MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – As the Carolina Country Music Fest ramps up into full swing this weekend, police and city staff prepare for long hours of keeping people safe and ensuring events run smoothly.
The Myrtle Beach Police Department and city employees have been working overtime on consecutive weekends, beginning with the spring bike rally, followed by Memorial Day Weekend, the Sun Fun Festival, and now Carolina Country Music Festival.
The workload pressed up officers and other staff has Myrtle Beach city leaders considering different dates for the Carolina Country Music Festival. City spokesperson Mark Kruea says it’s a conversation leaders would like to have with CCMF organizers.
“I think there’s still some interest in having that conversation down the road,” expresses Kruea. “What weekend really is the best the weekend. We’ve gotten quite busy. We have special events year-round. You can’t do it in the fall or winter, obviously, because of the weather, but you might look at what weekend would really be the best one.”
Kruea adds that the CCMF event puts a strain on city staff and law enforcement as Myrtle Beach police work around the clock to make sure the event stays safe and goes smoothly.
“It’s a four-day event that runs into the late evening hours, so I think there is a tremendous amount of city staff effort that goes into this,” says Kruea.
The city spends about $150,000 on the event, including overtime, and Kruea says changing when it’s held could reduce stress and the workload on city staff.
“With all the other special events that we have, that’s certainly a factor for the city to consider,” says Kreau. “How hard are we working our staff? At what point does it all become too much?”CCMF organizers declined to go on
CCMF organizers declined to go on camera but did say they are planning on holding next year’s festival June 7-10 and will continue they’re discussions with the city following this year’s event.
“It’s a successful event,” admits Kruea. “It’s something that is large for our community, but we are able to handle the size in this instance. It is an event that is going to continue.”
Michigan natives Zack Oman and Alex Altman drove 14 hours from just to see the concert. They say the June weather is great, but they’re more interested in the music.
“Not too hot, not too cold, beautiful weather,” voices Oman. “It’s the acts themselves and not when it’s held that matters.”
The city many be concerned about overwhelming officers and city staff, but there are at least two CCMF participants who say they’ll show up no matter the date.
“I don’t care when it is,” says Altman. “If it’s December, doesn’t matter to me, I’ll be here the next ten years.”
There is no set date for a meeting between city officials and CCMF organizers to talk about moving the event date, and the June 7-10, 2018 date is already being advertised on electronic billboards at the festival this weekend.