ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WBTW) – County officials have raised safety concerns about the entertainment areas at this weekend’s Bikefest in Atlantic Beach.
In a letter to the Town of Atlantic Beach, Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge notes that representatives from Horry County Fire Rescue reviewed the entertainment areas on Tuesday at the request of the event promoter and found conditions to be ‘”extremely dangerous” for people attending.
The letter from Eldridge also references another letter written by officials with Horry County Fire Rescue listing issues with the tent structure erected on the corner of 30th Avenue and South Ocean Boulevard. News13 received a copy of both letters from Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier.
Among the list of concerns, fire officials note few to no emergency exits in the main tent, tripping hazards on the ground within the venue, a large amount of flammable materials and fabrics inside the tents and the absence of fire safety equipment on the site. Horry County Fire Rescue officials also worry about the decision to allow smoking in the venue.
The letter from the fire rescue says the event poses a high risk for fire hazards and personal injuries and due to the anticipated large crowds in the area, the emergency response times are expected to be greater than average this weekend.
“It is the recommendation of Horry County Fire and Rescue that the venue not be used until all safety concerns are addressed,” the letter from the county administrator states. “I understand that the decision to close the venue rests solely with the Town of Atlantic Beach. Even so, I feel that you, as the responsible party, should know how concerned the leadership of Horry County Fire and Rescue and myself are that this venue may be used this upcoming weekend in its current unsafe condition.”
News13 has reached out to the Atlantic Beach police chief and the event promoter who say the issues mentioned in the letters have been fixed. News13’s Sina Gebre-Ab will have a live report on the issues tonight at 5 and 6 p.m.