The venue has changed but fans of the Big Bird Bash can still count on a day of live music.
The Hummingbird Stage and Taprooms signature festival will start Saturday at noon at historic Luther Williams Field in Central City Park. After those first years, we had such good attendance ... we decided why not bring in some bigger names and have it at Luther Williams, said Kristen ONeal, who is the festival organizer. We thought it was a great location.
This years show is headlined by the Drive-By Truckers, who combine country, soul and rock into songs and lyrics that have been described as Southern rock opera. The group has produced nine studio albums and three live albums and typically sells out shows in Macon.
The Bash also features six other bands that each carry their own name recognition and cachet.
The music will kick off at noon with a performance by Dirty Sound Professors.
They will be followed by music from local favorites Gringo Grande at 1 p.m. and Back City Woods at 3 p.m. Gringo Grande is mostly rock with some blues and folk, while Back City Woods is bluegrass with some indie rock influence.
The local bands will be followed by Nashville-based Moon Taxi at 5 p.m. The indie-rock band describes its influences as 60s and 70s rock and promises a high energy show.
Moon Taxi is really on the rise, ONeal said.
The Modern Skirts, an Athens-based band with a big following, a lot of buzz and a sound described as funky pop, is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m.
Then youll have Drivin N Cryin at 9 p.m., ONeal said of the Atlanta-based band who have been cranking out music since 1985. The group is probably best known for a string of radio hits in the late 1980s and 90s.
The Drive-By Truckers will take the stage at 11 p.m. and close out the event.
The festival will have a range of vendors including some selling alcoholic drinks and food.
Well have a mechanical bull ride to just do something fun and silly, ONeal said. Well also have a DJ there doing giveaways between bands.
The festival started in 2011 as a daylong event at the Hummingbird.
Originally, it was for locals only, ONeal said of the band lineup. We were looking for a way to support the local music in town.
The success of the first day-long event prompted organizers to hold the Bash four times in 2011 and twice in 2012.
Our capacity is only 150 and we were going over that all day every time, ONeal said. We were clocking 500 or 600 people there over the day. And each Big Bird Bash had different bands featured.
Proceeds from the events were rolled back into the local music scene with more than $10,000 raised.
Were giving the ticket money to the musicians directly, ONeal said. Back City Woods actually produced an album with that money.
A portion of the proceeds from this years event will benefit the Cox Capitol Theatre, the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House and Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation.
There are plans to expand the event to two days in 2014 and rename it the Macon Music Festival, ONeal said.
We really want to turn this into a premiere event for Macon, she said.
Big Bird Bash
When: Gates open at 11 a.m. Saturday, music starts at noon
Where: Luther Williams Field in Central City Park, downtown Macon