Country music fans can prepare for next year’s festival.
After what they’ve said was a successful inaugural year, organizers of the Carolina Country Music Fest on Tuesday told Myrtle Beach City Council they plan to announce the 2016 festival in the next few weeks.
“We’re excited about doing this 2016 and beyond,” said Bob Durkin, president of Full House Productions, the group that organized the festival. “Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, with approval from the city, we can announce that we’ll be back in 2016.”
Durkin said $139 tickets will be sold likely beginning Friday, despite the fact that organizers have not nailed down specific dates or artists for the concert.
“We’ve had requests from several thousand people who say, ‘we don’t care when it is or who’s performing, we want tickets,’” he said.
Tickets will sell for $139 for about two months and then go up in increments to $159 and then $189, he said. Tickets will be available at www.CCMF.com.
Next year’s festival will definitely be three days long and held in June, Durkin said, adding that he hopes organizers will be able to again hold a kickoff concert the Thursday before the event.
The inaugural Carolina Country Music Fest, on the former Pavilion site in Myrtle Beach last month, featured acts such as Lady Antebellum, Eric Church, Big & Rich, Hunter Hayes, and others.
Durkin told City Council that festival-goers were from 44 states and six countries, with a majority of attendees coming from the Carolinas and Virginia and another large group coming from the Northeast.
The festival got close to breaking even in revenue to expenses, but Durkin said that was expected for a first-year event of this size.
“We did better than expected,” he said. “We’re in there for the long-term so I consider it a win.”
The festival sold 5,000 tickets to local residents for a Thursday kickoff concert featuring Sam Hunt, Durkin said. About 18,000 people attended the festival on Friday when Rascal Flatts headlined the show.
Saturday had the most attendees, with 20,000 people going through the gates to see Eric Church. Sunday’s numbers dipped back down to 18,000 when Lady Antebellum closed out the festival, Durkin said.
Durkin said news coverage of the festival and social media engagement equated to more than $5 million in advertising for Myrtle Beach.
Councilman Wayne Gray said the festival gave Myrtle Beach residents a cultural and social opportunity that they don’t usually get.
“There were a lot of skeptics out there, and I admit that I was one of them,” he said. “But I think [the festival] was first-class all the way around.”
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or on Twitter @TSN_mprabhu.