Bragg Jam: My guide to doing it right

Special to The TelegraphJuly 26, 2013 

This is the first year for me sitting on the sidelines of Bragg Jam. Last year, I officially retired from the all-volunteer board of directors, leaving my husband and friends striving to make Macon what we want it to be -- vibrant, creative and during Bragg Jam, chaotic in the best way possible.

This year, I have a whole new Bragg Jam plan. I’ll share with you my do’s and don’ts for making the best of Macon’s best music event.

Do purchase your tickets ahead of time. This is a big change in traditional Bragg Jam culture. Advanced ticket sales are now offered with an early bird discount online for $20. Day of show tickets will be $25.

This year, there is also a central ticketing system. On the day of the event, you may purchase or pick up your tickets at Third Street Park downtown, Mellow Mushroom, Twang Southern Tastes and Sounds or the Hangar Bar and Grill.

Don’t let rain get in your way. Bragg Jam is a rain or shine event! Granted, we’re used to the rain these days, but if it makes you feel better to bring a poncho, umbrella or rain boots, by all means do. Just know with all of the 15 venues being inside and the shuttles taking you everywhere, you won’t get that wet.

Do make your picks ahead of time. Braggjam.com has the complete schedule online. With 56 bands at 15 stages, it does require at least a cocktail napkin sketch of where you want to be when your favorite bands take the stage.

But don’t feel like you’ve got to stick to it. The beauty of Bragg Jam is stumbling upon that band you’ve never heard before and dancing to the set you didn’t expect.

Don’t leave the kids at home. Bragg Jam is more all-ages than age-restricted! Nine out of 15 venues will welcome all ages (although some will become restrictive after 10 p.m.). Those same nine venues are also non-smoking. Macon music needs interest from all ages -- and that means starting them young on why this town is so special.

Do bring a buddy. Be a missionary to Macon music -- invite someone to Bragg Jam who’s never been before. Open your home to out-of-towners. Share a taxi with your neighbors, or better yet, designate a driver and pile in the passengers. Park downtown and take the Bragg Jam shuttles to all the venues.

Jessica Walden is director of communications at the College Hill Alliance. Contact her at rockcandytours@gmail.com.

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