Sounds of Summer: Outdoor concerts promise musical season

TONY SIMMONS News Herald Writer @PCNHTonyS

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Summer music season debuts with free open-air concerts in parks all along the coast, as well as indoor concert series with rock-bottom ticket prices. Here's a rundown of where, when and who is playing.

The Panama City Beach Summer Concert Series will begin June 8 at the 70-acre Aaron Bessant Park, which has become the go-to headquarters for music festivals in the area. The concerts will happen at 7 p.m. every Thursday evening through Aug. 10. The concert lineup will be released soon. Admission is free.

Located at 600 W. Park Drive, the park's amphitheater design invites patrons to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the sounds of summer music. Coolers, food and pets are welcome. (Dogs must be on leashes, and owners must clean up after their pets.) Aaron Bessant Park also features a veterans' memorial, three looping trails that are great for walking, and open, grassy areas for picnics or throwing the Frisbee in the sun on non-concert days.

The Carillon Beach resort will launch its weekly concert series, Groovin' on the Green, from 7-9 p.m. May 28 with a performance by The Rowdies. Sponsored by the Carillon Beach Institute, the rest of the summer lineup includes: The Mighty Hurricanes, June 5; Reasonable Doubt, June 12; Raised on the Radio, June 19; Legacy, June 26; Sonic Boom, July 4; Ebb Tyed, July 10; Tony Vegas Band, July 17; Tropic Sands, July 24; Latitude 29, July 31; Raised on the Radio, Aug. 7; Reasonable Doubt, Aug. 14; The Mighty Hurricanes, Aug. 21; and Ebb Tyed, Aug. 28. 

To the west of Bay County, concert series are planned in Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach and Seaside along Scenic County 30A.

Here Comes the Sun-Summer Concert Series will be 7-9 p.m. on the East Long Green at Rosemary Beach each Monday starting May 22. Bring chairs and blankets to enjoy an evening of entertaining musical performances. Admission is free; event sponsor is the Rosemary Beach Merchants Association. For details, call 850-687-0568, email [email protected] or visit RosemaryBeach.com.

The lineup of performers includes: Like Totally Awesome '80s on May 22; Dancing Queen-Tribute to ABBA, May 29; One Hit Wonders, June 5; British Invasion (featuring the music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, etc.), June 12; Emerald Coast Blues Brothers, June 19; The Hep Cats (music of the '50s and '60s), June 26; Clark Barrios & the Rosemary Beach Big Band (swing and jive). July 3; Dancing Queen, July 10; The Krickets, July 17; British Invasion, July 24; and Like Totally Awesome '80s, July 31. 

Alys Beach starts the season with a free performance, Sinfonia Goes Pops, at 7:30 p.m. May 28 at the Alys Beach Amphitheatre. Enjoy the orchestral sounds of Sinfonia Gulf Coast under the palm trees. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The event is open to the public, and details are at AlysBeach.com.

The Alys Beach Summer Concert Series officially kicks off with The Currys performing from 7-9 p.m. May 31 at the Alys Beach Amphitheatre. Admission is free and open to the public. Henry’s Pizza Truck will be on-site for food and beverage purchases. The rest of the lineup includes: The Scratchtones, June 7; Beach Mice, June 14; Continuum, June 21; Geoff McBride, June 28; Bo Spring Band, July 12; Cadillac Willy, July 19; The Boiled Peanuts, July 26; Boukou Groove, Aug. 2; and Heritage, Aug. 9. Details at AlysBeach.com.

The Seaside Summer Concert Series was named by Southern Living as one of the best outdoor concert series "Under the Stars" in its June 2015 issue. The series officially begins at 7 p.m. on May 27 (a Saturday) and then continues each Wednesday through the summer season. Bring lawn chairs and blankets to the Central Square amphitheatre off 30A. Admission is free and open to public. Find details at SeasideFL.com.

