MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – With 15,000 people and some of country music's biggest names, the Carolina Country Music Fest is sure to be big; not even the organizers expected it to see the first round of tickets sell out in just two days.
"It is a surprise," said John Paul, a manager at The Bowery. "To be in the tail end of January and already sold out before the end of the month, that's impressive," Paul said. On Saturday, organizers for the event tweeted out that the first group of early bird ticket packages were already sold out. They say it's the fastest a new country music festival has ever done that. Eventually more were available, but for a slightly larger price.
John Paul manages the Bowery, a longtime country music bar next to where the concert will happen. He says the crowds they get for small country bands over the years show a budding music scene in Myrtle Beach. "The demand is there because we're still here. This is our 71st season so they keep coming back year after year and we're still gonna [sic] be here," Paul said.
Paul says the business the concert could generate is great, but what could be more important is the doors it could open up. A successful concert could make the need for a music scene more important to the city and those visiting it.
"If it doesn't shift it, it should definitely open some eyes as to saying, hey we need to do something more," Paul said. "Make it bigger or expand it or have more events like this down here," he said.
Of course, getting names like Lady Antebellum or Eric Church won't be an everyday thing, but he says the marriage of Myrtle Beach and music is so new, the sky is the limit. "To get those big names in here like that makes it a lot easier to get other big names later on, and hopefully if this event goes good out there on the pavilion property, it's gonna [sic] benefit the city and all the local businesses down here as well," Paul said.
The country music fest's twitter account says this new round of early bird ticket packages won't last long. Once regular sales open up, the prices will significantly increase.