Holmes County residents demand an end to Sol Fest after chaos - Info Panameña

Holmes County residents demand an end to Sol Fest after chaos

HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Holmes County residents are upset over a 4-day festival at Vortex Springs that occurred earlier this month.

Sol Fest, an electronic dance music festival, was attended by over 10,000 people, wreaking havoc in the community.

Residents had several concerns about festival-goers’ behaviors including drug use, noise, and nudity, and they relayed these concerns to county commissioners at tonight’s meeting.

Sol Fest was the only agenda item discussed at Thursday night’s meeting.

Several residents showed up to listen to the discussion, many of whom spoke themselves during public comment.

The general consensus is that Sol Fest is not welcome back in Holmes County.

“We have commissioners’ lives being threatened, the law being threatened. They would want that brought back. No, it’s got to stop. This cannot ever be brought back.”

Holmes County residents aired their grievances about Sol Fest to county commissioners at Thursday’s meeting.

They say the electronic dance music festival, attracting over 10 thousand attendees, brought unruly conduct that’s not welcome in their quiet town.

“It was making me very nervous and my animals nervous and my whole family. It just kind of wrecked your whole day and night, and the hippie wannabes were having fun, but we weren’t,” local resident Kathy McBride said.

Several locals complained about the noise from the event that could be heard within a 10-mile radius of the festival grounds at Vortex Springs.

“The big boom, boom boom that never stopped. All the hippie wannabes, I’m sure, were cheering and happy and everything, but the Holmes County residents were not.”

Drug use was one of the biggest concerns amongst locals and law enforcement.

“We’re not against people having events, but we are against the people bringing boatloads of drugs in here that we knew was going to happen. That’s what they’re all about. If you go on YouTube and google some of these EDM concerts and raves and stuff, that’s their main thing is they’re going to do drugs,” Sheriff John Tate said.

Residents were also annoyed by the high-volume traffic the event caused.

“There was church that night on Wednesday night. They had to shut the church down because the traffic couldn’t get to the church. My family lives on I-81 and they couldn’t even drive to their house. They had to go all the way to Westfield and go around to get to their house because of I-81 traffic,” local resident Denise McGowden said.

Locals say they had no idea the event was going to cause this much chaos, and they want to make sure this never happens again.

“Never allow this into your community. All it was was a drug fest, is what it was,” McGowden continued.

Residents also said that kind of event isn’t worth any economic gain it may bring to the community. Officials say they’re not against holding large events like concerts and rodeos that are fun for the community, but they won’t host another event like Sol Fest.

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