Macon needs more venues for live, local music

Special to The TelegraphMay 10, 2013 

Recently a discussion broke out on Facebook about why it seems that Macon’s local bands have been kind of quiet during the last year. You don’t hear much in the way of new releases from them or live shows like you used to. You also don’t see many new bands making a strong run to break into the scene.

One of key points of the discussion was that it is more difficult than ever to get a show at the few venues we have around town. After trying so long to get booked, bands either give up or look for gigs outside of Macon.

A few of our best known bands have moved to Athens because they were accepted so well there because of their live shows.

Some have said an increase in venues would cause bands to play more often.

Think about it: If there are only about five venues that actively book music, and there are 20 local bands in town, and the venue wants to keep the stage fresh by bringing in bands from out of town as well, then chances are you are going to get passed over in an effort to work all of that in.

However, if there were 20 venues, then each band could easily play somewhere once a month.

As it stands right now, there is no real incentive to start a band because no one sees the local bands really getting a chance to show what they are made of.

Well, I learned quite a few things because of these online discussions. I’ve learned that the passion to perform and unite as Macon bands is there.

Some bands are talking about joining together to rent Third Street Park and perform every Friday from 6-10 p.m. With four different bands performing outside each week, this event could be a lot of fun.

I also learned that there are some really big ideas in the works to add some venues downtown. Even though these are bigger ideas -- with hopes to bring bigger national and regional acts to Macon -- any chance to get more live music heard in Macon is a step in the right direction.

A new Guitar Center opening in Macon is proof that there is enough desire in Macon to play music. Now, we need to give these people buying new instruments a stage on which to play them.

Contact Roger Riddle at

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