MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Crews are in the process of setting up stages, tents and fences at the old Pavilion site in preparation for the Carolina Country Music Fest, which is expected to bring in more than 20,000 people.
"I think we're at 48 states people have bought tickets in and about 12 different countries people are coming from this year," said Bob Durkin, president of Full House Productions. "We're about 4,000, 5,000 tickets ahead of where we were last year at this time."
While attendees know what to expect for CCMF's second event, organizers got feedback directly from people who came last year to make this year's festival even better.
The wristbands slowed some people down getting into the festival in 2015.
"We had some hiccups. People didn't get them beforehand, so they had to stop by Ground Zero and pick them up, but this year we have over 15,000 of them out there to people already," Durkin said. "So when they show up they can walk right in the door."
Extra lanes will be added to get more people through the entrance, while several vendor booths will be larger.
Additionally, the VIP section is sold out for the first time.
Another major change is the addition of one- or two-day tickets that went on sale at the end of the last week.
"There are so many people that live in the vicinity that can drive up for an hour or two who might not be able to get off work," Durkin said.
CCMF will also be more easily accessible for people with disabilities. The handicap section will have two of its own bathrooms right next to it.
"They should have a seamless, enjoyable experience," Durkin said. "And we'll have plenty of people around in case there's any issues."
The general bathroom area will be in a more convenient location as well.
CCMF staff have been working with surrounding businesses to share customers, including pushing locals to certain restaurants to buy discounted tickets for Thursday's kick-off concert.
"They'll be up on the big screens and we've interacted with their social media, so we've done everything we can to try to interact with the local businesses here and have it be a full Myrtle Beach experience," Durkin said.
Myrtle Beach police officers won't set up barricades around businesses on Eighth Avenue North unless crowds start to form, Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Joey Crosby said.
He added an extra crosswalk will be available this year on Ninth Avenue North and officers will staff up Mr. Joe White Avenue and 16th Avenue North during the final acts each night to alleviate traffic congestion.
The city of Myrtle Beach budgeted $108,000 for services for CCMF this year, which is nearly $50,000 more than last year's budget because cleanup after the event ended up taking longer and costing more than the city expected.
CCMF also received $75,000 in accommodations tax funds.