The final numbers won’t be tallied until next week, but Bragg Jam organizers say they think this year’s festival turned record profits.
The festival may have raised as much as $60,000 this year, said Brad Evans, president of Bragg Jam’s board of directors. That would be about a 20 percent increase from the approximately $50,000 raised last year.
He said about 5,000 people attended this year’s Bragg Jam events, including the afternoon arts festival and the evening concert crawl — roughly on par with last year’s record attendance.
But while attendance was about the same this year, sponsorships shot up significantly, Evans said.
“This is a banner year for Bragg Jam. The economy sure isn’t hurting us,” he said,
Evans said he wouldn’t know until numbers are final how much the festival will donate to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, since some of the money will be kept to kick-start next year’s Bragg Jam.
Initially, festival organizers thought they had sold out of 5,000 wristbands for the concert crawl by about 7:30 p.m., but soon they discovered they had only misplaced some of them — and that they actually had sold about 3,500. “That’s still really good, though,” Evans said.
Jessica Walden, one of the festival’s organizers, said a few of the festival’s venues were packed to capacity, and that almost all the downtown businesses she had talked to had reported healthy sales for the night.
Arty Passais, owner of the Greek Corner Deli on Cherry Street, said business was four times better than a typical Saturday night — and even stronger than business during last year’s Bragg Jam.
And at the Rookery down the street, owner Wes Griffith said the bar was packed to capacity with about 200 people for most of the night.
Aside from scorching daytime temperatures and the rain that fell about 10 p.m., the festival went off exactly as planned, Walden said.
Macon police Lt. Eric Woodford said that as far he knew, no one was charged with a crime during the festival.
“We didn’t have the first problem, and everything seemed very well-organized” Woodford said.
Walden said one thing organizers plan to do differently next year is hold quarterly Bragg Jam miniconcerts to build anticipation for the summer festival.
“We’re going to call it Bragg Jam Presents, and it’ll be a year-round concert series featuring Bragg Jam artists,” Walden said.
To contact writer Carl Lewis, call 744-4347.