SoWal Needs the Seabreeze Jazz Festival
April 24, 2013 by Kurt Lischka
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival this past weekend in Panama City Beach broke all previous attendance records - topping 7,500 attendees at 5 p.m. on Saturday! These photos were taken about that time so you can see the size of the audience. Mark Carter, owner of Seabreeze Radio and festival producer, says it was a great crowd with very few problems - "very chilled and happy".
"Thank you to all the sponsors, staff, and fans," Mark said. "What a way to celebrate our 15th anniversary!"
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival was born in South Walton but needed a bigger venue so it was moved to Aaron Bessant Park next to Pier Park. Mark would like to bring it back to its roots but no facility exists that can handle it.
Jazz festival attendees are high-class visitors with money to spend. Maybe Walton County should take a look at funding a venue to aid the ever-present goal of putting heads in beds. If the county doesn't have the land to spare maybe there is an interested landowner out there willing to do a low-cost, long-term lease.
The festival brings in a great wave of visitors in a low period following Spring Break. Another successful year like this and it may be too late to bring it back to SoWal.