Musical notes are ringing out everywhere around Lake Lanier this season, from amphitheaters and downtown squares to lakeside restaurants and greenways. Tourism officials tout music’s value in not only attracting visitors but also in adding notes of joy and reflection to hometown residents.
Live music “goes with the Dahlonega vibe,” said Samuel McDuffie, tourism director for the mountain town near Lanier’s north end. Pickin’ and grinnin’ string players around the historic downtown square and occasional rockers thumping bass at Hancock Park “give another reason tourists come to our area,” he said. But they especially enjoy the old timey, Appalachian music from the region’s soul, he added.
McDuffie’s got it in him. The songwriter plays guitar and mandolin and sings in several shows a year in the town he promotes and at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur. Performing live at an outdoor venue forges a special interaction between the artist and audience, he said. “It’s a memorable moment,” he said, one that travelers want to come back to.
Dahlonega’s Saturday Appalachian Jam brings dozens of musicians downtown to play impromptu pieces from May to October. The First Friday concert series resounds from Hancock Park with a variety of musical genres.
Gainesville tourism director Robyn Lynch shares the excitement about what live music brings to a community and tourism. “Live music is so popular!” Lynch said by email. “And Gainesville has a lot to offer … First Fridays on the square and Food Truck Fridays. Many special events also include live music: The Arts Council Summer Concert Series, Latino Fest, Midland Music Fest, The Lake Show, Mule Camp, Jarrard Burch Foundation Singers and Songwriters Show, and many others.
“In addition many of our local restaurants and bars have weekly live music including Black Strap Rock Hall (opening May 13 on the Midland Greenway) and The Boot Barn at Bourbon Brothers will be open this summer with live music several nights a week.”
“With all of the live music options in Gainesville this summer, we expect regional visitors to make weekend trips where they can enjoy the lake, food, attractions and live music!” Lynch said.
Check Lakeside’s Outdoor Calendar to see where to catch live shows outside around the lake. Click the link on the homepage to subscribe to Lakeside’s weekly “Scoop.” The Scoop is sent Thursdays via email beginning Memorial Day Week and includes who is performing on weekends at restaurants on the lake.