Festival time is always a great conversation/Facebook riot starter in Macon. For such a small town, the board of directors for various festivals can never seem to please the majority when it comes to the entertainment schedules.
Last year, when a downtown resident/filmmaker didnt agree with the inner workings of Macon Film Festival, he decided to create his own film festival and run it out of his house on the same weekend.
The Bragg Jam Music Festival is criticized every year for not supporting local bands and not reaching out on a larger scale when it comes to national headliners (and not having me on the schedule last year -- joking!)
And of course there is our beloved Cherry Blossom Festival. From the moment the Street Party lineup is announced, the opinions of approval or disappointment fly in so many different directions that now I just grab some popcorn and kick my feet up.
This year has seemed to fall more on the disappointment side regarding the choices presented -- or lack thereof. Flecther Batts, a Macon native involved in the music industry, spoke out on Facebook about being a little upset that they keep overlooking the hip-hop generation and urban communities. When you look at the schedule over the last couple of years, he has a valid point.
There is NO hip-hop presence on the schedule this year (and I searched pretty hard through the difficult setup on the CBF website). In 2011, Big Boi of the world famous duo Outkast was set to headline CBF with locals Jubee and the Morning After (and me opening), when a storm forced the festival to cancel with no back up venue plans. One could argue that Tone Loc and Digital Underground have been booked to play the festival, but they havent been relevant in more than two decades.
Fletcher suggests that a separate festival supporting hip-hop is the best move at this point, and Im torn. In doing this, are we proving the point intended or creating more segregation?
The problem is that the CBF is out of touch with our 18-27 demographic in Macon, so how can we resolve this without running to our own corners and continuing the current trend? My goal here is to challenge both sides and attempt a conversation to find out how we can meet in the middle and include more diversity next year.
For those attending the Cherry Blossom Festival, I strongly recommend checking out Wesley Cook tomorrow afternoon on the Central City Park stage at 2:30 p.m. Wesley will have his full band performing songs from his new album, Heavy, which is dedicated to his passing brothers memory.
I had a blast touring with Wesley on the East Coast earlier this month. Hes a talented songwriter and even better performer, so dont miss this set!
And of course the famous Street Party will be begin at 5 p.m. in downtown Macon featuring music from the Dirty Guvnahs, .38 Special and the Atlanta Funk Society. Read more about it on page 3E. Have fun!
Floco Torres is an artist/songwriter. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.