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Local law enforcement prepares ahead of Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam opening day

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bigger, better, and a lot more jam on the Gulf Coast is expected in Panama City Beach over the next four days.

“It’s exciting, it’s exciting. It’s got a great lineup comin up,” Bay County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Billy Byrd said.

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is back and local law enforcement isn’t letting all the excitement get in the way of preparations.

“For our team, 100% the individuals, our jammers, safety is the highest priority of all,” Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Executive Producer Rendy Lovelady said.

That’s why the country music festival is partnering with local and state law enforcement to keep things under control. Byrd said they’ll have extra resources at the venue and on the roads.

“There’s measures in place for us to harden perimeters. DSI has the metal detectors up front, so nothing really gets through there as far as metals, knives, guns, and things along those lines,” said Byrd.

Byrd said there’s a lot of countermeasures you will see and things behind the scenes in place to keep you safe.

“From undercover inside the venue, from people looking from eyes in the sky, there’s people watching to make sure we can isolate the issue, separate the issues, and keep that place safe for the entire weekend,” said Byrd.

But Lovelady said the crowds at Gulf Coast Jam usually don’t get out of hand.

“We have a very distinct population that have come and they come back and they know what to expect,” said Lovelady.

Officials said last year they saw up to 25,000 people a day and expect the same this year.

“I want to be able to look my jammers in the eye and say, ‘you are safe,’” said Lovelady.

And keeping jammers safe in a bigger and better way is the goal of all.

Gulf Coast Jam kicks off Thursday night at 6 P.M and runs through Sunday night with headliners Brett Young, Old Dominion, Florida Georgia Line, and Brooks And Dunn. To buy tickets, visit Gulf Coast Jam Tickets.

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