PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — As events slowly make their return, many are eager to get back to pre-pandemic activities.
More than 20,000 of those people reportedly did just that this past weekend at the 2021 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach.
The 3-day country music festival featured headliners Lynyrd Skynyrd, Luke Bryan, and Brad Paisley. It was originally scheduled for last Labor Day weekend but was postponed due to the pandemic.
The event reportedly marks the largest concert in the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's the first major, over 20,000 people in population event that I'm aware of, that Billboard Magazine is aware of and that Rolling Stone Magazine is aware of (in the U.S. since COVID-19)," Gulf Coast Jam producer Rendy Lovelady told the Panama City News Herald. "After this weekend, it's a house of cards and they just fall everywhere. There (will be) thousands of them across the country."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis even made a special appearance. A picture posted to his Twitter shows the governor on stage surrounded by a seemingly endless sea of music fans.
DeSantis later touted the event in another tweet saying the event was made possible because Florida chose "FREEDOM OVER FAUCISM."
The Panama City News Herald reports that even though masks were not required, the festival did have guests complete a series of COVID-19 related questions each day before they could enter the park and reduced contact through cashless transactions.
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