Albany needs big events. We need the kinds of events that draw people from all over the South. I’ve said it before, but it’s absolutely true. Luckily, Sam Shuggart may have put just such an event together with the Georgia Throwdown at the Albany Exchange Club Fairgrounds.
While the event hasn’t taken place yet, and we don’t know what kind of turnout we’ll see at the event, it’s safe to say that I just don’t see it not being a hit.
The event has a little something for everyone, and Shuggart was incredibly smart to not just focus on local talent. While there are some outstanding local bands, their draw is going to be limited. However, booking names like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Big & Rich, and Uncle Kracker are far more likely to attract folks who would pass. At the same time, we still get to hear the likes of Dallas Davidson, Faith Jackson, and the Bo Henry Band. The local folks will be represented.
Far more importantly though, we have people genuinely excited about something going down in Albany. This is a town that is still reeling from the closure of Firestone over 25 years ago. We’re still reeling from Cooper Tire closing, and Merck closing as well. There’s not a lot to get stoked about in Albany, but now there’s one thing.
The Throwdown may well be a salve on the soul of The Good Life City. I would like to urge everyone who can go to go. There’s bound to be a band you’ll like. The laws of probability alone, based on the sheer numbers of acts, guarantees that.
However, we have got to have events like this. We need another Throwdown. We need them constantly. Our young people are salivating at the notion of an event like this, and we’re losing our young people to other locales that boast events like this. People from outside of Albany are excited by the prospect as well, which means they’ll come to town and rent hotel rooms and buy food which translates to economic impact.
It took long enough for this to happen, but it happened the way events like this should happen. Someone stepped up and said, “I want to make this happen.” So they did, and the result may be a huge step in turning around this town. Now, the rest of us need to step up and say that we want to make something happen, then make it happen.