It seems only natural for a city that claims Blind Willie McTell’s blues standard “Statesboro Blues” as its own unofficial theme song — and that takes even more pride in the rendition of the same song made famous by The Allman Brothers — to find a way to honor its musical heritage and celebrate what’s to come.
This year, Statesboro has decided to do just that — in a big way.
Scheduled for March 23–24, the inaugural Statesboro Music Festival will offer two days of nonstop music by performers from a variety of genres, including bluegrass, R&B, soul, rock, Christian, country and reggae.
“Lehman Franklin of Statesboro presented the idea (of a music festival) to a group of individuals, and after brainstorming together, we all decided as a group to move forward with the planning and development of the Statesboro Music Festival,” said Stephanie Childs, the event’s director and media relations contact.
Now the Statesboro Music Festival committee, that group consists of Childs and Franklin (music and entertainment) as well as Laura Franklin Cooke (marketing), Hope Aldred and Brittanie Barber (sponsorship and advertising) and Jessica Panella and Scott Martin (food and beverage), all of whom have come together in an effort to build a platform on which to inspire an increase in community involvement, encourage economic growth, and raise cultural awareness and expression. Moreover, a portion of the proceeds from the event will be used to benefit local charities and nonprofit organizations.
“We have had an overwhelming response from musicians requesting to be a part of the Statesboro Music Festival,” Childs said. “In fact, we have had several managers out of Nashville representing clients who have recently signed recording labels wanting to participate. Unfortunately, we filled the spots early, but we are already looking forward to and planning for SMF 2013.”
This month, high school marching bands across the state of Georgia also are encouraged to strut their stuff for the chance to win an opportunity to perform at the festival. To enter the Statesboro Music Festival’s Battle of the School Bands competition, each band must submit a DVD of their performance, which will be broadcast on the Statesboro Music Festival’s website (www.statesboromusicfestival.com) and Facebook page via YouTube.
Band entries are due by Feb. 1, and the online voting period will be open from Feb. 3–March 5. The band with the most votes will be awarded a cash prize and invited to perform at the Statesboro Music Festival.
Along with the musical performances, the festival, which will be held at the Statesboro Kiwanis Fairgrounds, also will offer activities for all ages, including a rock climbing wall, face painting, classic car show, dog show and pet adoption drive, bouncy house, community arts and crafts exhibition, fashion show, community drum circle, pottery classes and a child identification fingerprinting booth.
“[The festival] has been designed to appeal to music lovers of all generations and from all walks of life,” said Childs.
For more information on the band lineup, event schedule and becoming a sponsor, be sure to visit the Statesboro Music Festival’s website at www.statesboromusicfestival.com, which will be updated continuously as the event draws near.