The inaugural Fly South Festival lost more than $5,600, but organizers hope to hold the barbecue contest and concert event again in the hopes that better weather and increased reputation will mean better attendance.
No final decision has been made to continue the festival, said Jessica Walden, who handles marketing efforts for the festival. But the organizing committee would like to take another shot at it and will make that recommendation to the festival’s umbrella organization, Bragg Jam, she said.
“We look at it as about 250 tickets away from breaking even,” Walden said of the event, which was held Dec. 5 at Luther Williams Field in Macon.
Temperatures dipped near freezing that day and Bragg Jam, the annual music benefit, will have to cover Fly South’s losses. But that was always a possibility, Walden said. And Bragg Jam has grown in recent years from a small music festival in memory of two brothers to a successful annual event that has donated tens of thousands of dollars to local causes.
“We wouldn’t have taken this kind of chance if we didn’t know we had the reserves,” Walden said. “That’s the chance you take with a fledgling festival.”
Walden said about 1,500 people turned out for the Fly South Festival, and the group sold about 1,200 tickets for the evening concert headlined by The Derek Trucks Band, a well-regarded rock ’n’ roll outfit. The parking lots outside of Luther Williams hosted 19 barbecue teams, which competed for trophies and to qualify for a world championship barbecue contest next year in Memphis, Tenn.
Whether the Fly South Festival returns, Walden said Bragg Jam plans to put on more concerts and events throughout the year, focusing on downtown Macon and making “Bragg Jam Presents” shows a recurring part of the local music scene. “Part of growing Bragg Jam is to have a presence throughout the year,” she said.
To contact writer Travis Fain, call 744-4213.