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Panama City nightclub closes indefinitely

After a fight at Vibez Night Club was seen on social media, Panama City Police began an...
After a fight at Vibez Night Club was seen on social media, Panama City Police began an investigation.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:49 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Vibez Nightclub in Panama City has closed its door indefinitely.

This announcement comes just a day after the city and police department held a news conference about a fight inside the nightclub.

Five people were arrested and eight more are wanted on charges of rioting.

In a Facebook post earlier today, VIBEZ MANAGEMENT released the following statement regarding the closure:

“We appreciate & grateful for everyone’s support thus far as we did our very best to provide a fun, and exciting environment for everyone in our community to enjoy.

We would like everyone to thank our staff for providing a great experience that began as soon as you walked into the door at Vibez.

With unexplainable reasoning, we were forced to shut down our business by the City.

Below is our letter of closure.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 1, 2022

For the past 2 years, Club Vibez (“Vibez”) has had the privilege of providing entertainment for City of Panama City residents. The events of late, specifically the unlawful targeting by law enforcement and the abuse of the news outlets, have forced our management team to reconsider the continued viability of Vibez.

Ever since the “Panamaniac” takeover sage, Vibez has appeared as public enemy number one. However, the allegations of Vibez’ involvement in the takeover were not accurate, were misleading, and were not based on any objective proof. In actuality, the Panamaniac takeover event was in no way lawfully linked to Vibez. The proof was compiled and both law enforcement and city officials were advised that the proof was ready for their review if they were willing to listen. The truth sat compiled, and the false allegations continued to spread like wildfire.

At the end of last week, news outlets posted another false narrative regarding the Hotboii concert which took place Sunday, May 29, 2022. Vibez management was not asked for comment. What the news or law enforcement did not advise the public was that the Hotboii concert went off without a single incident. Without anything of actual substance to report pertaining to the Hotboii concert, a new story was released yesterday regarding an incident from May 22, 2022. The article indicates this was a gang related riot and law enforcement was not notified. This one-sided narrative though, again, omits the reality of the situation – this was an unfortunate bar fight and law enforcement was on scene as the fight was taking place (the time-stamped video footage in Vibez’ possession proves it). Vibez’ security team handled the situation, charges were not pressed by Vibez or the patrons, those involved were banned from Vibez, and the situation was over, at least that’s what was believed.

The City of Panama City and the Panama City Police Department have recently asked Vibez to shut down. And, with the very recent targeting, it is clear that the City of Panama City and law enforcement are focused on shutting Vibez down, no matter the cost and no matter who is hurt with the false allegations and mistruths. The once mutually beneficial relationship between the Panama City Police Department and Vibez has now become incredibly one-sided where Vibez will be shut down if all law enforcement demands are not completely agreed to, regardless of the nature of the demand.

Due to the safety of our staff, guests, patrons, and owners, it is with sincere regrets that Vibez will be closed effective immediately until further notice. We apologize to our patrons but most importantly to our staff and employees who depend on us for income.

Sincerely,

VIBEZ MANAGEMENT

The City of Panama City’s City Manager released the following statement in response to the Facebook post:

“The City of Panama City has never targeted Vibez nor required the business to close.

We remain committed to working closely with all businesses to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and visitors.”

NewsChannel 7 will continue to update you as we learn more.

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