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Panama City News Herald

Traffic detours ahead: Law enforcement prepares for Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach

By Nathan Cobb, The News Herald,


PANAMA CITY BEACH − Local law enforcement is gearing for a very busy weekend on the Beach.

With the 2023 Gulf Coast Jam just days away, Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said he anticipants traffic will be the city's biggest challenge this weekend, as thousands of visitors are set to travel to PCB for the four-day event held Thursday through Sunday at Frank Brown Park.

"Talking to the event promoters, they are expecting one of their largest crowds ever," Talamantez said. "Of course that comes with challenges, but they're similar challenges that we've faced before, so we're confident we'll be able to handle the situation.

"We're going to have plenty of officers out there to try and help mitigate those clog-ups on the roadway and help people get across Back Beach Road (Panama City Beach Parkway) as safely as possible."

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In addition to delays, he said officers might also reroute traffic in areas surrounding Gulf Coast Jam. As of Tuesday morning, there were not yet any set traffic detours.

"With that many people going to one small location, people can expect traffic delays," Talamantez said. "We just ask people to be patient with us and understand that we're just trying to keep everybody safe."

Tickets for the 2023 Gulf Coast Jam were sold out in December, marking the first time the event has sold out.

The lineups for the event are:

  • Thursday, June 1 − Jonboy Storey, Them Dirty Roses, Dylan Marlowe, Breland and headliner Hardy.
  • Friday, June 2 − A Jim Beam Welcome Sessions Finalist, Dozzi, Shane Profitt, Warren Zeiders, Justin Moore and headliner Miranda Lambert.
  • Saturday, June 3 − A Jim Beam Welcome Sessions Finalist, Lily Rose, Bailey Zimmerman, Ernest, Chase Rice and headliner Kenny Chesney.
  • Saturday, June 4 − A Jim Beam Welcome Sessions Finalist, Seaforth, Mackenzie Porter, Dylan Scott, Gabby Barrett and headliner Kane Brown.

Talamantez also said the he plans to control the event using mutual aid from the Bay County Sheriff's Office and other local law enforcement agencies.

"You can expect to see a lot of blue lights out for the foreseeable future," he said. "We're expecting a good weekend, and we're just really focusing on that 1% that tries to ruin it for everybody else. ... Do not go to this festival and think just because it is a festival the laws and rules do not apply.

"We don't want to see people turn what should be a very festive weekend into a weekend that they have to spend in jail."

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