TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) - The town of Taos is gearing up for a massive influx of people planning to attend the Solar Music Festival with headliner Mumford & Sons.
"Who would have ever thought that Mumford & Sons would come to little ol' Taos," said Mayor Darren Córdova.
The Grammy-winning folk-rock group has a large following, and tickets to their live concerts are usually hard to come by.
Eight thousand tickets were available for the Taos Solar Music Festival taking place at Kit Carson Park on June 6. The festival sold out almost immediately.
"The buildups been crazy," said George Bartel, executive chef and owner of Mosaic Fine Dining.
Taos Town Manager Oscar Rodriguez said they've been in overdrive trying to get ready for the festival.
The town estimates up to 11,000 people will show up the day of the concert. To put that in perspective, the town of Taos has less than 6,000 residents year round.
"This is the biggest event that's come to town; big in a sense that it happens all at once," Rodriguez said.
From organizing shuttles, street fairs and other opportunities for local merchants to designating parking and deciding on which streets to close and when, Rodriguez told KRQENews 13 they have been busy.
He said they plan to close the streets throughout the historic district.
"The idea is just to get people to park outside of the historic district and shuttle them in. They can also walk in," said Rodriguez.
The amount of planning going into making sure everyone is safe and has a good time has not overshadowed the fact that this will be a huge opportunity for Taos.
"It's an economic shot in the arm," said Córdova adding, "That means people are going to be sleeping at our hotels, eating at our restaurants, shopping at our stores, visiting our galleries."
Businesses are prepping for the 24-hour boost.
Bartel told News 13 he's been meeting with his staff to discuss how to handle the crowds.
His restaurant is located in La Fonda de Taos Hotel on the plaza. He said the hotel is booked.
"We've discussed doing wraps, things that are takeaway, things that are portable that people can just grab, grab and go," he said.
Córdova admits the pressure is on to make sure everything goes smoothly.
"The challenge is that this is one concert, one day, and the gates open one hour before, We want to make sure that everything is safe," he said.
More information on the festival including road closures, detours and events the day is posted on the Taos County Lodgers Association website.
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