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Walmart division Sam’s Club will be an official Presenter of De Luna Fest, a three-day music festival scheduled to take place in Pensacola, Fla., Oct. 15 through Oct 17. Featuring performances on three stages on Pensacola Beach by the Gulf of Mexico, the inaugural event, which will be the first major music festival in the area in over four years, will star such well-known pop bands as Bush, Daughtry, Dierks Bentley, Stone Temple Pilots, 311, 30 Seconds to Mars, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Paper Tongues, The Submarines, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Bravery, Rebelution and Better than Ezra.
Although conceived well before the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf, the event – billed as “the official 50-year countdown to the 500-year anniversary of Pensacola, America’s first settlement” -- aims to stimulate the city’s tourism industry, which was further affected by the environmental disaster. According to festival organizer Five Flags Tourism Group (FFTG), the De Luna Fest’s October dates should lengthen the regular tourist season and provide a much-needed shot in the arm for a large portion of the ailing local economy.
“We want to do all we can to support area small businesses and residents impacted by the oil spill as they look to the future,” noted Shane Jeter, market manager at Bentonville, Ark.-based Sam’s Club.
“There will be something here for everyone,” added FFTG’s Nick Bodkins. “We’re bringing amazing live performances to our area with ticket prices that will encourage people of all ages to support Pensacola Beach while having fun. The beach needs our support now more than ever. Small businesses on the beach need this festival. We will do whatever is necessary to make this festival happen, and the community is working hard to clean up the beach and keep it beautiful.”
A portion of ticket sales will go to several ecological organizations, among them the Emerald Coast Keeper and the Gulf Coast Energy Network.
The addition of a third, free day to the festival is an added incentive. "According to FFTG partner and festival producer Scott Wheatley, FFTG partner and festival producer, “[F]or us to offer a third day for all of Pensacola at no charge and to bring in big acts is absolutely amazing.” Tickets will be necessary to attend the third day, however
As well as offering live music spanning all genres, festival organizers are teaming with area restaurants to provide local cuisine in the event bazaar, Ariola Food Market.
The festival’s name comes from 16th-century Spanish conquistador Tristán de Luna y Arellano, who established a colony at the site of modern-day Pensacola, which is considered the earliest European settlement within what is now the United States.