Be prepared to spend the next 4 days with everyone you know.
The Reader’s Choice Awards are back and yours truly was not nominated this year. However, that means that instead of the stomach clenching pain of the possibility of this local only blog winning and then the disappointment of finding out a national website won, I will be able to sit back and watch all the action happen. What that also means is that my friends have all my attention and don’t have to spend the night feeling sorry for me. Also, no one will buy me sympathy shots. Bummer.
But all the things that make Macon great, as nominated by you, dear readers, will be out in full force, usually in their finest and ready to have fun. They will cheer when they win, laugh when they lose, and drink champagne/beer/mixed drinks like champions. Because if you’re out, you’re a winner.
Now does it mean you’re not a winner if you don’t make it to the Awards on Thursday? Maybe if that was the only thing that was going on this weekend, but you will need plenty of rest as you consider where to expend your energy this weekend. Whether you spend the obvious school night and stay out with the people most of Macon considers the best or you decide to indulge in a small park beer fest, whether you consider watching cars built by your friends racing down a very steep hill (nothing could go wrong, right?), or you decide that the music you want to hear is played by a band named KOPECKY and Sunday is the best day for it, you definitely have a lot to consider. So what’s on tap for this weekend? The big things and the small things that equal the awesome things? Check it out below!
So, real talk.
I’m not Justin Cutway or Chris Nylund, people who have learned to play music, taught themselves about music, immersed themselves in music, etc. I’m not an expert. Never claimed to be. But I love music.
I love to sing, even though I can’t carry much of a tune.
I love to dance and will dance until the things required for dancing have long broken down. And as long as my shoulders can move, you know they’ll move!
And I love live music. I enjoy listening to an album over and over again and then discovering the difference between the album and the live set. I enjoy sinking my teeth into the personality that comes out on stage that gets hidden behind the vinyl, plastic, and paper of albums.
But I wasn’t always like that. I would get angry when the artist would deviate from the album. I used to only want to hear covers so I could sing along. And if you were a local band, I only followed a couple of local bands so that I could know them as well as those with albums.
But live music won me over and I’m not looking back.
I’ve been writing a lot about music, so I’m going to take it to it’s most essential. I made a Bragg Jam 2014 playlist. I used Spotify because it is the easiest way to put it together to share, but it was missing Madre Padre.
So, in order of how I’m going to try to see these bands:
Madre Padre: 5:45 – 7:15
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires – 6:30 – 8:00
Family & Friends – 7:30 – 8:15
Cusses – 7:45-9:15
The Black Cadillacs – 8:30 – 10:00
Kopecky Family Band – 10:15 – 11:30
Moon Hooch – 10:15 – 11:45
American Aquarium – 10:30 – 12:00
Back City Woods – 12:00 – 1:30
JuBee & the Morning After – 12:15 – 1:45
The Whigs – 12:30 – 2:00
Feel free to like, share, copy, listen, etc. And if you make your own playlist, tag me in twitter (@angelcollins1) or leave a link in the comments!
Full Disclosure: I work for Middle Georgia State College and I frequent the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom. Often. It is one of my favorite bars. But when I say that the Middle Georgia State College stage is my favorite complete stage for the festival, I’m not saying that out of anything but pure admiration for the team that put this stage together. In previous years, I get why different bands have been at this stage, but this year, the bands match the venue so well – what the bar is on a regular basis, the type of music you normally hear there, etc. The only stages that are put together as well is the 11th Hour Stage at Roasted Cafe and Lounge and The Deeps Roots Festival Stage at the Hangar.
That’s not to say that the other spots don’t offer great music. Far from it. While other stages offer the eclectic mix that might draw a variety of people, those who find themselves crowding the Middle Georgia State College Stage at the Bird will get more their money’s worth.
The GPB Stage has a couple of my favorite bands and, possible new favorites. It all goes down on the main stage at The 567 Center for Renewal. Georgia Public Broadcasting writers and announcers have been nominated for awards and is partly responsible for the renewed interest in engaging and informative news in the Middle Georgia area. But yes, their stage will rock your socks off!
Sponsored by the Revival Fest, a Savannah, GA music festival and self described “modern day low country hoedown”, the upstairs at The 567 Center for Renewal (533 Cherry Street) holds the bands that you will want to groove to. Being one of the few “all ages” stages, the bands here will offer you good, clean fun, and music that almost anyone can groove to.
At 11am today, the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom announced the Big Bird Bash, which will take place at Luther Williams Field this year and be a huge festival including Back City Woods, Modern Skirts, Moon Taxi, and Drivin’ N Crying, with Drive By Truckers as the headliners. Music starts at noon with Gringo Grande.
The surprise announcement was that in 2013, a non-profit was going to be formed to start a music festival, a two day event full of music. We’re about to have our very own brewery, we have our day of music in July with Bragg Jam, and as a city steeped in music tradition, it isn’t surprising that someone wants to statt a music festival. I’m not saying that we’re about to be the next SXSW, but two days of music, especially if you get the right mix of pop, local, and indie acts, could bring all kinds of people to some spot in Macon for two days. Can you imagine camping in a field in Bibb County Wanee-style?
So what should a 2 day music festival look like? Is there a way to break the mold or would we follow other festival traditions? We all know the biggest thing is having the funds to pay crowd drawing acts to the city. And the reason we worry about the funds is because we never truly know how many people will show up. Admit it, Macon, we don’t like making a commitment to do anything. We rarely buy tickets in advance or worse, we say we’ll go to something and end up making an excuse (usually lame, sometimes justified) and not going. In that way, we never know if 4 people will show up or if we’ll see the entire city.
So now that you know it’s happening, what do you think the Macon Music Festival should be like? What kind of lineup do you think it should have? Where do you think the festival should be? Do you think it adds to the music culture in Macon? Do you think it could challenge the Cherry Blossom Street Party to be more proactive in getting acts that every citizen in Macon would want to see? Do you think it would make Bragg Jam more appealing to bigger names? Tell me what you think about this announcement.