooded the gates for a prime spot.

"This is the inaugural run at this, and we said all along that if it's a success, then we want to do it every year. And, judging by the looks of yesterday's crowd and the early Saturday crowd it'll probably be back next year," said Gulfport Information Officer Ryan LaFontaine.

Smooth sailing both days have organizers excited and planning for next year, and they aren't the only ones.

"I think it's great. It's awesome. It's been a lot of fun," said one spectator.

"It's probably one of the best things for the Gulf Coast since Katrina," said a second spectator.

The crowds packed in around 10,000 people each day, surprising and pleasing organizers.

"Locals, when they get there and see all these people in downtown Gulfport, they've never seen that before, and it's kind of a shock. I was shocked," said LaFontaine.

Festival planners are confident that this won't be the last.  They are making notes on what to improve and what to keep.

"We need to make sure to keep downtown open as possible. Very few businesses were opened when we planned the music festival.  A couple of them have since then. We don't want to interfere with them," said promoter Bill West who said that a good lineup was key to success.

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