While hundreds of concerts and festivals across the country are being cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus, Florida’s Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is gearing up for its September event.
Organizers announced that the festival, which will take place over Labor Day Weekend in Panama City Beach, will feature headlining performances from rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as country stars Luke Bryan and Brad Paisley. Executive Producer Rendy Lovelady and COO Mark Sheldon said that they’d delayed the announcement until they were certain that plans could proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“To start off, we want to make sure that everybody understands one thing,” Lovelady said in a statement. “That we have no fear of the festival cancelling. We really don’t. We truly had put this off just for the one validating reason of respect for our country, our governor, for our local community, just because everything was so uncertain. We were chompin’ at the bits to tell people who our headliners were. But the truth of the matter, [the delay] was the right thing to do.”
The decision follows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent order to put the state in Phase 1 of a reopening plan. The plan will include some major steps, including reducing capacity of dine-in services at restaurants, while gatherings remain limited to no more than 10 people at a time. At this point, no further phases of the reopening have a strict timetable.
All three headliners just announced changes to their 2020 touring schedules. Earlier this week, Lynyrd Skynyrd revealed that they would cancel upcoming summer shows on their farewell tour since the members are a part of the “high risk” community. Nonetheless, they’re excited to be a part of the festival this fall.
“We’ve said we want to play every venue and market we’ve ever visited around the world and even some we haven’t, so we get to see all of Skynyrd Nation,” lead singer Johnny Van Zant said in the Jam press release. “We didn’t get to play Pepsi Gulf Jam in 2016 because of a hurricane so we are excited to return to the festival with our farewell tour!”
Bryan previously pushed back the start of his “Proud To Be Right Here Tour” to July 10, as well as his album, Born Here Live Here Die Here, to August 7. Additionally, Paisley called-off shows throughout August 8, with his schedule slated to pick-up again late August and early September.
The remaining Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam lineup will be revealed on May 14.