Georgefest cancels dance party and pushes start time back.
In a city that receives a significant amount of local and national ridicule about the ability to cut loose and dance, rumors get flying quickly as Georgefest cancels dance party. Although Georgefest has cancelled the DJ Dance Party for July, it intends on bringing it back as soon as event administration can secure an expanded footprint of the event design.
The Desert Pulse began receiving inquiries about the DJ Dance Party cancellation with community members being frustrated on what they believed to be a City administered halt. The inquiries started out with a small handful in the initial days but grew quickly. The Desert Pulse reached out to both Georgefest event staff as well as the City of St. George to find answers for those inquiring. One concern, voiced by many, was the fact that there would be “1,000 to 2,000 teens showing up only to find Georgefest cancelled the dance party with nothing else offered for them to do.” As this concern was shared with Georgefest staff, a notification on the event website offering an explanation was posted:
Our commitment to your safety:
“Georgefest organizers have made the decision to postpone the DJ Dance Party at the July 7 first Friday event due to pedestrian/traffic safety concerns at the roundabout at Main Street and Tabernacle Street. In order to improve safety for event patrons, we are exploring the possibility of relocating the DJ Dance Party to a new site. We understand the popularity of this venue at Georgefest and hope to have the matter resolved in time for the August event. If you know teens who love to dance at Georgefest, please help us get the word out.”
“We appreciate your understanding and support as we work to maintain a safe, fun community experience for all.”
Melynda Thorpe, Georgefest Executive Director
Although the event changes things up from month to month, some portions of the event have become staples and draw a significant crowd. When the DJ Dance Party started, it drew a couple of dozen people; but, has grown to consistently bring 1,200-1,500 youth and their families to ‘shake it’ in the streets of St. George.
“We love attending the event,” shared Susan Staples. “The kids love it. As parents, we love it. It’s a positive event that offers something for the youth of the community.”
“It is way fun,” exclaims Jessica Nelson. “I think it is great for the kids to get out and listen to music and dance. I also like the fact that there are more police patrol where the dj is. It is a fun thing for sure and as always, my sis and I love to embarrass our kiddos by dancing and showing them up! We even had the dj give us a shout out for the moms out dancing and having fun.”
Judd’s Store owner, Jared Gulbranson states he sees the DJ Dance Party as a positive for the event and business owners.
“It helps business by bringing traffic down this way a bit”, Gulbranson shared. “Also, I think many folks still may not know the jazz garden is down here until they wander over this way. The dance party definitely helps drive foot traffic.”
It was made clear, the decision to cancel the DJ Dance Party was not a result of City interference. The decision was made by Georgefest staff to address a concern of safety. Although, there are multiple booths separating the dance party from the roundabout area, there are people lingering along the area and into potential traffic. It appears the success of the DJ Dance Party has made it impossible to maintain it in its previous location. The event is planning on seeking City approval to expand the event onto Main from Tabernacle to 100 South. Upon securing this approval, they state they plan on bringing back the DJ Dance Party.
“In effort to address safety concerns, Georgefest will be presenting to the City Council a request for change of location for the DJ Dance Party,” shared Georgefest Executive Director Melynda Thorpe. “We have had too many teens lingering in the roundabout and line of traffic as the venue continues to grow. We need to create a safer location. To expand the event boundaries, the City Council must approve.”
Georgefest staff has asked for help in spreading the word on the temporary cancellation of the DJ Dance Party. They have also shared their desire to have the DJ Dance Party back as quickly as possible with hopes of it returning as soon as August.
Georgefest Announces Excessive Heat Alert with a push back on start time
Additionally, Georgefest event organizers are making a first time change in start time for the July 7 event. With soaring summer temperatures expected to be 110* on Friday, organizers have announced a start delay of 2 hours. To help attendees beat the heat, rather than starting at 6 pm, the event will open at 8 pm and run until midnight rather than the usual 10 pm.
In addition, there will be misters in the George Jazz Garden, several vendors selling snow cones, ice cream and cold drinks. Attendees are encouraged to bring their water bottles to stay hydrated as they enjoy the event in Historic Downtown St. George.
The streets will be filled with vendors, food, people, music and fun. Buskers playing for tips set up residence along the street as people mingle through the vendor tents. The aroma from the food trucks will permeate the air. The main street stage will have Celtic artists Wooden Tantrum opening for the Doldrums out of Provo, UT. The George Jazz Garden brings southern Utah’s own The Naturals at 8 pm. Raised with souls rooted in blues, hearts blooming with jazz, and heads in the clouds of rock’n’roll, The Naturals mix what they know with what they dream. Headliners, Bila Gaana take the stage at 9:30 pm and perform until midnight. Known for their high-energy, positive music and command of stage–they will certainly demonstrate why they have been a southern Utah LIVE Music force for nearly two decades.