Big names, bigger venue for Bird Bash

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Despite freezing weather and power failure, music festival persists for patrons

Frigid weather was not enough to drive music enthusiasts away from the Drive-By Truckers’ performance at the Hummingbird Bar and Taproom’s biggest Big Bird Bash yet.
Kristen O’Neal, the festival organizer, said that in the past the Big Bird Bash has gone consistently over capacity since it began in 2011.This inspired the Hummingbird to expand the festival to incorporate bigger acts in a bigger venue so more people can come.
This year the event moved out to Luther Williams Field, the historic ball field near Macon’s Central City Park, and brought in big-name acts from out of town such as Moon Taxi from Nashville, the Modern Skirts from Athens, Atlanta-based band Drivin N Cryin and the headlining band, The Drive-By Truckers.
The festival went off without a hitch until a few minutes into The Drive-By Truckers’ set, at which point the power for the stage cut out. The band managed to salvage the moment by coming to the stands and shaking hands with the crowd, buying time for the technicians to attend to the generator before the festival resumed minutes later.
“It was really great,” O’Neal said of the festival earlier that night. “It was really cold, [but] it was a lot better than we expected.”
O’Neal said that the Hummingbird expected to sell 2,000 tickets to the event. They ended up selling about 1,200.
“It’s the cold,” O’Neal said. The projected forecast for Saturday night was 28 degrees, prompting festival coordinators to move up some of the acts before the temperature dropped.
Nevertheless, the Hummingbird sold over 500 tickets the day of the event. Many of the patrons who came to the door were local Macon residents and college students, but the crowd included people from out of state as far as Pennsylvania.
The other musical acts included Macon natives Gringo Grande and Back City Woods. Music for the festival all fell into the same vein: gritty Southern rock, the kind of music the Hummingbird often brings in for its weekend shows.
“That’s [the music] we focus on for our particular patrons,” O’Neal said. “We tried to stick with what we know.”
O’Neal said the Hummingbird is looking to bring in some country acts for next year’s Bash. She also said that to avoid the frigid temperatures, the Bash will most likely be held in the fall.
She also said that the Hummingbird is looking to continue the festival’s expansion.
“We are hoping to turn it into the Macon music festival,” O’Neal said.
For more information about the 2013 festival, future events or weekly shows at the ‘Bird,’ see the Humminbird Bar and Taproom’s website.