Vegas Shooting Hits Home for Local Music Promoter

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - A Las Vegas country music festival became the most deadly shooting incident in U.S. history.
At least 59 people are dead and more than 500 injured after a single gunman opened fire on 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest festival. It's striking a solemn note with the man who stages a similar festival in Panama City Beach. 

Times like these remind us to, "never say never," Rendy Lovelady, executive producer of Gulf Coast Jam, said.

It takes a full year to plan each of the festivals and the security at Frank Brown park is a huge consideration.
With that in mind, Lovelady said he believes the Las Vegas promoters were just as meticulous. 

"I can guarantee you, this venue in Vegas was secured," Lovelady said.

So could the exact same thing happen here? Probably not.

The closest high rise to Frank Brown park is over half a mile away. 

"It would be virtually impossible for something like this to happen."

But something else could happen.

That's why local authorities say they train for any type of active shooter situation.

"We realize that this could happen and that's why we prepare for it," Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford, said.

Ford admits the Las Vegas shooting was unique. 

"Having somebody in a high position like that. That's very difficult," he said. 

Country music artist Jason Aldean was on stage when the Vegas shooting started.
He was one of the headliners for Gulf Coast Jam last month. 
In fact, Lovelady said he's friends with many of the acts and the promoter who staged the Las Vegas event.

"Close to home is an under-statement," Lovelady said.

While no one can guarantee total safety, Lovelady said we all have to continue living our lives.

"We cannot let anybody make us afraid."

He said he and his team are already discussing the Las Vegas shooting and how it will effect security at next year's gulf coast jam. 

He said there haven't been any life threatening accidents at Gulf Coast Jam in the last five years. 


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