The line-up includes: Ryan Kinder with Mose Wilson & The Delta Twang, May 27; Andrew Combs, May 31; Kellen of Troy, June 7; Humming House, June 14; Guthrie Brown, June 21; Sam Lewis, June 28; Alvarez Kings, July 5; Future Thieves, July 12; The High Divers, July 19; The Brummies, July 26; The Brook & The Bluff, Aug. 2; The Memphis Strange, Aug. 9; The Georgia Flood, Aug. 16; Mike Whitty, Aug. 23; Forrest Williams Band, Aug. 30; and ending with Great Peacock on Sept. 2 (a Saturday).

MORE AREA CONCERT SERIES

Heard It On Harrison in downtown Panama City on June 2 will feature The Cyclones rockabilly band at the main stage, 413 Harrison Ave., 6-10 p.m. The Summer Car Show will fill the street, and vendors will offer tasty foods, craft and domestic beer, wine bar, kids fun area with bouncy houses, shopping and much more. On July 7, the event celebrates 4-legged family members as the "Dog Days of Summer" begin; enjoy soft live music by the Stainless Steel band and vendors for pets alongside the regular attractions. And on Aug. 4, enjoy an acoustic jam session on the stage. Admission is free. For details, call 850-785-2554

Americana Cafe Sunday at historic Roberts Hall, 831 Florida Ave. in Lynn Haven, continues with folksy Remedy Tree playing at 4 p.m. on May 21. Al Scortino plays June 4; Rick Hardeman on June 11; Lucky Mud on June 18; and Wyatt Espalin on June 25. Each Americana Cafe Sunday opens with open mic performances at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 each. For details, call 850-722-4915 or 850-774-3561, or visit LuckyMudMusic.com

"'Gibtown' is Al Scortino's new CD, and it is awesome. Don't miss the opportunity to catch Al in concert and grab his much awaited CD," said Lucky Mud's Mike and Maggie McKinney in promotional materials for the series. "Great guitar licks, pointed lyrics and a storytelling bent are all trademarks of Rick Hardeman. ... It will be an interesting journey." Espalin was described as a singer/songwriter, fiddle player, vocalist, clogger and guitar player with energy to spare. "Always a fun and inspiring show," Lucky Mud said. 

The June 18 show by hosts Lucky Mud marks the band's 45th year and Mike and Maggie's 45th anniversary. "There will be cake," they said.

Roberts Hall Summer Concert Series at 831 Florida Ave. in Lynn Haven, kicks off July 1. Doors open at 6 p.m. Special guest Stillhouse opens at 6:30 p.m., and the night's headliner, Amanda Cook and Kennesaw Ridge, starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Music in the Main is the title of a concert series at Panama City Center for the Arts, 19 E. Fourth St., in downtown Panama City. The summer series begins at 7 p.m. June 3, featuring Jazz with Amanda Mathews, Leeza Beholz, Steve Gilmore and Greg Jett; then at 7 p.m. June 17, hear the Gli Amici Chamber Ensemble. Tickets for each of these events are $10 for members or $15 for non-members; purchase tickets at the door.

Music in the Main continues at 7 p.m. July 14 with classical guitarist David Stringer, and at 7 p.m. July 21 with Jazz with Stephanie Pettis and Rio. Tickets for these shows are $8 for members or $10 for non-members. All concerts are BYOB; however, to drink in the gallery, an adult beverage "sip cup" is available for purchase for $2. For details, visit CenterForTheArtsPC.com.

The Biggest All-Night Singing in the World will begin at 6 p.m. and continue into the next morning at Memorial Field in Bonifay. Featured acts include: Kingsmen, McKameys, Perry, Michael Combs, Karen Peck & New River, Dixie Echoes, and Josh & Ashley Franks, with local favorites Four Calvary performing during the 6 p.m. hour. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the gate; children ages 3-11 are $5 at the gate only. Bring lawn chairs for field seating; bleachers are also available. Small coolers are allowed. Parking is free. Advance tickets are available at select area merchants and Christian bookstores, or by mail/phone order. The event will be held rain or shine. For details and tickets, call 941-756-6942, or visit BillBaileyConcerts.com.

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