Festival organizers, businesses frustrated by Nate curfew

The curfew started at 7 p.m. on Saturday and lasted about 90 minutes.

Hurricane Nate threw a wrench in plans for several big festivals and events planned this weekend. 

While event organizers say they understand adjusting for severe weather, they think the cancellations this weekend could have been avoided.

Gretchen Bradford made sure everything was ready for the 10th annual Gentilly Fest.

"We started Thursday morning around 8 a.m. and we finished Friday around 4 p.m. so almost a two-day set up," Bradford said.

Then came an announcement from the city that all movable structures had to come down and a curfew would go into effect Saturday night. That announcement effectively shut the festival down.

"It's heartbreaking because we planned for a whole year," Bradford said.

Other events disrupted were Beignet Fest, Que Pasa Fest and Ponderosa Stomp. Ira Padnos helped organize Ponderosa Stomp, which had to cancel events on Saturday too. 

"Once we were told it was a mandatory curfew, the venue and us complied and we had to cancel the Saturday night show," Padnos said.

He was frustrated that curfew only lasted an hour and a half Saturday night.

"Complete disbelief," Padnos said. "We had literally worked hard for two years to put on this show."

Businesses on Magazine Street planned for one of the busiest weekends with Art for Arts Sake kicking off Saturday. 

"A huge weekend that never happened," David Gordan, co-owner of Funrock'n said.

He was equally perplexed by the curfew that lasted about 90 minutes before lifted.

"It just made me laugh and shake my head and go oh my god," Gordan said.

Mayor Landrieu is standing by his decisions Sunday.

"People will always second guess this work, but I feel 100 percent confident in the decisions we made given the threats that were standing in front of us," Landrieu said.

While those impacted say they understand cancelling plans in the event of severe weather, they think the city jumped the gun. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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