Over 22,000 people attended the United States’ largest non-socially-distanced music festival since quarantine began in Panama City Beach, FL on June 4-6, 2021. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made an appearance at the festival, declaring that the state has officially chosen “Freedom over Faucism.”
The festival was the Gulf Coast Jam, sponsored by Pepsi, featuring a weekend of “Country on the Coast.” Headliners included Lynyrd Skynyrd, Luke Bryan and Brad Paisley. There were a lot of other famous country artists present as well, such as Cody Jinks, Cole Swindell, Brothers Osborne, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rodney Atkins, Walker Hayes and more.
It’s yet to be reported at this time whether or not the festival checked temperatures or asked for COVID-19 tests to be taken by non-vaccinated attendees, but there was no information about COVID-19 safety protocols on the event’s webpage on the Panama City Beach site. It doesn’t appear like any mask wearing or social distancing was enforced from photos and videos of the event.
Florida just hosted the largest concert since the pandemic began because FLORIDA CHOSE FREEDOM OVER FAUCISM.
USA! 🇺🇸 USA! 🇺🇸 USA! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/0QRS1RazLO
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 7, 2021
DeSantis stepped up on stage to some chants of “USA! USA! USA!,” before starting his speech. “I am proud that Florida is hosting the largest concert since the pandemic began,” he stated. “And the only reason we’re doing that is because Florida chose freedom over Faucism! I hope that everyone enjoys themselves, but seeing all the great folks having a good time, my message is for other states and other countries: open your cities, open your schools. Let people live their lives.”
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that new coronavirus cases rose in Florida over the week ending on June 6 by 14.9%. That’s 12,049 new cases last week, compared to 10,483 the week before. Florida had 11.95% of the United States’ new cases last week, despite having 6.45% of the country’s population.
The entire country reported 100,804 cases last week. Although that’s down 28.3% from the week before, the Tallahassee Democrat suggested that some places might be reporting cases belatedly due to the Memorial Day holiday, which gives countrywide week-to-week comparisons a higher possibility of error. As for Florida, the Tallahassee Democrat states that The Sunshine State began reporting data on Fridays each week starting on June 4.
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz