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PJA

The James Brown Soul of America Music Festival

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I really hope this becomes a big event for the city. Admittedly, the Chronicle article really is setting it up to be a HUGE disaster, and the facts sound pretty damning, but hopefully they will be able to turn this into something great. I love soul music, and from what I've seen from various First Friday's (pre-regulations) and other Augusta events, we really have the potential to become a great soul city.

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I persoally think they should wait until next year to start the festival. If the event is held and is a disaster, it will be hard to get people to come out next year. It does have the potential to do a lot for the Augusta atmosphere and economy.

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I think it's a great and overdue idea. I remember when James Brown used to have his birthday party at the civic center. Now that was cool for Augusta. But the problem most people have with this festival (myself included) is the Walker name.

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I think it's a great and overdue idea. I remember when James Brown used to have his birthday party at the civic center. Now that was cool for Augusta. But the problem most people have with this festival (myself included) is the Walker name.

Hopefully Jr. will learn from his father's mistakes. He seems to be secretive about it though. There's still a lot of unanswered questions.

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Charles Walker Jr. is now asking the city commissioners to sponsor the James Brown Gala. He wants to use of the Bell Auditorium and possibly the Civic Center at a discount rate. Here's the full story.

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There was some surprising talk going around the last couple of days. Apparently the committe heading the festival never booked James Brown. He has performances scheduled in other cities during most of the days of the festival. Also it would cost a lot for the city to pay for his band members to come from the parts of the country they live in and take care of their lodging and food needs. Walker however stated that Brown will be there and not to worry. I'm really starting to think they should postpone the event and start it next year.

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Here's an update. Apparently James Brown's manager is requesting 25,000 dollars to fly James Brown's band into the Augusta area on charter flights. However, Walker is refusing to pay anything. According to Brown's manager, Walker has threatened legal action if the star doesn't perform.

Full Article

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Here's an update. Apparently James Brown's manager is requesting 25,000 dollars to fly James Brown's band into the Augusta area on charter flights. However, Walker is refusing to pay anything. According to Brown's manager, Walker has threatened legal action if the star doesn't perform.

Full Article

So Champ Walker would actually sue James Brown---the guy he is trying to honor? Champ has serious problems.

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That does sound extremely ridiculous.

The Augusta Commission has finalized the amount that it will contribute to the festival which is $35,000. The festival website states that tickets will be $50 for the event.

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Well it looks like the festival won't be as big as originally planned. A lot of details have been finalized and a list of acts have been confirmed. Here's the full story.

The Article

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well, All I have to say to this is that Augusta can have something big happen, but they REALLY have to have the right people in charge to make it happen. And I know not everyone can do this or be able to do it. From the list of "confirmed acts", they aren't ALL going to be well known acts, and going from 50,000 expectancy to under 10,000 is rediculous. I bet First Friday events could actually get more people down there and they probably have at times.

I think I'd have to agree with one of the previous statements and say that the organizers should just wait till next year. Most of these big name acts probably have their schedules for the year already done anyway. And from judging other big events like Music Midtown in Atlanta, apparently it has taken then a lot longer than 3-4 months to put that together.

But oh well, hopefully Augusta will learn from it one way or another.

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Either they'll learn from it and make it better next year, or they'll give up and not do the event again...

Once again, the ineptitude of the people in charge has ruined what could have been a great thing for the city. This was a disaster from the beginning, so at least they're finally recognizing that. The county commissioners are even more stupid than I thought if they actually believed that they could pull off a huge, multi-million dollar annual festival on short notice without having anyone on staff with experience with this type of event. They can't even agree on whether or not to pave a sidewalk, much less how to organize a 3.5 million dollar event...

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The list of music artists set to perform have now been released and include Nappy Roots, Tony Terry and Deitrick Haddon. Also kids under 13 will be able to attend for free.

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Here's a news report about the lack of recognition James Brown gets in Augusta: his own hometown.

The Article

I am proud that James Brown is from Augusta. I love his music and I think he's a good guy. Even when he had that police chase from Richmond County to Aiken County and it ended up being on MTV, I was like, "wow, Tabitha Soren just said Augusta, Georgia." He's a good image for Augusta.

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According to Walker, James Brown is still going to attend the festival. Here are the details.

Yeah, James Brown will be there, along with Outkast, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Coldplay, and Widespread Panic. Seriously, this reminds of me that movie Waynes World where they're trying to plan Waynestock and Jim Morrison tells Wayne to build it and they will come, and then at the end of the movie Areosmith shows up and saves everything because none of the other bands were ever going to show up. I think Champ thinks James Brown is going to parachute into downtown at just the last second along with Justin Timberlake and 50 Cent. Not trying to be snide but James Brown deserves more than this.

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I probably won't go. So far they have sold over 2000 tickets but they expect 7500 per day. I don't know if they're going to pull that off.

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I googled some of the bands listed, Viperfish and Me Talk Pretty. They don't really seem to have much in common with funk music, especially that Viperfish band. I guess I'm not that hip when it comes to new music because I'd never heard of either one even though one is from Charlotte. Me Talk Pretty seems like it would be an interesting concert. But I just don't know if the quality of bands justify a $35 ticket price--especially since no one seems to know when/if James Brown will actually show up..... My big concern is that this thing will be a flop, everyone will talk about how you can't throw a concert in Augusta, and we'll be stuck driving to Atlanta and Columbia for concerts for at least another 10 years.

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