Small businesses hope to bounce back with help from Seawalk Music Festival in Jacksonville Beach

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than 10,000 visitors are expected to make their way to Jacksonville Beach for the Community First Seawalk Music festival this weekend.

The festival is in its ninth year. This year’s headliner will be Middleburg natives Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

It’s an event small business owners like Julianne Gamel are excited about.

“Especially since the pandemic no one’s had a big festival out at the beach like this before with the live music,” Gamel said.

Gamel sells one of a kind handmade jewelry and she’s participated in the Seawalk Music Festival for the past eight years.

When the world shutdown last year, small businesses like hers were hit hard.

The mother of four said that for a lot of the little vendors, the festivals are their livelihood.

“When these festivals were canceling, and all of the little farmers markets were canceling, it was very discouraging and depressing because we have bills to pay and families to support and it became very scary for a while,” Gamel said.

More than 75 vendors are expected to set up shop for this weekend’s music festival.

Traditionally, the festival is held during the last weekend in February, but this year it was pushed back to June due to COVID-19 concerns.

Gamel said this weekend is not only about the music, it’s a chance for people to come out and help these small businesses bounce back from the pandemic.

“It feels so good to have this back. It’s almost like we are finally going back to normal,” she said.

The two-day concert is free and open to the public, but there is premium seating available to purchase.

Here’s what you need to know if you plan on attending:

  • It will take place at the Seawalk Pavilion located at 100 1st Ave N from 12:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 13.
  • Vendors will offer several food options. Alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages can also be purchased at the festival.
  • Guests may bring their own chairs, but umbrellas or EZ Up tents are not allowed.
  • The event will go on, rain or shine.
  • Public parking will be available.

See the lineup below or click here.

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