CityFest draws 55,000 attendees

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, June 7, 2011

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster CityFest organizers saw a slight drop in the total number of attendees during this year’s festival, but said the crowd for the event’s two biggest acts was the largest in CityFest history.

“The official count for this year was about 55,000. It was a little bit less than it was last year, but a lot of that may have been due to the heat in the middle of the day,” said Adam Moseley, an Alabaster councilman and president of the Alabaster Arts Council.

Last year’s CityFest drew a record crowd of about 60,000.

Moseley said daytime temperatures hovering around 100 degrees likely kept the crowds down during the hottest hours of the day. However, the headline bands Vertical Horizon and Craig Morgan drew a larger-than-normal crowd after the sun went down.

“That was probably the biggest crowd we have ever had at night,” Moseley said. “It was a much younger crowd than we normally have.”

The daytime temperatures were about 10 or 15 degrees higher than they have been for past CityFest events, which caused concern for the event’s organizers.

Moseley said an unexpected issue pops up every year, and this year was no exception.

“This year, the heat was our biggest concern. We had a few heat-related incidents that we had to manage,” Moseley said. “We just had to keep encouraging people to drink as much water as they could.

“But with a crowd that large, it’s hard to manage everyone there,” he added. “You just kind of have to roll with the punches.”

Despite the blazing temperatures, Moseley said he received positive feedback from those in attendance, and said he is looking forward to the festival’s 10th anniversary next year.

“Everyone I talked to said they had fun,” Moseley said. “All things considered, we had a huge crowd for that kind of weather.”