OKALOOSA ISLAND — Some 1,500 people are expected for the second day of the Sound Waves Music Series at The Gulf on Saturday.

Concert crews bustled about The Gulf grounds Thursday to set up the temporary stage, where country music singer-songwriter Frank Foster would perform for a crowd of about 1,000 Friday night. On Saturday, Tracy Lawrence — known for singles like "If the Good Die Young" and "Sticks and Stones" — will follow with an even larger performance.

As of noon Friday, more than 800 tickets had already been sold for Lawrence's show. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Olga Boistean, general manager for The Gulf, said the Sound Waves Music Series is part of an initiative to bring more entertainment and business to the north side of Okaloosa Island.

"We partnered with Adams Entertainment to come up with this concert series," Boistean said. "We're going to have small, family-friendly events. It will be all country concerts. So far we have five scheduled, but I think we'll have even more. We want to first see how people like it."

The Gulf, located at 1284 Marler Ave,, can be challenging to reach when traveling east on U.S. Highway 98 from the Brooks Bridge. Traffic is not allowed to turn left onto Santa Rosa Boulevard. Drivers instead must to turn right and right again to go under the Brooks Bridge, make a U-turn on U.S. 98 or take the road behind the Emerald Coast Convention Center.

Concert goers traveling from Destin have it easier.

The Brooks Bridge is a bottleneck many times during the year. Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies will manage the crowds before, during and after the concerts, Boistean said. 

Okaloosa County spokesman Christopher Saul said The Gulf did not need to apply for permits because the event is on private property. Saul said the county encourages motorists to plan accordingly when it comes to large events this season.

"We're always concerned about congestion on U.S. Highway 98, especially as we get closer to peak months," Saul said.

The Gulf is part of Hangout Hospitality Group  — a group of restaurants that offer beach-side, family centered events. Boistean said music was always a part of the eateries' business plan, but is just now coming to fruition. The restaurant opened in 2016.

"We think this is going to be good," Boistean said. "In this area we don't really have anything similar. We're excited and we hope everyone else is excited, too."

Boistean said parking should not be an issue. Two large parking lots are available across the street from The Gulf, one being at The New Green Frog nightclub.

Tickets for the Tracy Lawrence concert are $25 for general admission and $75 for VIP. Other country stars coming this spring are Cody Johnson, Chase Rice and the Eli Young Band.

The concert area, in a fenced-in field alongside The Gulf, will offer food and alcohol for those with tickets. Customers can also dine at The Gulf and enjoy the music from afar, Boistean said.

Tickets also will be available onsite.

Rachelle Graves, director of special events for the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, said the concert series will be the first on the island in many years. The Boardwalk used to host something similar long ago.

"I think it's great," Graves said of the concerts. "They're bringing in great artists and residents wouldn't have to travel far to hear good music. It will give spring breakers an extra attraction so they will want to continue to vacation in Fort Walton Beach. We're happy for The Gulf."