MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — It’s not quite summer in Myrtle Beach until the Carolina Country Music Fest kicks off.
The four-day festival has generated more than $20 million to the city of Myrtle Beach, based on years past. This year it’s expected to top the economic impact of previous years.
It’s not just the tickets racking up the money. If you’re not from in town, there are hotel reservations, food, shopping retail and alcohol purchases.
Almost everyone in Myrtle Beach sees business booming this weekend.
“This puts us on the map from an arts and cultural perspective,” CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Karen Riordan, said. “To have a major culture of this size and quality, it’s quite rare for an area of our size to have. So it’s something the city appreciates.”
CCMF started in 2015 and drew around 20,000 attendees. In 2019, attendance at the festival shot up to 30,000. This was the first year the show sold out more than 35,000 tickets.
Festival organizer Bob Durkin said what gets people out is the performers, but what makes this show unique and keeps them coming back is the hospitality and location.
“I think we have the best lineup out there but the real headliner every year is the beach, the greatest country music artists on the greatest beach in the world, and that’s what makes it so special. There are a lot of other festivals but not one with this kind of backdrop,” Durkin said.
The festival has a significant local economic impact, and leaders say it helps support the services in the Myrtle Beach community.
“To be able to have the great services we have in the city, our firefighters, our police, all of the essential city services that we come to depend on, get funded by this economic impact,” Riordan said.