James Brown Music Festival organizers meet with city leaders

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

After two weeks of fallout from the James Brown Music Festival, festival organizers met with city leaders for the first time on June 13.

They are trying to sort out what went wrong Memorial Day weekend.

Whether you considered it a success or not, one thing's for sure: the James Brown Music Festival ended with lots of finger pointing, threats of lawsuits, and even arrests.

Tuesday, the parties involved in all the drama met behind closed doors with Augusta mayor Deke Copenhaver.

That includes festival chairman Champ Walker and members of his committee, the sheriff and city administrator, and others.

After the meeting, organizers did not wish to speak to the media about what was discussed.

But city leaders told News 12 that after talking for an hour and a half, there is still very little clarity.

"I think at this point, we did not come to any resolution, but we are on the right track by openly communicating together," said interim commissioner Keith Brown.

"You've got conflicting stories from of bunch of different sides," said Mayor Copenhaver. "I don't know how you get to the bottom of that; personally I'm just ready to move forward and let the dust settle and see how we want to proceed next year."

The video of what festival organizers say was a confrontation between deputies and Champ Walker was played during the meeting.

Organizers say it shows deputies acting out of line, threatening to arrest Walker.

But city officials tell us that after watching the video, it was hard to determine what actually was going on.

Festival organizers and the sheriff are set to meet later this week to sort that out.

Champ Walker says there will be a festival next year.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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