Facing ugly weather from Subtropical Storm Alberto on Sunday, the Sunset Music Festival and Tampa Bay Margarita Festival have both decided to cancel their second days.
"This decision to cancel was made by the Tampa Sports Authority, in conjunction with the Tampa Police Department and Tampa Fire Rescue, and was based on the fact Sunday's weather poses a serious risk to the health, safety and welfare of Sunset Music Festival attendees," the festival, which was to reopen at 3 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, said in a statement.
In separate statements, organizers for both festivals noted that the Tampa Bay area remains under a tropical storm warning, and Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency across Florida.
"The threat of high winds presents a grave hazard for YOU our fans," Margarita Fest, which was to continue today at Curtis Hixon Park with headliners Everclear and Fastball, said in a statement. "YOUR safety and the safety of our staff/crew is our number one priority."
Both festivals went off relatively smoothly on Saturday despite the threat of unsafe weather, with SMF drawing more than 20,000 fans to RayJay. The festival has endured nasty weather before, with lightning and heavy rains forcing evacuations into the stadium concourses in 2014 and 2015. Tampa Police said Sunday that 30 festivalgoers were taken to nearby hospitals for non-critical treatment. There were also 34 arrests, 18 felonies and 16 misdemeanors.
Margarita Fest organizers said Sunday ticketholders, including those for the Margarita Run, will be refunded. Those who purchased two-day tickets will be partially refunded. More detailed refund instructions will be issued in the coming days.
The Sunset Music Festival will announce its refund policy soon on its website. In the meantime, a planned after-party that was scheduled for Sunday night at the Ritz Ybor, with headliner Zomboy, will go on as planned.
And other DJs and festival officials slated to perform on Sunday sounded like they had other plans, too.
We'll keep you posted about any last-second parties in Tampa Bay.
— Jay Cridlin