Country music festival adds to already busy weekend

Country music festival adds to already busy weekend

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A couple months from now, starting June 5, the empty field at the former Pavilion site, could be crawling with nearly 15,000 people.

Acts like Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, and Hunter Hayes will be in town for the Carolina Country Music Fest. But until now, Coastal Uncorked was the only act in town, and it was crucial to kicking off the summer season.

"It's kind of a slower time for us, that first week of June. Some areas are out of school, some aren't, so this is a great opportunity when you are talking the numbers they're looking at," said Stephen Greene with the Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association.

Coastal Uncorked has been popular, but it only saw several hundred people come to town each year. Now, it's working with the Country Music Fest so when the time comes, the two won't be competing.

"We're hoping to capitalize on what they have going on, and I hope they're hoping to capitalize on people who want to enjoy both events," Greene said.

One way Coastal uncorked hopes it can benefit is from the music fest's advertising. The food and wine festival only markets to regional cities like Charlotte and Raleigh, but the Music Festival could have advertisements running in nearly eight states.

The combined effort could bring in more people, but organizers are already preparing for one problem they know will be there.

"We gotta look at traffic patterns, we gotta make sure that guests have a pleasant experience, that it's easy to get down to our event, their event," said Greene.

"We're looking at all aspects of the event, such as our traffic plan, parking issues, safety for the event, fire and EMS," said Lt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach Police. "We'll have a whole contingency of plan to look at and develop to make sure the operational plan is put together and is a good plan."

One idea being thrown around is a shuttle system to take guests to and from outside parking lots. Police, organizers, and city officials say they will work on that plan up until that first weekend in June.

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