PANAMA CITY BEACH, Florida (WJHG / WECP) – Gulf Coast Jam is more than just country music and fun for everyone. It also plays a strong economic role for Panama City Beach.
The country music festival drew 70,000 people over the three-day weekend in June. We were told they expected this upcoming festival to be 20% bigger.
Bigger, Better, and Much More Jam on the Gulf Coast was expected over Labor Day Weekend.
“We looked at about 80,000 to 85,000 people over three days,” said Executive Producer Rendy Lovelady.
Lovelady said the June festival raised $ 34 million for the city, which is expected to return in September.
“Even without the Gulf Coast Jam here this year, I think it’s going to be a good weekend for us,” said Dan Rowe, executive director of the Tourist Development Council.
A good weekend in Panama City Beach for not only fun but also economical.
Frank Brown Park might not be full of country music lovers and live music on Labor Day Weekend, but both men say that won’t stop the crowd from hitting the beach.
The main reason Lovelady says is because people can’t cancel their hotels or condos for refunds under 30 days. He said 7,000 to 8,000 condos had been booked for the event.
“They come to town anyway, they eat anyway, they drink anyway, so honestly I don’t think it’s going to affect the city very much,” Lovelady said.
Rowe said he expected September earnings to be at or above what we normally see.
“The condos and hotels will be fine. Our restaurants and attractions will be fine, ”said Rowe. “I mean, Gulf Coast Jam is important to us because it’s a great thing and it gets people to the local market, but part of it is that this is a great beach anyway without the Gulf Coast Jam.”
While Lovelady expected the Labor Day Weekend Gulf Coast Jam to be the biggest yet, he now expects next June to beat that.
Gulf Coast Jam was postponed Monday due to COVID concerns. It will now take place from June 3rd to 5th, 2022.
Lovelady said he wants people to understand that there is no COVID insurance and that the company is taking a huge loss from the rescheduling. But he said it was more important to save lives than to give a concert.
Copyright 2021 WJHG. All rights reserved.