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Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam rescheduled

Gulf Coast Jam is held every year during Labor Day Weekend, but the 2020 musical event has been postponed until spring 2021.
Gulf Coast Jam is held every year during Labor Day Weekend, but the 2020 musical event has been postponed until spring 2021.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 6:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 10:17 AM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG) - While many other major events in our area were canceled due to the pandemic, Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam held out in hopes of holding the festival later this year. But Friday, organizers announced they’re postponing the event until the spring.

Each year, thousands of people come to Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach to enjoy live music, food, and more at Gulf Coast Jam on Labor Day Weekend. Now festival goers will have to wait until March 26-28, 2021, to see Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, who will all still headline the event.

While many other events in our area have been cancelled due to the pandemic, Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam held out in hopes of holding the festival later this year. Friday, organizers announced they are postponing the event.

“To keep as many people safe as possible. When you sell to all 50 states and 14 countries that’s a lot of people coming from a lot of different ways to come right here,” said Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Executive Producer Rendy Lovelady.

Rendy Lovelady with gulf coast jam said for months they worked to find several ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at the event.

“We were taking temperatures. We were going to have Touch points clean every hour. We are going to a cashless system, so there is no touching no touching of money, no touching your credit card,” said Lovelady.

Lovelady said the biggest problem is finding enough space to keep everyone separated.

“If you’re going to do a live event, there’s just no way you can have 6 feet to be safe. At least that is what they’re recommending. There’s no way you can put that into 30,000 person event,” said Lovelady.

He also said the postponement will have a major impact on the local economy.

“You’re talking about restaurants that are affected. Condos and hotels that are affected. You are talking about employees. We employ 1100 people for the weekend that are not going to be employed now,” said Lovelady.

Lovelady said they’re pushing the date back to March 2021 and plan to have two events next year.

“The truth is life can’t continue to be postponed. We have to get back to work,” said Lovelady.

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam will run March 26th through the 28th. The three headliners will remain the same.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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