Decatur, Ala. (September 21, 2023) – The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) has honored Rock the South with the 2023 Event of the Year award. The award is among eleven that comprise the 2023 PEAK Awards that were presented today at the AMLA Annual Meeting held at Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville, Ala.

Representing the highest achievement in North Alabama tourism, the PEAK Awards program pays tribute to tourism leaders, attractions, festivals, and organizations that set the bar for North Alabama’s $4.3 billion tourism industry. The Event of the Year award is presented to the AMLA member special event or festival that has made a great contribution to tourism in the past year.

Originally intended to be a one-year celebration of recovery from the tornado outbreak across the state of Alabama April 27, 2011, Rock the South has continued to expand to become a massive celebration of the Cullman area and what it has to offer. Since the first event in 2012, Rock the South has given away nearly a million dollars to multiple community partners including Cullman City Parks and Recreation, The Link of Cullman County, Cullman Caring for Kids, Curt’s Closet, Alabama veterans and others.

Every major country music star from Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley, Florida-Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, and Eric Church have graced the Rock the South stage. Even though Billboard rates Rock the South as the 6th Best Country Music Festival in the United States, Rock the South will always be a festival about two things- giving back to the community and celebrating southern culture.

Due to the popularity of Rock the South, the event added a third day in 2023. Now running Thursday through Saturday, the festival was able to contribute more revenue to the local economy and more money to its charities. In 2023, over 100,000 people were in attendance and over $70,000 was raised for the various charities.

“With the PEAK Awards, we celebrate and recognize the best of the best in the North Alabama tourism industry. These individuals and organizations go beyond the call of duty to enhance the visitors’ experiences and are the reason the tourism and travel industry continues to be a driving force in North Alabama’s economy,” said AMLA President/CEO Tami Reist.