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?