Cherry Blossom Music Festival replaces Street Party on Saturday night

pramati@macon.comMarch 28, 2014 

As popular as the Cherry Blossom Festival’s Street Party was, Mother Nature apparently wasn’t among its fans.

The festival’s president and CEO Jake Ferro said that at least six of the last 10 street parties were affected in some way by bad weather, costing the festival a lot of money.

Ferro said organizers still wanted a signature music event to help close the festival, but knew it would be difficult to sustain the street party. Buying insurance against bad weather is very expensive, Ferro said, and only kicks in under certain contingencies.

So organizers instead opted to go for a pub crawl this year. Rather than bring in a couple of big-name acts, organizers now will have 25 acts of various genres across seven downtown venues Saturday night, each with its own brand, said Kristen O’Neal, spokeswoman for what is now being called the Cherry Blossom Music Festival.

Because each of the venues are smaller, with maximum capacities of a few hundred each, O’Neal said it wasn’t practical trying to get a big-name act for the final Saturday of the festival.

“We didn’t want to bring in such a big name act where we couldn’t hold all the people who wanted to come,” she said. “We still wanted to support the Second Street/Cherry Street area. It will be a good event for all venues.”

O’Neal said each venue will have its own theme, including Theatre Macon, which will host family-friendly shows featuring Mike “The Magician” Fuller & Friends, Hey Kid and Barrister Brass.

In addition, the festival will continue to hold an outdoor event on Saturday at Third Street Park beginning at 4 p.m. The free event, weather permitting, will include live music, street vendors, face-painting and other activities.

While the pub crawl is very similar to the one held by Bragg Jam each summer, O’Neal said one difference is that patrons can buy a ticket for a specific venue for $10, which is good for all night, or pay $15 in advance for a pass good for all venues ($20 on the day of the event).

The venues for the pub crawl and their genres include the 567 Center for Renewal (indy rock), the Cox Capitol Theatre (Southern rock), the Crazy Bull (country), Fowl Play (hip-hop and college-age music), the Wall (hip-hop and college-age music) and the Hummingbird Stage & Taproom (rock).

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