A free country music festival is debuting at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island on Friday, November 4 and continuing on into Saturday, November 5.
- The 2-day Boardwalk Country Music Beach Festival will feature performances from country music stars.
- The event anticipates at least 3,000 visitors.
The event is organized by Matthew McKinnon and Tripp Tolbert of MT Productions. McKinnon is a Fort Walton Beach native with experience in producing music festivals and concerts around the country. Tolbert is a local developer and entrepreneur.
“We don’t have any entertainment here, which was the biggest reason we wanted to do this,” says McKinnon. “We’ve got the best beaches, hotels, and restaurants. We just didn’t have any entertainment.”
“To the west, the Hangout Fest in Orange Beach has been a great success,” Tolbert says. “To the east, in Panama City, they have the Gulf Coast Jam, also a great success, but we have nothing here.”
Tolbert says the reason we do not have music festivals here is because there is concern about the lack of infrastructure and planning in order to host this type of event.
- “We want to show the citizens that we can have good, quality entertainment in this area, and that it can be done in a safe manner, that we can handle the infrastructure,” he says.
Scheduled the week before Veteran’s Day, the festival will celebrate with a military theme to recognize active military members and honor fallen soldiers. The event will kick off Friday, Nov 5, with a salute to the veterans from 4-5 pm.
“We’ll have a soldier singing the national anthem, and we’re going to recognize and honor some of our local soldiers,” says McKinnon. “After that, the concerts start.”
Friday night’s lineup:
- Walker Montgomery
- Dew Pendleton
- Below Alabama
On Saturday, the concerts start at noon and will go on all day until 10 pm.
- Mitchell Tenpenny
- Dillon Carmichael
- Parker Willingham
The concert will be held on the beach right behind The Boardwalk with the stage just west of the venue, facing the beach. McKinnon says that if you’re on any of the restaurant patios, along the beach, or even out on your boat, you can see the stage.
Concertgoers will be able to park at the public parks, and there will be shuttle serviceto take people to the event. The parking layout will be on the website.
A few things to know before heading to the beach: You may bring beach towels and blankets, but no chairs, tents or coolers.
- Outside food and beverage are not permitted in the venue and the surrounding festival area; however, Boardwalk restaurants will offer quick service concessions with various options of food and non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.
This festival is for all ages; children under the age of 18 are welcome with adult supervision.
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Check out the website for more details and to register to win VIP passes, which will include access to upper deck areas of restaurants and heavy hors d’oeuvres from 3:00-6:00pm.
“We really want people to come out and have fun,” adds Tolbert. “We want to give back to our community.”