Shane Quick at press conference

Rock the South owner Shane Quick outlines the concert's history during a press conference Wednesday at Mae's Food Hall. 

As Rock the South prepares to return to Cullman June 1-2, the country music festival's organizers hope to top 2017's eye-popping $10.1 million local economic impact. 

This past summer, an estimated 60,000 people — 30,000 per day — rocked out at Heritage Park, despite a torrential downpour that temporarily halted the show and was a contributing factor in extensive field damage. The two-day concert event brought in people from across the country, and some from abroad, who brought their spending money with them. 

An analysis of the 2017 festival shows Rock the South, or RTS, netted 121 new jobs and $10.1 million in sales, said Ahmad Ijaz, executive director and director of economic forecasting with the University of Alabama. 

And those numbers are conservative projections, officials said, without lodging tax revenue factored in. RTS also donated $100,000 to local charitable organizations and covered the costs to repair the park's fields after the massive concert. 

With 2017 marking the last year of the city's five-year contract with RTS, organizers and officials are currently having discussions about future contracts, said Nathan Anderson, Cullman Parks and Recreation director. 

"We feel great where we are now heading into 2018," Anderson said following a press conference Wednesday announcing the date and economic numbers. 

On Jan. 29, RTS plans to announce its first performer for the upcoming concert, and tickets are expected to go on sale in the spring. 

Check back for updates. 

Tiffeny Owens can be reached at towens@cullmantimes.com or at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.

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