Mudfest Gets Wet

The Kentucky Headhunters canceled their first show because of weather in 46 years when flooding at the Mudfest in Colfax, La., June 14 left 113 stranded in an all-terrain vehicle park.

Photo: Courtesy James Bowlin
in Colfax, La.

The festivalgoers had to be rescued after a private temporary levee brook. A sheriff’s deputy apparently noticed the levee was cracking at around 2 a.m. and began moving concertgoers to higher ground. The levee was breached within minutes and the festival grounds were severely flooded. The 113 people had to be rescued from the floodwaters.

Wildlife agents, troopers and sheriff’s deputies rescued people via boat while the National Guard flew overhead to bring people to safety. “After the storm, we made the decision not to take the stage, fearing for the safety of the audience, local help and our own crew and band,” said Richard Young of the Kentucky Headhunters. “We just knew it was too big of a risk for the show to go on.” Michael Parker, who runs the event, designed the levee himself.

He told The Town Talk he was surprised by the breach but “we had a strategy to protect our customers.”

The road to Colfax Mudfest Recreational Park is elevated, so many people should have been able to drive out. “The problem was the amount of rain,” he said. “It was unsafe for customers to leave on the exit road.”