PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — A year-long planning process is now less than a week away from opening night at this year’s Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam; on Sunday, the crew began building the stage at Frank Brown Park.
“The only thing I can compare it to is a wedding,” said Gulf Coast Jam’s Executive Producer Rendy Lovelady. “I’ve had two daughters get married, it’s kind of like you’re preparing for the wedding, you’re talking about what to do to make it pretty, how to make it perfect.”
He says the festival is no stranger to rain and mud, but this year, the weekend forecast is looking good.
“I’m more worried about weather on getting it built than I am for the show,” said Lovelady. “There’s a very strong possibility we’ll have a dry festival.”
He’s been working with News 13’s Chief Meteorologist, Ross Whitely, getting updates on the radar.
“I don’t want to hear things I want to hear, I want to hear the truth,” said Lovelady. “He’s been telling me the ups and downs and what I got to deal with.”
With weather out of the way for now, the crew has been working to get the flooring down and stage built for the festival.
A new feature being introduced this year, is activated wristbands.
“Bottom line is, the wristbands are critical to the life of the festival,” said Lovelady.
Now, guests register their bands online on Gulf Coast Jam’s website. Each band is activated personally for the user, and they can also add credit cards to their account, making it easy to purchase food and drinks at the festival with a simple scan.
Lovelady says attendees are in for a great show.
“I guarantee you everyone will have bigger goosebumps than me, so we’re excited,” he said.