An appreciative audience answered with a mighty roar.
When the popular performer launched into his signature “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” the Florida crowd thundered even louder.
“I’ve followed him ever since he started back decades ago,” said Charlie Mitchell of Nashville. “Charlie Daniels just gets better with age.”
The 76-year-old fiddler was part of a three-day lineup of top country music acts for the Florida event. Called “County on the Coast,” the event started Thursday, Sept. 26, and ends Saturday, Sept. 28.
The Charlie Daniels Band was one of the headliners Friday night. More than 30 acts include Toby Keith, Brantley Gilbert, Trace Adkins, Eli Young Band, Kip Moore, X Factor Winner Tate Stevens, Darryl Worley and Blackberry Smoke.
“We’re combining two things that people like – music and the beach,” said David Demarest of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Balmy weather helped draw a huge crowd to the Friday concert. “The ticket sales have been very good,” said Susan Estler of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The main stage was constructed at Frank Brown Park while other stages have been set up beachside at Boardwalk Beach Resort, the Seahaven and Edgewater Beach Resort. Gates open for the daytime beach stages at 9 a.m. with performances starting at 10 a.m.
The headline stage at Frank Brown Park opens at 4 pm. with performances starting at 5 or 6 p.m. and continuing until the wee hours of the morning. Free shuttles operate between the venues and parking lots, including Pier Park where festival goers can park free and catch a shuttle.