8 Entertaining Panama City Beach Music Festivals to Check Out in 2022
It’s not hyperbole when Panama City Beach boasts of having “the most beautiful beaches in the world”. The city has 27 miles of white sand beaches bounded by the incredible emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew’s Bay.
The city and its incredible beaches have been a favorite destination for vacationers for as long as anyone can remember, offering fun and exciting outdoor adventures, award-winning restaurants and some of the best music festivals in the country.
When planning your trip to Panama City Beach, plan your vacation around one of these lively music festivals.
1. Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival
Cries of let the good times roll (“let the good times roll”) pierce the evening air as revelers gather for the annual Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival.
The party kicks off Friday with a float tour on Pier Park. This is your chance to get up close to the spectacular ornate floats that will be featured in the parade the following day, where masked riders will toss trinkets and treats to revelers lining the parade route.
Friday is just for the kids with a children’s parade and entertainment area with activities before the music festival kicks into high gear with an authentic second line parade where you can dance the streets to a brass combo and wailing drums followed by music from Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band and fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday is wall-to-wall music both at Aaron Bessant Park along the Gulf Beaches and at the celebration stage at Pier Park with music from the Swinging Medallions, “rocking fiddler” Waylon Thibodeaux and the big band of the 60s the Guess whowearing their big hits “These Eyes” and “American Woman” on stage.
The Krewe of Domonique Youx Mardi Gras parade starts at 4:15 p.m. from Pier Park and the day ends at 7 p.m. with another fireworks display.
It helps if you come armed with the downloadable Parade route map to help you navigate to the festival stages and for the best place to view the Mardi Gras parade.
There’s plenty of parking at Pier Park and best of all, you can do a bit of shopping while you’re there with over 124 stores and dozens of restaurants ranging from quick snacks at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels to country and local cuisine (and honky tonk atmosphere) at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.
2. Cajun Festival
What could be better than a day of fun in the sun on the white sand beaches and emerald waters of the Gulf? How about strolling to an outdoor hangout for an icy margarita? Now add some upbeat Cajun music to that.
This is what you will find on Gulets. Known as Panama City Beach’s “last local beach bar,” Schooner’s vibe hasn’t changed much since it opened in the 1960s. Located right on the beach, the bar and restaurant host this 7-day festival. days that will make you scream “aiyee!”
Each day of the festival, Schooner’s celebrates Cajun culture with the hot and spicy sounds of the Bayou Boys, Zydeco Gents and Heat and other Cajun bands. Of course, there’s also amazing Cajun food, including crawfish gumbo, red beans and rice, and jambalaya.
And if you can handle it, you could win a cash prize in the annual crawfish eating contest. Each contestant receives 3 pounds of shellfish and the first to finish wins. Think you have what it takes? Just don’t look them in the eye.
3. Meet ParrotHead
As the song says, oh, “the stories they could tell”. And that’s this year’s theme Appointment ParrotHeada gathering of Jimmy Buffett (ParrotHeads) fans billed as the “best ParrotHead party north of Key West”.
Each year, more than 500 people flock to Sharkey’s on the beach, where you are welcome to bring your own cooler, rent a tent and enjoy the Caribbean vibe with great Trop Rock music and live bands performing on the Rendezvous deck.
The Friday and Saturday night events culminate in a massive nighttime jam session. When you’re hungry, Sharkey’s offers amazing dishes on their menu including Caribbean Nachos and Gator Bites (yes, real alligator) for appetizers and delicious main dishes like their highly recommended Mango Mahi salad.
Parking is extremely limited at Sharkey’s, but additional public parking is available just a few yards north across Front Beach Road.
4. Seabreeze Jazz Festival
the Seabreeze Jazz Festival is as cool and slick as the name suggests. For 5 days, the best national and local smooth jazz artists take to the stages of Aaron Bessant Park directly on the beach with those sea breezes that make it even more extraordinary.
Now entering its 23rd year, the festival has been ranked among the top 10 jazz festivals in the country by JazzIZ Magazine. Each day the festival ends with an exciting all-star jam session. A highlight of the festival is the jazz brunch and dinner Cruises aboard the Solaris Dinner Yacht, which takes you around beautiful St. Andrews Bay with live jazz music from the open-air deck.
The list of Seabreeze Festival artists is growing. Check the latest program in line. There are many ticket packages available to run price gambit. Visit the festival official website to buy the package that’s right for you, but get it fast! The festival is extremely popular and some ticket packages have already sold out.
Front Beach Road, which runs parallel to the beach, is lined with affordable accommodation. Some offer discounts for festival goers. Visit the Festival accommodation page in line.
5. Gulf Coast Pepsi Jam
The biggest names in country music are heading to the Gulf for 3 days in June for the Gulf Coast Pepsi Jam. This year’s lineup includes Brooks and Dunn, Old Dominion, Florida-Georgia Line and Following.
Everything happens at Frank Brown Park Festival site from Thursday evening with a special launch concert. One night tickets are available for the kick off and 3 day tickets for the rest of the festival. The 3-day pass includes entry to the Thursday kick-off. There are also discounted first responder and military tickets, VIP seating, and more. Visit the festival website for ticket information.
On-site parking is available at Frank Brown Park, but it’s chargeable – $50 for general parking and $75 for platinum, which gets you closer to the main gate. You might want to consider riding one of the Shuttle Buses.
6. Summer Concert Series
Every Tuesday from June to August
Rock and roll and the beach go hand in hand. Every Tuesday in the summer, Panama City Beach hosts its Summer Concert Series, and it’s not just rock music that’s in the spotlight. In fact, the concert series features an eclectic array of musical genres performed by some of the region’s finest singers and musicians.
Admission is free, so grab your cooler, pack a picnic, spread out a picnic blanket or unfold the lawn chair and enjoy the show against its beautiful backdrop – a gulf coast sunset . And your pet on a leash is also welcome.
Getting to Panama City Beach is easy with nonstop flights to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport via Delta, United and Southwest Airlines.
7. SandJam Music Festival
September 30-October 2
Alternative rock takes center stage at the fourth edition Sand Jam Music Festival. And what stage it is. All performances are right on the white beach of Panama City with the crashing waves of the Gulf of Mexico in the background.
The lineup for this year’s event has yet to be announced, so keep an eye out for Panama City Beach website for updates and ticket information.
8. Grand Lagoon Bloody Mary & Music Festival
Big Lagoon is a beautiful area of Panama City Beach that is known as “the epicenter of fun, adventure, and dining.” Each year, the Grand Lagoon hosts a variety of music and events, including the Bloody Mary & Music Festival.
Held at the Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf and Spa Resort on Jan Cooley Drive, the festival celebrates the cocktail party by pitting local bars and restaurants against each other for the coveted “Big Tomato” award.
In addition to paying homage to the cocktail party, the festival also features music from local artists.
Allow plenty of time during your visit to Grand Lagoon to spend time with Shell Island Shuttle. Shell Island offers dolphin cruises, kayaking tours and snorkeling in the incredibly clear bay of the St. Andrews State Park pier.
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