PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Gulf Coast Jam Producer Rendy Lovelady joins News 13’s Kimber Collins to share the highlights of the 2023 country music festival.

Lovelady said this was the most successful Gulf Coast Jam to date.

“I mean without question, it’s the biggest year we’ve ever had. We’re having somewhere around the neighborhood of 30,000 people a night and that’s record-breaking attendance for us. We sold out seven months ago. The performances have been absolutely stunning, so we’re exceptionally pleased and thankful,” said Lovelady.

Lovelady said ticket sales came from all over the world.

“We sold in all 50 states. I think the last count I heard was 13 countries. So for Panama City Beach, it just helps us to be a showplace for the most beautiful beaches in the world. I mean, we affectionately call Panama City Beach, our fifth headliner now because not only do you have the greatest acts in country music, but you have the most beautiful beaches in the world.” said Lovelady.

The promoter said bringing an event like Gulf Coast Jam to the area means a lot to the community he calls home.

“That economic impact has huge figures to it. So I know that just in the four days of the week that we’re here that brings a lot of income to the city. People tend to come back more and more, they’ll tell us in our surveys that they’ll come three to four times a year and it’s based on them coming for Gulf Coast Jam. So I mean, they’re our partners my mayor is the mayor. So it’s like we live and breathe here, so we love this city and we’re very proud of it,” said Lovelady.

Originally, the plan was to have Morgan Wallen headline the major Saturday night show but he had to cancel due to a vocal chord issue. Lovelady said they couldn’t have asked for a better replacement than country music legend Kenny Chesney.

“For my personal health, it meant a lot because when I got a phone call somewhere around 6 o’clock in the evening telling me that Morgan’s throat had gotten to a place where they literally couldn’t do anything. I mean, to hear your headliner that sold so many tickets was canceling was a shock. There are really only four other people in the country that could have taken his place and we called everybody to see their availability. Kenny just happened to be 2 and a half hours away and we’ve been trying to get Kenny for 11 years. He came in and did an amazing night last night I was sitting out with him before the show and we were talking about the crowd and the excitement of the crowd and told him about the intensity of the crowd. After we got through talking, he said ‘I’m changing my whole set.’ He went and changed his whole set. He played for 90 minutes and I mean, he never stopped one time, he just rocked the stage,” said Lovelady.

Tickets are already on sale for 2024 with Morgan Wallen back on the headliner list. Lovelady hopes it can make the event even bigger.

“He sold it out once and I expect him to sell out again so it means the world to us as promoters, I mean he’s the big I mean. Honestly, next to Garth Brooks, he’s probably the biggest talent out there, our youngest, hottest talent out there. It’s exciting to think we’re gonna do it again. So it’s a blessing. It’s exciting and we’re just really thankful for it,” said Lovelady.

Lovelady said they expect to be sold out by August 2023.