Dates Announced for 20th Annual Crawfish Music Festival – Top Acts for Popular Gulf Coast Festival Include The Band Perry and Thompson Square

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More than 32 bands and 25,000 pounds of crawfish take center stage on the grounds of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for the 20th Annual Crawfish Music Festival. Top country artists Thompson Square, The Band Perry, Jake Owen and Montgomery Gentry join rock, R&B and Cajun/Zydeco entertainers during the eight-day Gulf Coast festival that combines the best in music, crawfish and other foods, carnival rides and the highly contested Crawfish Cook-Off.

Gulf Coast Festival

20th Annual Crawfish Music Festival

The Crawfish Music Festival will happen rain or shine, while great weather is preferred so people can enjoy being outside under the live oak trees with the beach and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico across the street.

More than 32 bands and 25,000 pounds of crawfish take center stage on the grounds of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for the 20th Annual Crawfish Music Festival on April 19-22 and April 26-29. Top country artists Thompson Square, The Band Perry, Jake Owen and Montgomery Gentry join rock, R&B and Cajun/Zydeco entertainers during the eight-day Gulf Coast festival that combines the best in music, crawfish and other foods, carnival rides and the highly contested Crawfish Cook-Off with a prize purse of $4,000.

Adult admission to the Gulf Coast event is just $12 ($15 on Saturdays after 5:00 p.m.) and children age 6 and under are free. Thursday nights, gate admission is free for all ages. Carnival rides are “all you can ride” for $20 on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Concerts are included in the general admission fee, but reserved VIP concert seating tickets ($30; $35 for Saturdays) are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at Ticketmaster.com or by charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000.

“Twenty years ago, this was a small fundraising event put on by the local Elks Lodge #606,” says Bill Holmes, executive director of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center. “When they discontinued the festival, we moved it here to the Coliseum grounds in 1993 with the goal of growing it into a major regional event. In 2006, the spring after Hurricane Katrina hit, we found ourselves at a crossroads – the facility and grounds had been heavily damaged, people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast had lost everything, and we didn’t know if we should have this event. But we knew we needed something to celebrate the heart of what the Mississippi Coast and this Gulf region is about,” adds Holmes. “So that is the year we decided to expand it to eight days. Our headline act was Charlie Daniels, and 12,000 people came through our gates.”

Now averaging 50,000 people in attendance, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Crawfish Music Festival is one of the largest festivals on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Visitors are encouraged to take part of this extremely affordable, safe and festive family event during their Gulf Coast vacation.

“The Crawfish Music Festival will happen rain or shine,” says Holmes. “While great weather is preferred so people can enjoy being outside under the live oak trees with the beach and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico across the street, we are fully prepared to move everything inside the Coliseum if needed.”

This year’s festival is sponsored in part by the Gulf Coast Regional Tourism Partnership through a marketing grant funded by BP America. Other sponsors include Coca-Cola, Budweiser/Rex Distributing, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hard Rock Café, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and Advanced Disposal.

Additional festivals and events happening on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in April include:

  •     4th Annual Southern Miss Jazz & Blues Festival – Saturday, April 7
  •     5th Annual C&R’s Crawfish Cook-Off – Saturday, April 14
  •     Walter Anderson Museum of Art Gala – Saturday, April 14
  •     10th Annual Pascagoula River Nature Festival – Saturday, April 14 to Saturday, April 21
  •     8th Annual Rockin’ the Globe “Gettin’ Down in Greece” – Saturday, April 21
  •     33rd Annual Southern Hospitality Mustang Car Show – Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22
  •     36th Annual Pass Christian Blessing of the Fleet and Inaugural Poboy Festival – Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22
  •     Eco ROCKS! – Saturday, April 22
  •     9th Annual Smokin’ the Sound – Saturday, April 28
  •     1699 Landing of D’Iberville Reenactment/1699 Arts & Crafts Festival – Saturday, April 28
  •     26th Annual Gorenflo’s Cobia Fishing Tournament – Saturday, April 28
  •     Inaugural Rockin’ the Riverfront: Birds, Boats and Bands – Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29

For more information on the Crawfish Music Festival and other events on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including current family vacation packages available, go to http://www.visitmscoast.org.

About Gulf Coast Regional Tourism Partnership
The Gulf Coast Regional Tourism Partnership (GCRTP) is a non-profit entity formed to administer $16 million in tourism marketing and grant funding from BP America. The Partnership board is comprised of business, tourism and community leaders from across the three counties that make up the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is charged with promoting the entire Coast – Jackson, Harrison and Hancock Counties – as one tourism destination.

About GodwinGroup
GodwinGroup, with offices in Jackson, Miss. and Gulfport, Miss., serves clients nationwide. It has been recognized numerous times among the nation's leading agencies by Ad Age and AdWeek. GodwinGroup provides branding, advertising and reputation management services, as well as Web marketing services through its digital arm WebMetro/Godwin. For more information, visit http://www.godwin.com and http://www.webmetrogodwin.com.

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