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'The Other Fest' organized in Manchester after Bonnaroo is forced to cancel

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 19:20:52-04

MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WTVF) — For a lot of music lovers, Interstate Liquors is their last chance to fill their spirits, before heading to the "Farm."

"We have a lot of traffic come through," said Tammy Harrington, owner of Interstate Liquors. "As the crow flies, as we say in the South, we’re about a half-mile from the grounds of Bonnaroo."

So when those same people found out there would be no Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival because of the muddy, messy conditions left behind from Ida's remnants, this store was their first chance to drown their sorrows. "Well we did have a few calls saying -- what are the biggest bottles of tequila you have?" joked Harrington.

Losing the festival loses big business for this small town. Shelby Haggard figured their brewery would sit mostly empty, now that water would cause a flood of people to leave Manchester. "It hasn’t really hit me yet," said Haggard, co-owner of Common John Brewery.

But instead, the opposite happened Tuesday night. "It got crazy, it was like zero to 100," she said.

Festival-goers and organizers alike, with nowhere to go, chose Common John as their common ground. "It was about like a Friday night," said Haggard.

That may last the rest of the weekend too. The Manchester Chamber of Commerce is now hastily organizing a replacement called "The Other Fest." "It’s still kind of in the works, we don’t know all the details, but we’re trying as best as we can," said Haggard.

With the blessing of Bonnaroo, The Other Fest will take place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., September 2 through 5. Andy Frasco and Big Something are headliners, with more than 25 other performances on three stages during the four days.

The multi-venue event takes place at Common John Brewing Company, Bites of Europe, Prater’s Bar-B-Que and more locations in Manchester.

The four day festival will cost $20. However, tickets are very limited; only 2,000 will be sold. Everyone is encouraged to bring a chair. Masking is encouraged indoors and free masks will be provided at the event for those interested.

Ironically, this could be a blessing in disguise for Common John Brewery. "The majority of people who are out there don’t come back out after they’re in, so I feel like we’re going to be a lot busier than we would have been," said Haggard.

As for Interstate Liquors, they're still counting the days until 2022 when hopefully cancellations will, at last, be in the past. "I would say, it shows the resilience of a community that pulls together. Not just for ourselves but for those who come here," said Harrington.

For more details on The Other Fest, you can visit its website.