Sunday, August 17, 2014

Flora Bama Jama (feat. Kenny Chesney)

Kenny Chesney is a legend. A legend I'm quite embarrassed to say I waited 24 years to experience.
Kenny Chesney is the artist that a lot of people my age grew up listening to. This is true for me, too. Right beside the Garth and George albums, there were the Kenny albums. Many of my summers were characterized by certain Kenny songs and every beach trip was only complete when Kenny blasted on the beach all. day. long.
Kenny Chesney is a common answer for lots of up and coming artists in response to questions like "who was a big influence on you, musically, growing up" or "what was the first song you learned to play." Kenny Chesney has been around. And around, again and again. He's country royalty with the personality of a guy who lives on the beach year round. His happy go lucky persona paired with his infectious smile made him shoot very quickly and highly on my list of country entertainers.
(photo above belongs to Kenny Chesney)
Kenny Chesney held his first annual "Flora Bama Jama" concert at the Flora Bama on Saturday and I'm 100% positive it will not be the last. Flora Bama is located directly on the Florida/Alabama line and it's a beachy honky tonk to the max. You could walk up to anyone in Alabama and more than likely, they'll have a memory at the Flora Bama from some summer in their life. It's the perfect location for a concert of this magnitude. This stretch of beach easily contains some of the whitest sand I've ever seen and with over 40,000 estimated in attendance, it's pretty safe to assume others agree. My sister and I went and met up with my good friend, Jenny!! SO good to see you girl (even though we didn't get a pic!) There were SO many people and hundreds of boats in attendance. It was a beautiful day and night even though it was miserably hot. There were people EVERYWHERE. They were on the balconies of every room at every condo for miles down the beach. There was a parking deck next to the Flora Bama that had so many people standing inside that you couldn't count.
For this to be the first year that the Flora Bama hosted the "Flora Bama Jama," it went remarkably smooth. About a month ago, Kenny Chesney made an announcement about the event and how you could "win" tickets. That is probably the first thing that made this experience memorable, the ticket was FREE. All you had to do was be quick with a keyboard. I was lucky enough to score a couple and counted down the days until it happened. There was no parking available anywhere near the Flora Bama unless you were staying near the honkey tonk. Flora Bama Jama set up shuttle locations in both Alabama and Florida and it was a 25 dollar fee to ride to and from. It was definitely worth every penny. The shuttles were extremely nice and COOL and there was hardly any wait time or traffic before or after it was over. If this event happens again and I don't stay near the venue, I would happily pay the 25 dollars again. You got a band to get into the event and a band for the shuttle.
You weren't allowed to bring in coolers or food which was fine. This was a free event so you should expect to pay money for food and drinks. Water and gatorade were a reasonable three dollars compared to the way some venues raise prices. You were allowed to bring in pre packaged snacks which we didn't do because we simply didn't plan well but next year we will definitely load up with snacks. And UMBRELLAS. That's my only regret. It was easily 99 degrees all day long. After the gates opened at 10 AM, you were on the beach with NO shade until you left for the day. There were a lot of people who brought said umbrellas and they looked more comfortable than I did. Ha! It wasn't jammed packed because people used beach towels to claim spots. It was actually the easiest concert to get out of to get a drink and come back. You just needed patience and manners and it was relatively a breeze. I got sunburned so there's another thing to work on next year. Ha. And definitely just wear your swim suit and a cover up. There was NO need for blue jeans or cowboy boots at this event. I cried a little on the inside for the girls with a full face of makeup and cowboy boots on. That must've been miserable. Shout out to the Flora Bama for having watering stations so people could fill up their water bottles for FREE. I do think a few gatorades are necessary in that sort of heat and that is another thing I learned.
It was a very fun event. I think I'm going to have to put Kenny Chesney at number one for stamina on stage. I've never seen an artist run and jump and sweat and keep a smile like Kenny did. You can tell he genuinely LOVES his life and his fans. I said it on twitter but Kenny said thank you so many times I lost count. He sang some new songs from his upcoming album that you can (and should) pre order on ITunes so you should hop on over there and do just that!
He also released a single titled "Flora Bama" which is how he opened the show. The lyrics to this song are so relatable and everyone was singing along.

 That's enough to read about the event. I hope the pictures do it justice. I would it all over again in a heartbeat with a few more gatorades, a bag of goldfish and a big ole umbrella.
Thanks for an amazing day, Kenny. Same time and place next year?




  1. I am not sure I could have taken the heat that long.........but I can just imagine the concert....

  2. This. is.amazing! That picture with all the boats is crazy! Wish I could have made it! :)