Macons signature music festival kicks off Saturday with more live music than ever before.
This years Bragg Jam will feature 46 bands across 12 venues.
We continue to expand the stages, said Jessica Walden, a spokesperson for the festival. Bragg Jam is all about the music.
The Concert Crawl kicks off at 5 p.m. and the $20 admission will get festival- goers into any and all of the shows.
One of the new venues is Terminal Station, which will feature an all-ages, nonsmoking stage of all local acts. This venue also will have food available for purchase.
Crowd favorites Southern Gentlemen Dixeland Jazz Band and Rabbi Larry Schlesinger and Friends will kick things off, Walden said.
You never know who hes going to bring up on stage, she said of Schlesinger.
Local cover band the Grapevine will make its Bragg Jam debut and close out the night at Terminal Station.
Were doing everything from experienced Macon artists to new artists, to new genres of music, to bringing in local favorites, Walden said. The Grapevine is definitely one of those endearing cover bands.
The festival also is bringing back a dance venue at Asylum, which was new in 2011. The club will feature DJ Muggs, formerly of Cypress Hill.
Thats a very much anticipated performance, Walden said. Bragg Jam really went into something different when we added a DJ element, but it worked.
Bragg Jam has evolved from an impromptu tribute to brothers Brax and Tate Bragg, who were killed in a 1999 car accident just as Brax seemed destined to hit the big time with his own music.
As always, the festival will include an appearance by Friends of Brax, which is a loose group of local musicians who came together to honor the Bragg brothers.
From memory, Brax was going to play around early July at the Rookery, said Chad Evans, who now co-owns the Rookery and is coordinating Friends of Brax this year.
After the accident, some friends got together and decided to play in Braxs honor in sort of a the show must go on kind of way, he said.
That was sort of the start of Bragg Jam, Evans said.
Friends of Brax is scheduled to start playing at the Rookery at 9 p.m. and will include performances by Evans, Shane Bridges and Scott Baston, among others.
Other downtown venues include two stages at the 567 Center, Bottoms Up, the Cox Capitol Theatre, Fowl Play, the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom and Roasted Cafe and Lounge.
Everything is inside and that allows us to do it rain or shine and provide little bit of (air conditioning), Walden said.
The festival will provide trolley transportation to the Shamrock and Mellow Mushroom -- the two venues outside of downtown. A trolley will run from each of the outlying venues to Third Street Park.
By having Mellow Mushroom as one of our all-ages venues, it stretches the event all the way from uptown to downtown, Walden said.
Asylum, which is located a few blocks away from the main cluster of stages, also will be running a downtown shuttle, Walden said.
The venues are as varied as the music, as many of the stages will be all ages and nonsmoking, Walden said.
Theres really no excuse not to be part of Bragg Jam, she said. Weve made sure theres something for everybody.
The admission armbands can be purchased Saturday at any of the venues.
You dont pre-buy tickets, Walden said.
Festivalgoers also can carry drinks with them from one venue to another.
Drinks are allowed on the sidewalk the night of Bragg Jam, Walden said. That is something that distinguishes us from other festivals.
Several past Bragg Jam participants have gone on to wider fame, so Walden said there is always a chance of catching an up-and-coming act before they hit the big time.
Were bringing in these artists who play and you know they are good and who go on to do amazing things, Walden said. Weve seen some of our artists take off ... so you never know.
Since 2005, Bragg Jam has been a recognized nonprofit dedicated to bringing live music to Macon and benefitting local groups with proceeds from the ticket sales.
The festival has donated nearly $150,000 to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and made smaller donations to local groups that promote music, the arts and nature.
The trail has always been the primary benefactor because thats the wishes of the Bragg family, Walden said.
Bragg Jam Concert Crawl
When: Music starts at 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: 12 venues across Macon
Cost: $20. Armbands can be purchased at any of the venues.
Information: For a complete schedule of shows and venues, go to www.braggjam.org