The three-day Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam over the weekend was one of the largest in-person concert gatherings held since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) also made a surprise appearance where he spoke to the thousands in attendance for the Panama City Beach (PCB) concert, telling the crowd they were there “because Florida chose freedom over ‘Faucism.’”

Rendy Lovelady, executive producer of the event, provided a video of DeSantis speaking to the crowd where he blasted Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, and considered the gathering to be the “largest concert since the pandemic began.”

DeSantis also offered advice to other states who have not loosened their grip on citizens who wish to attend concerts or return to normalcy.

“Open your states. Open your schools. Let people live their lives, don’t make them wear masks,” DeSantis said. “You know Florida is always going to be open. We love having y’all here. God bless everybody, and God bless the United States of America.”

“Florida just hosted the largest concert since the pandemic began because FLORIDA CHOSE FREEDOM OVER FAUCISM,” DeSantis wrote in a tweet, including a video of his speech to those in attendance.

“The crowd just went absolutely crazy,” Lovelady said of DeSantis’ appearance. “You could tell there is such an affection for the governor.”

Lovelady also insisted this year’s concert was “the best one [he’s] ever had,” pointing to a three day attendance of 70,000 people, up about 2,000 over the past two years.

“Last night when it was all said and done, it was an emotional release,” Lovelady said. “It was successful, the crowd loved it, artists loved it and everybody was happy. It was very, very rewarding.”

PCB Councilman Geoff McConnell praised the event, saying it positively impacted the city’s economy and boosted tourism.

“This year as a whole, we’ve had a large uptick in visitors,” McConnell said. “People are ready to get out, people are ready to travel and Panama City Beach is seeing the benefits of that.”

Follow Kyle on Twitter @RealKyleMorris and Facebook.

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