Sam Shugart Discusses Planning For Upcoming Music and Arts Festival

Barbara Kieker

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Sam Shugart, president of Reynolds, Shugart & Associates, and his partners – Justin Andrews, Jeb Tabb, And Evan Barber of Threeforty Creative Group, and Bo Henry – expect to announce this week the first national acts for the inaugural Sowega Music & Arts Festival to be held at The Exchange Club Fairgrounds this October.

"We are negotiating to sign Tier 1 acts first and then we will build around them with Tier 2 and local acts," Shugart said.

Shugart is hoping to create a festival comparable to BamaJam, a three-day music festival held annually in Enterprise, Ala.  Now in its fourth year, BamaJam draws an estimated 300,000 attendees and generates approximately 1,200 jobs.  The most recent festival held in June 2012 featured well-known acts such as Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock and Willie Nelson.

"Enterprise has a population of 26,000," Shugart said.  "Albany has a population of 70,000.  Why not hold a music festival here?"

Shugart has rented the entire fairground from the Exchange Club for October 12, 13 and 14.  He is offering local nonprofits free space and the ability to "take every dime they pull in." Nonprofits that participate this year will have the opportunity to return year after year.  

"We're encouraging them to be creative.  They'll have about 25,000 people per day for three days.  Instead of handing out brochures and asking for donations, do something fun and cool," Shugart said.

In addition to musical acts, the festival will feature a barbeque cooking competition, mixed martial arts and a whole section just for kids.

"It will be totally secure so that parents can drop their kids off.  The kids will get a wristband and then can enjoy bounce houses, face painting, crafts and games," Shugart said.  

The festival is already generating community support and excitement according to Shugart.  "We got 130,000 hits on Facebook in the first seven and a half days."  

More information on The Sowega Music & Arts Festival is available at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.