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10 Tips For Panama City Beach’s Gulf Coast Jam

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Use our 10 tips for Gulf Coast Jam to make the most of your time at the Southeast's largest country music festival in Panama City, Florida.

The Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is a three day country music festival in Panama City Beach, Florida. It is held at the Frank Brown Park on Labor Day weekend. From Friday to Sunday, you will be entertained by some of Country Music’s best acts.

In the past, performers have included Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban.

Whether you are a “Country on the Coast” pro or this will be your first year to attend, here are 10 tips to help you make the most of your time at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam.

gulf-coast-jam-stage

1. Buy Your Tickets Early

Ticket prices increase as it gets closer to Labor Day. Buy your tickets to the Southeast’s largest country music festival now for the lowest price!

There are seven types of tickets to choose from: General Admission, First Responder/Medical Personnel, Military, VIP Pit, Golden Circle, Side Stage, Skybox Table.

2. Make Use Of The Free Shuttle

VIP Pit, Golden Circle, Side Stage, and Skybox tickets allow you to ride the complimentary festival shuttle. Whether it’s because you plan on drinking, don’t want to pay for parking, or just want to be dropped off at the festival gates, make use of this free service!

The 2018 shuttle stops were: Sheraton Bay Point Resort, Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort, Shores of Panama/Laketown Wharf, The Boardwalk Beach Resort, Walmart at Pier Park, and Seahaven/Origin.

3. Download The Gulf Coast Jam App

This is one of the most important Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam tips! Download the App before your vacation. You can customize your schedule based on which of the 30 artists you want to see.

The festival does a fantastic job of utilizing the App to send out updates. Weather issues, meet-and-greet opportunities, and basic reminders will all be sent out through the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam App. This is the best way to stay in the loop!

Here are 10 tips for Panama City Beach's Gulf Coast Jam.

4. Pack Appropriately

You will probably want to pack a bag full of everything that you will need for the day. It is important to know that the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam has a clear bag policy. You may bring a 12″ by 6″ by 12″ clear tote bag (like this one) or one-gallon freezer bag plus a small clutch purse or fanny-pack into the venue.

All bags will be searched upon entry.

Great Things To Pack

  • Rain jacket
  • Mobile charger
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Beach towel or blanket to sit on

Not Permitted

  • Coolers
  • Lounge chairs
  • Camelbaks
  • Tents
  • Flags
  • Outside food and beverages

5. Stay With A Preferred Lodging Partner

Make planing your trip to Panama City Beach a breeze by staying with one of the Gulf Coast Jam’s Preferred Lodging Partners. Pay for your room and tickets in one transaction. It’s that easy!

We stayed at the Sheraton Bay Point resort during the 2018 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam and loved it! The hotel is beautiful, has lots of amenities, and is on the complimentary shuttle route to the festival. Read about our experience

sheraton-bay-point-lobby-pool

6. Wear Rain Boots

Since the Gulf Coast Jam takes place in a park, the ground can be a mess–especially if it rains. Save your shoes by wearing rain boots.

We recommend these rain boots.

7. Bring A Chair

There isn’t any seating at the festival, so you may want to bring a chair or blanket to sit on. Fold-out chairs, like this one, are permitted on festival grounds.

Bringing a chair is one tip for the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam.

8. Buy A Parking Pass

If you prefer to have your car onsite, you can buy a parking pass. General Parking passes are $50 while Platinum Parking (closer to the entrance) is $75. Both are good for the whole weekend.

9. Explore Panama City Beach

Since the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam doesn’t start until 2 PM every day, spend the first part of your day exploring Panama City Beach. The area offers lots of shopping, family-oriented attractions, great restaurants, and beautiful beaches.

Get your shopping fix at Pier Park, home to more than 50 stores. While you are there, check out the brand new SkyWheel.

A few popular attractions in Panama City Beach, Florida are the Shipwreck Island Waterpark, ZooWorld Zoological and Botanical Conservatory, St. Andrews State Park, and WonderWorks.

Schooners Last Local Beach Club and Bayou Bills Crab House are two great dining options. Finish your meal with a decadent milkshake from The Yard Milkshake Bar.

Want to spend some time on the beach? You can find public beach access points scattered throughout town.

gulf coast jam things to do besides the music

10. Take Advantage Of Happy Hour

During the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, Happy Hour is from 1:30 to 4:30 PM daily. Take advantage of 2-for-1 Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, and Aquafina products.

It’s important to stay hydrated in the hot Florida sun and I love that bottled water is included in Happy Hour!

Have Fun At The Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam

My husband, Blake, and I attended the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam for the first time in 2018. We had a blast! It was nice to spend our weekend immersed in country music while also being able to enjoy what Panama City Beach had to offer.

Blake and I go to music festivals across the country and this was by far the most organized one we have been to. We appreciated the 30 to 45 minutes in between acts; it gave us plenty of time to go to the bathroom, get food, grab a drink, and check out the vendors on site. Although that was our first year at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, it certainly won’t be our last!

I hope that these 10 tips help you make the most of your time at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. If you have any additional tips, please leave a comment below.

gulf-coast-jam-country-music-stars
Dustin Lynch, Eric Church, and Thomas Rhett at the 2018 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam.
Here are 10 tips for Panama City Beach's Gulf Coast Jam.

We were given tickets to the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in exchange for writing this article. As with all of my posts, all reviews and opinions are 100% mine and unbiased.

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CMAFest Packing List

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