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Yesterday I wrote on 30AEATS.com’s Facebook about Labor Day festivities here on the Gulf Coast, and can tell you that there will be nothing bigger or more exciting happening over the holiday weekend than the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam taking place in Panama City Beach August 29-31!

With headliners Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley gracing the stage, along with many other talented musical artists in one of the greatest 3-day events offered in our area, Labor Day 2014 just got better for the entire family.

This is a unique event in that only 15,000 tickets are allotted and have been sold in tiers. Currently, the VIP Pit, VIP Side-Stage, Vendor Spaces and Sponsorships are sold out. You still have a chance at General Admission, and my money would be on Preferred Lodge Seating.

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Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam has partnered with several condo resorts. If booking a package with these resorts, you will receive a lodging partner weekend wristband, up-front Preferred Lodge Seating, access to artists and stages right on the beach, transportation on the shuttle to and from the events and more!

I would suggest getting tickets now, as they will be sold out. General Admission Tickets are currently $159 for all three days of the festival, and due to the musical artists involved being passionate about supporting the United States Military and our troops, discounted Military and Veteran Tickets are available for $99 with valid ID.

I recently spent some time talking with Rendy Lovelady, the producer of Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, who enlightened me on the event. As a 30-year veteran to the industry who got his start at the Sanger Theater in New Orleans, Rendy shaped and molded the careers of artists in virtually every music genre as a business manager and concert producer. For over thirteen years he worked in various roles for some of rock-n-roll’s top artists including Van Halen, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, and Michael Sweet, lead singer of Stryper. In 2003, Rendy partnered with Sony Music veteran Tracy McGlocklin to form RLM/Mission Management, and together they have represented multi-platinum selling country group Little Big Town, Marty Stuart, Michael O’Brien, State of Man, Shelly Fairchild, Love & Theft, Justifide, Hot Club of Cowtown, and Breckinridge to name a few. Rendy lives in Nashville, but spends quite a bit of time in Bay and South Walton counties enjoying the beach life, and especially the food scene.

Rendy Lovelady, Producer Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
Rendy Lovelady, Producer Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam

Susan: What is Gulf Coast Jam and how did you get involved?

Rendy: I put together Bama Jam located in Enterprise, Alabama in 2012 and some folks from Florida were there and very impressed, one being local restaurateur Dave Trepanier of Firefly, now a partner in the event. They wanted me to bring something similar to the Gulf Coast and after much research; I thought Panama City Beach was the perfect location and jumped at the chance. We met with the city; Bay County TDC, city council and they put together a proposal for me to produce Gulf Coast Jam.

Susan: With this being the 2nd year, how do you envision the festival’s growth?

Rendy: Toby Keith came on board as the headliner the first year and it was a 4 million dollar festival. The chief of police and mayor put together a transit system between condos and 70 percent of the population that attended used it. There were no arrests. The US Air force Reserve is the official sponsor of the Shuttle System and they are handicap accessible. We also decided that a holiday weekend would give the people an extra day to attend, and 2014 Labor Day was the perfect time. We have 15,000 tickets capped for sale, that will sell out. Country is popular in the Panhandle, and I plan on Gulf Coast Jam being the biggest event in the Southeast, but also plan to grow slow.

Susan: How is Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam different from managing your RLM musicians, and how were the headliners selected for this event?

Rendy:  When managing an act, it is just about that clients expectations. With the festival, I am worried about all of the artists individually and each of their needs. Trying to please so many artists in one space at the same time can be cumbersome, but we have a great team of staff in place to help with requests and make the artists happy. Being both a manager and a producer has helped me maintain the artists trust. As far as the selection process, we sent out several thousand surveys and got commitments from 3 of the top 5 to invite. They are excited to be here!

Award Winning Firefly Restaurant, Panama City Beach
Award Winning Firefly Restaurant, Panama City Beach

Susan: Other than the headliners, what will be the draw for families wanting to attend?

Rendy: It is just a super event for friends and family to come together, as well as locals and tourists on a holiday weekend. The beaches of course are a draw, but we really want the locals involved and have reached out to many this year to be vendors. Being from New Orleans, I love food and we currently have over 150 vendors slated to sell great tasting eats from Cajun to Gulf seafood, and will have arts & crafts, t-shirt sales and more. There will be a beach stage at the county pier with 30 acts playing over the 3-day event, and each night one of the headliners will play. We start at 10am in the morning and go all day into the evening. Families can bring their lawn chairs to Frank Brown Park and enjoy! We are excited to also announce that we are sold out of our vendor spaces and sponsorships for Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam 2014. What that means for fans coming to the festival is that we will have plenty of exciting things to do, lots of giveaways, and as I said, plenty of delicious food at the festival. For a complete list of vendors and sponsors coming to Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam make sure you download our Mobile App.We will be adding the festival map to it this week so be on the lookout for that as well!

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I appreciated Rendy’s time, getting to know him more, and getting the facts on this fantastic, well thought out, family friendly concert venue. As a local who likes to staycation in my own home town, those preferred lodging packages certainly are enticing.

With VIP seating sold out, don’t forget that when you stay with one of the lodging partners you can purchase a package that includes Preferred Lodging Tickets.

For lodging partners & preferred tickets go here: http://www.gulfcoastjam.com/tickets/accommodations/

For ticket sales click here.

For more about the lineup click here.

Fo all things related to Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam click here.

Follow Gulf Coast Jam of Facebook & 30AEATS to catch up with what is happening over Labor Day Weekend!

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