Boy was it a LONG Kenny Chesney week and weekend. With all of the Flora Bama Jama rules and regulations, I felt like I was eating, breathing and drinking all things Kenny Chesney. From the first announcement, it was all anyone could talk about in the Gulf Coast area. Since I’m in Pensacola and so is the Flora Bama, it was a must attend concert.
But locals were begging for more information since there was a slight delay with being able to sign up for wristbands, then they were gone so quickly, then an email was sent out that said I was on a wait list when I had a screen shot that I had confirmed wristbands, no one had answers and a day later Kenny said not to worry, and so on. I felt like no one could keep up with the news, changes, miscommunication, so I posted frequently on my personal Facebook page about the concert and updates from Kenny’s camp and from the Flora Bama. But on Saturday, August 16 – Kenny Chesney was performing at Flora Bama and we were going.
First, we had to get everyone’s wristbands and that was difficult because everyone in our group had to get wristbands at the same exact same time. I was definitely not waiting until the day of the event to get our wristbands. We did not want to take a shuttle or trolley to the event and opted to take our boat. We had an offer to dock our boat at a friend of a friends house but took a chance and anchored out close to the Flora Bama Yacht club, but out of the way of their drop off location. We got some flack at first, but it all worked out. We had the perfect spot behind the tour buses. I of course, being the concert goer that I am, didn’t want to hang out on the boat but wanted to make sure I got the spot that I wanted. However, my husband, who could care less about seeing a concert wanted to stay and party on the boat as long as possible. We anchored up around 10 a.m., the concert started at 4:30 p.m. and we headed over about 2 p.m. I was itching to get to the concert because it felt like a festival and that’s my happy place.
Adam and a friend had the opportunity to hold Kenny Chesney’s pirate flags during the show when Kenny sang his pirate flag song, specifically for Kenny’s music video. So we let the guys go figure out their official duties and I headed to the front of the crowd where my friends had camped out for a spot since early that morning. Thank goodness for them as I hate being in the middle of the crowd. I either have to be front or in the back. I don’t know how they sat in that Florida heat all day because I was burning up before Kenny came on stage. We were all thankful for the hose full of water that the fire department shot out to the crowd to keep us cool.
Kenny started off with a bang, singing his new single Flora Bama. What an awesome song and since he was playing to a lot of locals, we all sang the lyrics right back to him. He played almost a full three hours like he was scheduled. He brought out David Lee Murphy to sing Dust on the Bottle and Party Crowd. He made remarks to all of the boats in the Gulf watching him and how appreciative he was of his No Shoes Nation supporters. There were people in condos, boats in the Gulf, and the parking garage to catch a glimpse of Kenny Chesney history on the white beaches of Florida. (Yes, the stage and most of the crowd was on the Florida side of the line.)
Our Consensus: Awesome concert but I don’t think we’d do it again. If we did, and all depending on the weather, by boat in the Gulf. Flora Bama doesn’t have the parking capacity for an event like this every year. Yes, it brought it money over the weekend but also took away a lot of money for Saturday for Perdido Key because of no parking or traffic. The shuttles were a good way to get people in and out, but even if you four lane Perdido Key, there is still no parking and that’s the problem that needs a solution first.