MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Another year in the books. Thousands of country music fans flooded the Old Pavilion site in downtown Myrtle Beach over the weekend for Carolina Country Music fest. The festival wrapped up on Sunday night and those large crowds cleared out the area.
With the new changes the festival made on added security and safety policies, CCMF's organizer, Bob Durkin, said this four-day festival has been a very safe and enjoyable event.
Durkin said with Myrtle Beach Police Department's help on increased security, the event went very well. He noted that there were minimal arrests throughout the event. He said although they experienced some general issues, there were no major concerns. Durkin also noted crews are always working on improvements, from access control to better sanitation. The weather cooperated throughout the weekend and did not cause major problems for festival-goers.
Durkin said every year the festival becomes more immersed into the community with more partnerships and said the feedback he's heard from the crowd has been positive.
"Some of the changes we made I think people really worked with us and we appreciate it on the clear bag policy and on the new metal detectors. I mean everyone kind of knew what they were doing. If they had to wait a little longer, they were patient and great. So, we really appreciate that. And I think they really enjoyed some of our new stuff. The Country Corral was packed last night for Luke Bryan. They were watching them on the screen -- and the new sound, a lot of the people commented to me that it sounded great. Some of our new vendors were great… some of our singer-songwriter events were packed," said Durkin.
With new improvements and added attractions at this year's big event, the festival started off the weekend strong and finished Sunday night with a bang as Zac Brown Band took the stage around 10. Other headliners over the weekend were Toby Keith and Luke Bryan. This year, the festival had surprises like the viral internet sensation Walmart yodeler,11-year old Mason Ramsey. Durkin said he's already looking forward to next year's festival and promises even bigger and better surprises for its 5th year anniversary.
This year, CCMF is partnering with the city again on clean-up. They have already started the clean-up process at the festival grounds immediately after Zac Brand Band closed the show Sunday night. Durkin said you can expect to see a heavy presence in the area this morning and expects the clean-up to be finished by Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon this week.
Although the weekend just wrapped up, Durkin and his team are already looking forward to next year's big event.
"We're excited. Yeah, I've been booking next year for the last few months. The one thing I've heard-- the feedback from all the artists you know is that they love it, they love being on the ocean… and so we've had several artists reach out to us and ask if they can play. So were setting a line up now for 2019. We have some really exciting announcements, some stuff that's close to home. Some artists from Myrtle Beach, they're going to have some exciting things next year. So, I'm really excited for next year. Just keep a lookout for that news," said Durkin.