PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach leaders have denied the permits for two more special events including the annual rock concert Sand Jam.
The SandJam Music Festival had been scheduled for the first weekend in October of this year with headliners The Killers, Shinedown, and AJR.
The permit for the PYFA Cheer Competition set for the weekend of October 23 has also been denied. News 13 obtained these denials through a record request sent to Panama City Beach. City Manager Drew Whitman issued them via email on August 20.
He wrote that his denial is based on ICU bed capacity at Bay County hospitals. Currently, hospital officials say their ICUs are overrun with unvaccinated COVID patients.
“Sand Jam is a large event and requires a substantial amount of city resources; therefore, I cannot wait to the last minute to issue a denial for your event. Based upon ICU capacity, I cannot risk the chance of something happening at your event or in our area where necessary beds may be needed for our citizens,” Whitman wrote to Sand Jam executive producer Rendy Lovelady. “As a community leader, I must put our residents and visitors first and respect the high demand that is already placed on our medical personnel.”
This statement is similar to what Whitman wrote to Lovelady on August 6 when he denied the permit for Gulf Coast Jam which had been scheduled for Labor Day Weekend.
“We have got to get to a place where we can have a live event and not live in fear of what’s going on. And I’m not saying I know the answer to that question but we have got to get there and we have got to get there soon,” Lovelady said. “We’re talking literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss. Not only from this festival but from Gulf Coast Jam.”
SandJam is now set for September 30 through October 2, 2022 at Frank Brown Park, Lovelady said. He added that passes that have already been purchased for this year’s festival will be refunded over the next 14 days. For more information visit sandjamfest.com