Promoters behind the Carolina Country Music Fest, which drew large crowds and big country artists to the area for the first time last June, are asking Myrtle Beach City Council for $100,000 in accommodations tax revenue to advertise and promote its next festival.
The second Carolina Country Music Fest is set for June 10-12 at the former Pavilion site, east of North Kings Highway between Eighth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North. Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw will headline this year’s event, organizers have said.
Representing the festival at a special Myrtle Beach City Council workshop Tuesday morning, Sheila Fletcher told the board they have already sold 6,000 tickets for this year’s event. She said they drew more than 20,000 attendees each day of the festival last June.
In a letter to the Myrtle Beach Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee, CCMF President and CEO Bob Durkin said last year’s event became the “Southeast’s largest country music festival” and resulted in more than 30,000 hotel reservations.
Some of last year’s profits were donated to Savannah’s Playground and the Wounded Warrior Project, Fletcher said, adding that organizers would consider charitable donations again this year.
You proved what could be done to those who doubted what could be done. Mayor John Rhodes
Councilwoman Mary Jeffcoat asked Fletcher if they had considered holding the festival in September or April when the city is in need of tourists.
Fletcher said they had “talked about it,” but found that if they waited until the fall some concertgoers might be festivaled-out by earlier events and hoteliers seemed happy with the summer dates.
Mayor John Rhodes said they found a lot of the visitors, who came for the festival, walked to the event from their hotels and stopped at local businesses along the way.
“You proved what could be done to those who doubted what could be done,” he said.
The Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee is recommending the city approve the Carolina Country Music Fest’s $100,000 request.
Fletcher said the money would be used for out-of-market advertising and promotions.
$9.3 million in requests
Thirty-two agencies, including the festival, have requested nearly $1.8 million in accommodations tax revenue for arts-, cultural- and tourism-related activities and events, an increase of almost $1 million from last year’s appropriations. The Myrtle Beach Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee is recommending the council trim that to award $897,000.
The city of Myrtle Beach is also requesting $7,491,746 in accommodations tax money; an almost 60 percent increase from last year’s approved $4,485,805. A majority of the increase is due to funding requests for extra law enforcement, traffic control, fire protection and highway and street maintenance, which will be covered under statutory allocations of the tax.
The Myrtle Beach Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee is recommending the City Council allot $4,384,175 of the $4,692,947 requests it made outside of state allocations. The total requests from all agencies came in $4 million over the amount of funds available ($5,281,175) for spending through the tax, which is collected when visitors pay to stay in area hotels and at other lodging.
Myrtle Beach City Council is set to make its final decision on the accommodations tax appropriations next month.
▪ Baseball at the Beach Tournament requesting $40,000; ATax Advisory Committee recommends $40,000
▪ Beach Ball Classic, Inc. requesting $67,500; committee recommends $67,500
▪ Carolina Country Music Festival - $100,000; committee recommends $100,000
▪ Carolina Master Chorale - $30,000; committee recommends $20,000
▪ Children’s Museum of South Carolina - $64,500; committee recommends $30,000
▪ Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA - $50,000; committee recommends $50,000
▪ Coastal Futbol Alliance - $40,000; committee recommends $20,000
▪ Coastal Uncorked - $60,000; committee recommends $50,000
▪ Coastal Youth Ballet - $5,750; committee recommends $2,500
▪ Crown of the Carolina Foundation - $23,250; committee recommends $15,000
▪ F.G.B.-S.B.C. Art Museum - $120,000; committee recommends $75,000
▪ First Presbyterian Church Concerts, Inc. - $15,000; committee recommends $15,000
▪ Kaaba Temple - $10,000; committee recommends $10,000
▪ Long Bay Symphony - $75,000; committee recommends $50,000
▪ Mingo Bay Classic Baseball Tournament - $20,000; committee recommends $10,000
▪ Myrtle Beach International Film Festival - $20,000; committee recommends $5,000
▪ Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday - $75,000; committee recommends $40,000
▪ Myrtle Beach Pelicans – $10,000; committee recommends $5,000
▪ Native Sons Salt Games – $30,000; committee recommends $5,000
▪ North Myrtle Beach Drag Strip – $332,000; committee recommends no funding
▪ North South Game Committee, Inc. – $25,000; committee recommends $20,000
▪ Oceanfront Merchants Association – $158,000; committee recommends $140,000
▪ Palmetto Event Production, Inc. – $30,000; committee recommends $20,000
▪ Palmetto Partners – $30,000; committee recommends $20,000
▪ Palmetto Studios Arts Alliance – $56,500; committee recommends $25,000
▪ South Atlantic Shrine Association – $70,500; committee recommends $40,000
▪ Sons of Italy – $15,000; committee recommends $7,000
▪ Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild – $36,000; committee recommends $15,000
▪ Waker Foundation – $170,000; committee recommends no funding
Reach Weaver at 843-444-1722 or follow her on Twitter @TSNEmily.