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13 September 2016

Chattahoochee Hills Applying Lessons Learned from Tomorrowworld to Sankofa Music Festival

Local officials vow not to repeat the mistakes made during last year's Tomorrowworld event as Bouckaert's Farm prepares to host the Sankofa "Many Rivers to Cross" Music and Arts Festival next month.

Chattahoochee Hills City Manager Robbie Rokovitz says the city is working closely with "Many Rivers" planners to ensure everything runs smoothly.

"All city officials have been interacting with the festival organizers and other jurisdictions involved in the coordination of services on a regular basis," Rokovitz says. "This will be stepped up to an almost daily interaction up to and during the event."

40,000 people are expected to attend the two-day event.

The large influx of people is sure to raise concerns about traffic and noise control among area residents. Chattahoochee Hills is a largely rural area with an estimated population of 2,400.

City officials say a larger contingent of uniformed officers from Chattahoochee Hills, Fulton County, Atlanta and Georgia State Patrol will be on hand during the event to facilitate the flow of traffic. Stages and performance platforms will be directed towards non-residential areas. Organizers even say they have drawn up a plan to deal with any inclement weather.

“Many Rivers” is the first major music event held in Chattahoochee Hills since Tomorrowworld in 2015.

The 3-day electronic dance music festival Tomorrowworld was plagued by rain-soaked grounds becoming mud pits, festival-goers stranded on the side of the road late at night after promised shuttles failed to appear and other issues. After the event ended and complaints came pouring in, Chattahoochee Hills Mayor Tom Reed promised a full investigation into what went wrong.

“We will be compiling policy recommendations for the City Council to vote on for changes in the process go-forward, to correct and mitigate whatever the specific failure points were this year, to ensure that the contingency planning is more robust, and that all of the vendors involved are capable of and committed to their parts of those plans,” Reed said at the time.

Sankofa’s “Many Rivers to Cross” Festival will be the first chance to see if those policy recommendations actually work.