Bragg Jam makes clean exit after 16th festival

Just a few hours after thousands crowded at various locations around Macon for Bragg Jam’s dozens of musical acts, the city returned to normal Sunday morning.

The last performances wrapped up about 2 a.m., and not long after that, crews hit the streets to clean up.

“We start when the roads are still closed,” said Steve Lawson, director of parks and beautification. “That helps us get out a lot quicker and be able to handle it.”

Lawson said the clean-up was done by about 6:30 a.m. and added that he had employees working the sidewalks during the event to help alleviate any issues.

That effort should keep the relationship between the music festival and the city a friendly one, said Leila Regan-Porter, Bragg Jam’s marketing co-chairwoman.

“When people come down on Sunday and see everything exactly how it’s supposed to be ... it’s just a positive image that we get to portray,” she said.

While final numbers won’t be known for several days, Regan-Porter was pleased with the crowd and the social media interaction surrounding the festival. Staffers kept tabs on the online buzz and saw mostly “praise and exciting times” from those watching live at one of more than 20 stages.

“This has definitely been our biggest year as far as people sharing photos on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram,” she said.

One of the earliest groups to perform Saturday was Stellar Luminosity at Mount de Sales Academy. The group is composed entirely of students or recent graduates of Middle Georgia high schools: Joshua Thompson and Katherine Daniel of Mount de Sales, Tucker Poupard of Mary Persons and C.J. Hammock of Howard.

“So it was kind of cool getting to go back there after graduation and everything,” Thompson, a 2015 grad, said.

Stellar Luminosity was followed by Caroline Herring, a Mississippi native, and other acts came from Atlanta and across the Southeast.

“I think it really speaks to where Macon’s going as a city and a community,” Thompson said.

Regan-Porter was also pleased with the variety of acts present in Bragg Jam’s 16th year. They ranged in experience level from bands like Stellar Luminosity, which Thompson said had never performed together at a live event, to national acts like Demun Jones -- a former member of the band Rehab -- and Moon Taxi.

Macon, known for ties to Otis Redding, Little Richard and the Allman Brothers Band, is the ideal city for such a growing festival, Regan-Porter said.

“They’re all in this famous music city,” she said. “To me, it just makes sense.”

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331 or follow him on Twitter@MTJTimm.