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Panama City Beach: spring break with free concerts, huge crowds

Panama City Beach: spring break with free concerts, huge crowds

Posted by Juan Gavasa on March 11, 2015

In spite of the ugly incident Monday involving Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, the mood was still jubilant around Panama City Beach this week, as tens of thousands of college spring breakers flock to the coast to enjoy their week off in whatever manner they saw fit.

Tuesday, thousands headed to Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant on Front Beach Road for Sharky's Beach Bash, a concert featuring EDM acts Diplo and the Manufactured Superstars. Rapper T-Pain performed a surprise show at Hammerhead Fred's Tuesday night before heading to Club La Vela to see Cash Cash, at least according to his Twitter feed.

(Dennis Pillion | dpillion@al.com)

And today begins the biggest draw of them all, the free Luke Bryan concerts at Spinnaker Beach Club. Bryan, who has performed free shows at Spinnaker during spring break every year since 2007, has announced that this year's performances would be his last "spring break" shows. 

Some publications have estimated that as many as 200,000 people crammed onto the beach in front of Spinnaker and next door Club La Vela last year, and it was difficult to maneuver through the crowd without wading past your knees into the Gulf.

(Dennis Pillion | dpillion@al.com)

Bryan's announcement came after local officials in Panama City Beach and Bay County each passed new laws aimed at taming spring break behavior and cleaning up the area's image.

(Dennis Pillion | dpillion@al.com)

A city ordinance passed in October 2014 will require organizers to install a fence around the event and make more allowances for security and medical personnel than had been required in the past. It is unclear whether these laws affected Bryan's decision to discontinue the concerts.

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