New music festival coming to Bay St. Louis

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A new music festival is coming to the Coast this Memorial Day weekend. Even before the first act takes the stage organizers are envisioning that the Bay Harbor Festival will, over time, grow to the ranks of Jazz Fest in New Orleans and the Hang Out Fest in Alabama. The new harbor, now under construction, is a huge part of those future plans.

The sounds of Cajun, Jazz, Zydeco, R&B and Funk will echo through the streets of Bay St. Louis on May 24, 25, and 26.

"The full vision of Bay Harbor Fest for the area is a major economic impact engine," said Michael Rosato, promoter. "Our desire is to create a festival that has attendees in the tens of thousands on an annual Mecca to Bay St. Louis and the Gulf Coast."

Organizers haven't decided where in the downtown area the festival will be held this year. However,  hence the name, the ultimate goal is to put Bay Harbor Fest in the Harbor.

Rosato said, "The future vision of Bay Harbor Fest includes, harbor activities and water activities, boat excursions out to the barrier islands. Moonlight cruises that have intimate settings with iconic musicians and perhaps celebrity chefs on it. So when you add that to a beach festival along with a downtown festival you end up with something that is unique in all of the Southeast."

Right now, the harbor is still a construction zone. The mayor said that should wrap up in time for next year's festival.

"I think that our harbor is going to be a tremendous destination for any kind of event, festival event. Whether they are water based activities or just for music and food," said Mayor Les Fillingame. "We know it's a tremendous opportunity to market ourselves to those people who might need to come see Bay St. Louis as it is today. Traffic that is generated by those festivals is not only good for every merchant in town, but it's good for everyone who has any interest in promoting anything that is Bay St. Louis."

Organizers said they are still booking their headliners. Tickets are $25 a day but organizers said there are some early bird specials.

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