Ask forgiveness, not permission

We were pretty excited to learn Trace Adkins and Big & Rich would be appearing in Navarre. That’s some serious star power for our neck of the woods.

Almost too good to be true, some might say.

And perhaps it is.

Greg Britton, owner of Navarre Family Watersports, which is hosting the two-day event, hasn’t secured the necessary permits for the September concert. That’s right. He locked down top-rated entertainment, but permission from the county? Doesn’t have it.

Navarre Family Watersports is located at 8673 Navarre Parkway, right on the Sound. The perfect location for a concert, right? Maybe if the performance was a private affair. But with two days’ worth of music as well as late-night after parties scheduled until 1:30 a.m., where are all of the people going to fit?

Can you imagine the traffic on Highway 98? Forget trying to get in and out of town. And where is everyone expected to park?

Sure, we might be a little inconvenienced for two days, but this event is huge for our community, and for Navarre.

And that’s why we’re scratching our heads. You would think, when planning something of this magnitude, the organizers would START by making sure the event is feasible and by securing the proper permits. That’s the FIRST step – not the last.

Who knows how many fans will descend on Navarre that weekend – the concert is six weeks out and the county is working with the organizers to figure out parking, traffic control, safety. These aren’t minor issues. This isn’t some kids’ high school graduation party with his buddies’ band taking the stage. This is a big-time event for our town, which can draw plenty of tourism. So we need to make sure it’s done properly. Legally. Not just thrown together.

Did the organizers think that by bringing in top talent, the county wouldn’t care about permits? Do they think they’re the first group of people to bring live music to Navarre? We’re sure there are plenty of other businesses who considered hosting a similar event, but the idea of permits and security and bureaucratic red tape may have deterred them. Or maybe their permits were denied. Who knows.

But by asking forgiveness instead of permission, Britton and his crew put the county in a tight spot. Not that officials can’t turn it down. Of course they can. But the buzz is building and people are excited, and we’re guessing the organizers hope that works in their favor.

Tickets were supposed to go on sale Aug. 6, but the group isn’t going in front of the county until Aug. 13. We don’t know about you guys, but we’re going to hang on to our cash for just a little while longer.

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