PANAMA CITY — Summer fun is at its peak in Bay County as the music scene continues to grow with the return of an annual music festival at one of downtown’s most exciting venues.
Panama City’s Summerfest is a DIY multi-genre music festival that was launched in 2011 and features almost 12 hours of continuous music. This year’s festival kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. with performances throughout the day held on the dining and back room stages at Mosey’s Downtown, 425 Grace Ave.
Doors open at 10:30 a.m., and tickets will be sold for $20 at the door. A full menu will be available at Mosey’s during the festival.
Event organizers Stephen Washburn of Steb. Productions and Keith Keister of Reality Check Booking collaborated on the festival to help keep the local music scene alive in Bay County.
“After COVID, there really wasn’t a lot in the live music scene, and I’ve always been a music person and wanted to put on shows locally,” Washburn said. “We just want to recognize DIY artists and give them the spotlight for the work they do.”
The return of Summerfest marks the first time since 2019 the two friends collaborated to bring back one of the largest underground festivals in Bay County.
“Stephen and I joined forces to try to make this the biggest underground festival the city has ever seen,” Keister said. “We hope that people are inspired and notice that there is an underground music scene for them to be involved in. We aim to revive the underground music scene and keep it growing.”
Summerfest 2022: Who is scheduled to perform
Twenty-seven local, regional and national musical talents fill the Summerfest lineup which features a diverse selection of music genres, including metal, punk, hip hop, hardcore, alternative and rock. The first act will take the stage at 11 a.m., and acts will alternate between the dining stage and back room stage in 15- to 30-minute intervals.
While 14 of the acts are local, the remaining are bands and musicians based in different cities. Here’s a look at the performers:
Plibe, Dance Around the Issues, Memory Door, Barkers of the Wrong Tree, John Ceaser Salad Band, Dirt Don’t Hurt, Antighost (Detroit), Kinder, Gentler, Feast for the Crows (Detroit), W.A.X. (fka Worn), POSSESSION1981 (Detroit), Kurama (Texas), Dying Whale (Valdosta, Georgia), Fromjoy (Houston), NoCo, Brave New World (Pensacola), Two-Piece, Meadows (Birmingham, Alabama), Rotted Remains, Baxter Dashingrod, Turncoat (Eulogy Records), Blaq Otto, Blind Tiger, Lil Purple Zombie, FERO LUX (South Florida), and Jamal STEELE versus Mike Thomas (hosted by Slimp Pimp/Jump OFF Ent.).
The festival consists of mostly DIY bands, meaning the performers are independent bands. Washburn and Keister also contribute to the local music scene to help achieve the goal of keeping local music alive in the community. Washburn is a member of four of the bands in the lineup: Blind Tiger, Dirt Don’t Hurt, Kinder, Gentler, and W.A.X., and performs as a guitarist and drummer. Meanwhile, Keister is a guitarist in Turncoat and Rotted Remains. “Panama City’s music scene has changed so much over time. I’ve worked so hard on helping grow the music scene, and the past few months have been really successful,” Washburn said. “And now it seems that it’s better than it’s ever been.”
The organizers anticipate the success of the event will spark the continuation of an annual or bi-annual festival in the coming years. In addition, they hope the event will inspire local musicians to take part in the underground music scene and enjoy it.
“We find our DIY community to be accepting of all people,” Keister said. “We want to create a safe space in a fun environment where anyone is welcome and can have a great time.” Partnering with Steb. Productions and Reality Check Booking for Summerfest are Mosey’s Downtown, N8V Ink, and Jump Off Entertainment.