LAUREN LAFFER • SEPTEMBER 1, 2016 - 12:16 PM
As Florida hunkers down for Tropical Storm Hermine, the officials for the 4th Annual Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach have made the difficult decision to cancel the three-day festival in its entirety.
The festival was scheduled for its 4th year over the Labor Day Weekend with headliners Brad Paisley, Jake Owen and Eric Church. Due to the expected high winds and heavy rainfall, organizers decided it was the safest decision to cancel.
“Safety is the first concern for our visitors, country music fans and the festival organizers and sponsors.” said Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas in a statement posted to the Gulf Coast Jam’s Facebook page. “I truly appreciate all the planning and work that the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Producers, the Emergency Operations Center, PCB Police Chief Drew Whitman and city staff have done in preparation of having to make this difficult decision. We’re disappointed that we have had to cancel this weekend’s show, but hope all of the fans enjoy their weekend on the beach. We look forward to welcoming the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam back next year.”
As part of the statement, the festival explained that due to the high winds expected overnight as the storm makes landfall from the Gulf of Mexico, the festival grounds would not be prepared in time for the festival to occur.
“With an excess of five inches of rain and sustained winds up to 40 miles-per-hour expected on Thursday night, the overnight wind storm will create a hazardous situation that requires the stage and festival tents to be taken down and secured,” they wrote. “Even though the storm is expected to have passed the City by early Friday morning, there is not enough time necessary this weekend to reconstruct the festival venue and performance stage.”