fbpx vie magazine subscribe button

Feels like the First Time

Seafood and Musical Festival Rocks Panama City Beach

By Kim Duke-Layden  |  Photography by Nikki Hedrick

The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau teamed up with local restaurants, businesses, charities, and volunteers to present the 2013 Panama City Beach Seafood and Music Festival October 17–19. Record crowds attended the main event at the newly built Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater to celebrate the area’s legendary seafood and coastal lifestyle—not to mention a few rock ’n’ roll legends.

“It was a wonderful event that really showcased the new Aaron Bessant Park, which opened this past spring,” says Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The various musical events featured there this year alone demonstrate that Panama City Beach is able to attract a wide audience of visitors as well as locals.”

Seafood and Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Magazine Foreigner

“Vines to Steins” was the theme for the UNwineD walkabout event, which kicked off the festival on October 17. The evening’s crisp fall air was filled with the sounds of popping corks and lively tunes performed by singer/guitarist Sean Flood of the local band Panhandlers. More than two hundred attendees sipped and sampled award-winning wines, craft beers, and delicious cuisine prepared by area chefs. Among the mouthwatering menu items were crab cakes with red pepper aioli from Fishale Taphouse and Grill, seared tuna with mango chutney from Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant, seafood ceviche from Runaway Bay Caribbean Grill, and espresso-braised boar shank from Firefly. Hammerhead Fred’s white chocolate bread pudding paired with a bubbly glass of Stellina di Notte prosecco made for a luscious finale. Seafood and Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Magazine


Throughout the weekend, restaurants set up festival booths with boatloads of fresh seafood prepared every way imaginable. Adventurous eaters lined up for shark on a stick, Hawaiian-style ahi tuna poke, and deep-fried frog legs and alligator. Smok’n Butts BBQ and Shipwreck Island Catering and Concessions rounded out the something-for-everyone menu. Sports fans flocked to the Coors Light mobile party bar, which debuted at this year’s festival with a sleek, wraparound bar and fourteen flat-screen TVs so fans could catch all the action on the field and at the fest; meanwhile, the Redd’s Apple Ale team entertained with party games and free samples of their new strawberry brew. Seafood Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Foreigner Ed Roland The Sweet Tea Project

Seafood and Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Magazine Abigail Rose
Abigail Rose
Seafood and Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Magazine Better Than Ezra  

On Saturday morning, October 19, the reel festival action shifted to Capt. Anderson’s Marina, where a plethora of waterfront activities and competitions took place, with proceeds benefiting three local children’s charities. Visitors of all ages participated in the deep-sea and bay fishing tournaments, as the marina’s lofty mission was to get every fishing pole (and spear) in Bay County into the water. This zealous effort paid off—nearly two hundred lionfish were caught during the second annual Lionfish “Lion-Tamer” Dive Tournament. Congratulations to this year’s winner, thirteen-year-old Courtney Galbreath of the Diver’s Den team, who brought in twenty-three lionfish! Capt. Anderson’s Marina furthered its efforts to inform the public about the destructive yet delicious lionfish by holding free cooking demonstrations and tastings throughout the day that featured this emerging seafood delicacy.

Seafood and Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Magazine Andy Velo
Andy Velo
Seafood and Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Magazine Loverboy

Another highlight among the waterfront activities was the Kids’ Art Contest exhibit, which featured wonderful artwork of various fish species by Bay County art students in grades K–5. The amazing winning masterpieces were displayed on the official fishing tournament weigh-in boards.

On October 18 and 19, when the sun started setting, the stars came out to play. This year’s stellar lineup of live musical talent brought out festivalgoers in record numbers. More than 11,000 people attended the festival over the weekend, with VIP tickets for both nights selling out weeks in advance. “I think the festival accomplished two goals,” says Lance Allison, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, “It brought people into town and at the same time provided the locals with great entertainment. It far exceeded the expectations we had for this year; attendance was double what I was going to consider a success. We’re ecstatic about the turnout.”

