Music Superstars Bon Jovi and Brad Paisley Help Small Beach-Town Recovery
Six Months After The Oil Spill, Tourists Are Returning
GULF SHORES, Ala., Oct. 18 -- On April 20th, the eyes of the world tuned in to watch the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill flood the Gulf of Mexico. Six months later, the beaches are clean and local businesses along the Gulf are struggling to recover from the economic impact of the spill. Faced with insurmountable odds, the small beachside communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama came up with a unique concept to bring tourists back - book music superstars to perform beachside concerts. This past weekend, tens of thousands of tourists headed to the beaches in Gulf Shores, Alabama for two Concerts for the Coast featuring Bon Jovi and Brad Paisley.
"It just goes to show you just how resilient the people of this coast are and how tough they are," said Jon Bon Jovi during his Friday night Concert for the Coast.
"It's been 6 months since the tragedy and here we are with a beach that does not look the least bit worse for wear. It's really beautiful and pristine," said country music star Brad Paisley on Sunday.
Over 60,000 music fans gathered early Friday and Sunday to enjoy the beautiful weather and clean beaches. It was a win-win for fans, the economy, local residents and businesses. Visitors from as far as Hawaii andHolland showed up early for both events to witness the Thunder on the Gulf powerboat races, swim in the ocean, build sand castles and dine in beachside taverns and seafood restaurants.
"We're here to let everybody know that the Gulf Coast is open for business," Paisley said from the stage. "I would encourage everybody to get down here as quick as they can."
The Concerts for the Coast series kicked-off with Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live from The Gulf Coast on July 11th. The event hosted 35,000 fans on Gulf Shores' public beach and aired live on CMT. On October 30th, Concerts for the Coast will celebrate their last event of 2010 with an exciting performance from Alan Jackson at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama.