This past weekend, the “Fun Never Sets” concert series held the two-night Country Fest featuring Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean. Opening acts were The Randy Rodgers Band, Justin Moore, The Dirt Drifters, and Corey Smith.
Saturday night was estimated to host over 12,000 people, and judging by the screams when asked where everyone was from, most of the attendees were from out of state. The cheers for Alabama were the loudest, with Georgia a close second. Gates opened at 6:30pm each night, but had a line through the parking lot by 6:00pm.
At the concert, there were several food choices for concert goers to choose from, including seafood, funnel cakes, gator bites, BBQ, and hot dogs. There were also T-shirts, vanity items, and cowboy hats available for sale.
Friday night, the concerts were focused on appeasing the “Rednecks” in the crowd. The Randy Rodgers Band warmed up the night, with Justin Moore setting the Redneck tone and getting everyone excited for Miranda Lambert. Miranda Lambert began her set with Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” music video, leading into her most female-empowering songs, “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder and Lead”. She continued to thank her fans for her award at this years Country Music Awards as Female Vocalist of the Year, which she thinks of as a wedding present from her fans – due to hearing the news while on her honeymoon with Blake Shelton. Miranda ended the concert with a few of her songs of her upcoming album set to launch on November 1st.
The concerts on Saturday night, were still geared toward the “Redneck” audience, but also had a focus on remembering the “good ole days.” The Dirt Drifters opened the night with a focus on getting their name out there and having a good night. Corey Smith followed with songs reminiscing on spring breaks in Panama City, growing up a Redneck, and life as a Georgia native. The main artist of the evening, Jason Aldean, began his set with a silhouette of himself and played some of his most recent hits, “Big Green Tractor” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” He focused on making sure the audience was having fun and sharing personal anecdotes. He ended the evening covering a Kid Rock song “Cowboy,” and with a re-vamped version of his first single “Hicktown.”
All in all, Frank Brown Park was a perfect location for the crowd and the stage, hidden away from the road, yet still easily accessible. Parking and traffic were as organized as a crowd of this size could be. The security and volunteers were polite to concert-goers and helped them with any questions as quickly as possible when they did not have the specific answer. The crowd, decked out in cowboy boots, cowboy hats, plaid, and camouflage all seemed to be having a great time and were engaged in the artists. Hopefully, Panama City Beach will see similar events in the future!
*More information will be available about how much revenue the concerts brought to Panama City Beach, and we will get that out as soon as possible.*
Did you go to the concerts? What did you think of them?
5 thoughts on “A Successful Country Fest Weekend”
Wow.. it’s pretty amazing that “Miranda Lambert began her set with … [a] music video.”
I am totally amaized what we call a successful festival. The vendors were so far appart you had to walk miles just to get a coke, and the miscommunication amoung the event people was beyound the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. Yes there were a lot of people, but when we heard the roar above the cowd, locals won out not out of towners. BP money paid HOW MUCH for those two stars, OMG. Jason was $500,000 and Amanda was $250,000, What were you guys thinking? I like Country music, just not this kind, I guess not everyone was happy, but such is life, Right. Hope our Bed tax was better and our hotels were filled, because that is good business for the locals at this time of year. We are a tourist community, We need Tourist to surive and be successful for all who work, play and enjoy Panama City Beaches.
I don’t get this post at all. You went to a concert series, to see country music performers you don’t like, and you had to walk too far to get a coke. That makes the event unsuccessful? The TDC used 1.3 million in BP marketing money to pay for the country music fest, it was not tax dollars taken from something else and it was not money that could have been used to pave roads, enhance infrastructure or solve global warming! It is a grant to market the gulf destinations, post oil spill. Since marketing is identifying the customer and understanding what the customer wants so you keep them, it makes sense for the TDC to focus on events to draw interest from locals and visitors so they keep them coming back!
Another couple, along with my husband and I, all in our 40’s, attended both nights. We had a wonderful time and I feel the event was affordable and worth what we paid. Some issues with seating, VIP verses preferred, needed a little more organization. It did also take one hour sitting in our car after the event to escape the jammed parking lot. other that, the workers were fantastic, very friendly and helpful, that’s the good old southern hospitality. I also witnessed a medical emergency that I felt was handled in a very speedy, professional manner. I was thinking it was probably heat related and the gentleman, I prayed got the treatment needed and made a full recovery. Best wishes. We will always support and return to PCB for all our get aways! Thanks!
The concert was very fun! but I think it is odd that I have searched news websites and I cant find any articles about the fight on Saturday night that probably involved about 40 people! People were removed in hand cuffs, and this was no big deal?!?! I was sitting right beside this fight and it literally took twenty minutes to get a control on it. After the security at the event could not handle it they brought in the local police department. Witnessed minors drinking constantly which probably led to the fight, also witnessed local sercurity guards throwing down teenage girls that were drunk and probably weighed about 100 pounds.