Seafood and Music Festival Rocks Panama City Beach VIE Magazine Foreigner

Besides the cool October weather and the full moon, Friday’s attendees enjoyed live performances by Nashville singer-songwriter Abigail Rose, popular New Orleans rockers Better Than Ezra, and headliner Collective Soul, whose hit single “Shine” had the audience singing along like it was 1995. Saturday’s sizzling roster drew an even bigger attendance. Collective Soul front man’s country side dish, Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project, got the party started, while the Andy Velo Band kept things down South with singles such as “Hank It Up” and “Southern Thing.” The crowd’s response was far from “cold as ice,” especially when headliners Loverboy and Foreigner brought everyone to their feet. Festivalgoers and event organizers alike left Aaron Bessant Park in high spirits late Saturday night, with excitement already brewing for another rocking festival next year.

“The success of this festival highlights why the tourist development council invested its first BP marketing support funds after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill into the park,” says Rowe. “It is a lasting legacy. Having such a nice performance venue will allow us to create tourism opportunities, like the seafood festival and other big concerts, for a lifetime.”

— V —

For more information, visit www.pcbseafoodfestival.com.

Read Responsibly

December 2023, Holiday Issue, Christmas, VIE Magazine, Lisa Burwell, Cover, Gift Guide, Holidays
Marisol Gullo, Not Too Shabby, Home, Decor, Interior Design, Santa Rosa Beach, Churchill Oaks
VIE Magazine September 2023 Jay Mercado
VIE Magazine - The Art & Design Issue November 2021
VIE Magazine January 2021 Special Commemorative Edition
VIE Magazine September 2020 Wanderlust Issue, Fancy Camps, The Idea Boutique
VIE Magazine August 2020 Art & Culture Issue, Nathan Alan Yoakum Art
VIE Magazine - Architecture & Design Issue - July 2020
VIE Magazine - Decor and Home Issue - June 2020
VIE Magazine May 2020 Entertainment Issue, Leslie Odom Jr
VIE Magazine - April 2020 Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine March 2020 The Fashion Edit, VONDOM, Alys Beach Fl, Digital Graffiti, Tres Chic, isidro dunbar Modern Interiors, Digital Graffiti Festival
VIE Magazine February 2020 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Travel Issue - January 2020 - Tanzania Safari Cover
VIE Magazine - Women's Issue - December 2019 - Tina Brown Cover
VIE NOV19 Goodness Issue
VIE Magazine, September 2019 Art & Culture Issue, Paul Hanninen
VIE Magazine - August 2019 - The Architecture and Design Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2019 - The Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - June 2019 - Fashion Edit
VIE Magazine - May 2019 - Culinary Issue
VIE Magazine - April 2019 - The Health & Wellness Issue
VIE Magazine - Special Entertainment Edition - March 2019
VIE Magazine February 2019 Luxury Homes & Technology Issue with Robbie Antonio of Revolution Precrafted
VIE Magazine - January 2019 - Southern Sophisticate Issue Cover
VIE Magazine - Special Anniversary Travel Edition - December 2018
VIE Magazine - The Goodness Issue - November 2018
VIE Magazine - The Art & Culture Issue - October 2018
VIE Magazine - Home & Garden Issue - September 2018
VIE Magazine - August 2018 Animal Issue
VIE Magazine - July 2018 Architecture & Design Issue - Subscribe to the magazine!
VIE Magazine - June 2018 Travel & Tech Issue
VIE Magazine - May 2018 Couture Issue
VIE Magazine - The Culinary Issue - April 2018 Cover - Chef James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst
VIE Magazine - The Entertainers Issue - March 2018
VIE Magazine - February 2018 Destination Travel Issue
VIE Magazine - January 2018 Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine, The Sophisticate Issue, December 2017
VIE Magazine - November 2017 Art & Culture Issue
VIE Magazine - October 2017 Home & Garden Issue
VIE Magazine | September 2017 | The Stories and Storytellers Issue
VIE Magazine - The Adventure Issue - August 2017
VIE Magazine - July 2017 - Art & Artist Issue
VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail