The official numbers are not in yet, but Bragg Jam organizers say they already know Saturday’s turnout was among the biggest -- if not the biggest.
“We were definitely pleased with the turnout,” Tess Harper, Bragg Jam marketing co-chair, said Sunday. “From pure observation, you could tell it’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever had and just overall a great, successful event.”
Harper mostly attributes the large crowd to the quality of musicians at the 15th anniversary of the music festival. The event snagged a $15,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which helped bring popular bands to Macon -- most notably The Blind Boys of Alabama.
“When the Blind Boys leave Macon, Macon will never be the same,” band member Jimmy Carter told The Telegraph.
Several of the bands had “almost a cult-like following,” Harper said, which not only generated buzz, but brought people from out of state to Bragg Jam.
“I won’t say it’s a first,” Harper said about people traveling from other states, “but it’s uncommon.”
Even though the venues were at capacity, there were no major problems. Police officers were out in full force, monitoring the venues and making sure concertgoers were safe, Harper said.
There were some minor technical glitches, but overall the festival was a success, she said.
“The festival has grown consistently every year by a couple hundred” attendees, she said. “This year, we could tell it was much more than that.”
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this article. To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.