October 4, 2005
Organizers for the James Brown Music Festival are using the “We Feel Good” slogan to lure thousands to Augusta for the mega event that is planned for late March. And only on 12, find out when this festival will be, the economic impact, and why organizers say it will promote racial unity.
Silla Café owner Felton Mitchell is in a prime spot for the upcoming James Brown Soul of America Music Festival.
“Nobody else got it better. We are right here beside the Common and everything is right here so everybody gets to see us,” Mitchell said.
In March, the Augusta Common will be center stage for the festival, right across from the James Brown statue. Organizer Champ Walker expects a crowd between 50,000-100,000.
“This is an international event,” Walker said.
An event that organizers hope will pour millions of dollars into the local economy.
“I tell you what, I’m going to start preparing in January and I expect to sell out two or three times,” Mitchell said.
“The restaurants, the hotels, they are going to benefit tremendously from the merchandise opportunities and the vending opportunities,” Walker said.
And the goal of the festival is racial unity. It’s something that James Brown has pushed throughout his life. He talked about it in May on his way to the unveiling of his statue.
“Let’s get together, what we miss is love,” Brown said.
“James Brown brought the races together during the 1960’s. You are talking about race music hew as the pioneer, you’re talking about rap, funk, rock, you are talking about James Brown,” Walker said.
The entertainer says it would be good for the local economy.
“If they get that James Brown Festival started that would pay off Augusta’s bills for a year so they don’t have to worry about how they are going to get money and subsidies,” Brown said.
“Now that we are the Feel Good City he feels like this city has turned a corner in reference to him and his contributions and we have an icon in our midst,” Walker said.
“God is good and please please please don’t forget me,” Brown said.
The James Brown Soul of America Music Festival and Celebrity Weekend is set for March 30 through April 2.