The seventh annual Bragg Jam, held in downtown Macon, Georgia, will take place this year on Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30. Now a full-blown music and arts festival, Bragg Jam will begin with the River Bank Bash Friday night at 7 pm with southern rock torchbearers The Drive By Truckers (pictured) and opening band Hank Vegas. Saturday’s festivities begin at 11 am on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail at Spring Street landing with an arts festival, children’s activities and bluegrass music.
Bragg Jam’s Saturday afternoon activities will also include a spectator area for watching the contestants of the Ocmulgee Adventure Race navigate an obstacle course near the music stage. The second annual Ocmulgee Adventure Race is a 6 to 10 hour race that involves canoeing, trekking, cycling and orienteering.
National touring act Southern Culture on the Skids will take the river stage at 5 pm. Afterwards, close to 50 bands will play in 13 venues across town. Free transportation to and from participating venues will be provided via the NewTown trolleys. Other headliners for this year’s festival include Billy Joe Shaver, Southern Bitch (pictured), Robert Bradley, Randall Bramblett, Moonshine Still, Kevn Kinney and Tishamingo. Bragg Jam is $25 a night, and a $40 combo ticket grants entry to both nights. Tickets, as well as a complete line-up, are available at www.braggjam.org. For tickets by phone, call 478-301-5470. All proceeds from both the Ocmulgee Adventure Race and Bragg Jam go to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.
Bragg Jam began seven years ago as a reaction by friends to the deaths of Brax and Tate Bragg. Both excellent musicians that played in area bands, they died in a car accident in 1999. Russell Walker, a friend of the family, organized a musical celebration to honor their friends. In 2003, Bragg Jam was expanded into a citywide music festival; it was incorporated in 2005 as a non-profit. The goal has consistently been the same: remember the Bragg brothers, showcase the city of Macon and its musical heritage, and raise money for the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.
“In 1998, the trail was still just a dream of NewTown Macon and many community leaders/volunteers like Chris Sheridan and Ben Porter,” said Wes Griffith, NewTown Director of Development and Bragg Jam, Inc. board member. “Now we’ve got about three miles of trail down and a master plan that includes more than 16 miles and a 180-acre passive park at the old Water Works facility.”
“Brax and Tate loved the river,” said Anne Bragg, sister of the boys, “they both loved to write, play music and hang out on the banks of the Ocmulgee. They would be happy to know that Bragg Jam is helping to draw attention to the development of a permanent trail for all of the community.”
“This is Bragg Jam’s first year as an incorporated non-profit with a board of directors,” said board chair Heather Evans. “It’s really allowed us to expand the festival and effectively recruit a larger, more diverse sponsor base. The local business community has been great in embracing our efforts. We are really poised to become a festival of regional significance, one that will not only play a major role in raising funds for the Trail, but one that will have a profound economic impact on the downtown area for years to come.”
For more information on Bragg Jam, visit www.braggjam.org. For more information on the Ocmulgee Adventure Race, contact Scott Wilson at 478-951-9460 or visit ocmulgeear.org.