Commissioners Vote to Close County Pier During SandJam

BAY COUNTY, Fla. -     Commissioners approved a request from the Tourist Development Council (TDC) and the directors of SandJam Music Festival to close the County Pier during the three-day event.

R&M Entertainment, who brings Gulf Coast Jam to the beach, will be putting on 'SandJam' April 26-28.

The music festival will be on the sand near the County Pier, and in order to keep everyone safe, event officials asked county commissioners to lease them the pier for ten days and to close it during the concert.

"It's security reasons that the promoters brought to us and felt like it was a concern. After thinking about it, and whats happened in the past with events around the country, it's just prudent to close the pier," Bay County Commissioner, Griff Griffitts, said.

Commissioners voted to close the pier Thursday, April 26 from 4 P.M. to 11 P.M., and Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th from 1 P.M. until midnight.
    
Commissioner Guy Tunnell voted against closing the pier, and said it is unfair to fishermen who pay to use it.

"When they buy these passes it doesn't say 'good for annual access unless we find something better.'," he said.

But Commissioner Griffitts said closing the County Pier is a vital safety precaution for the event.
    
"Based on the events in Vegas, I think we need to be prudent and do everything we can to provide for the safety for the patrons of the festival."
    
R&M Entertainment will pay the county about $9,000 to rent the County Pier, which will also cover utility costs and staffing lifeguards during the event.    


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