More than 120,000 country music fans and outdoor enthusiasts are expected to flock to Douglas County’s Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club this summer for a three-day music festival that’s promised to be like no other.
The first Chattahoochee River Country Music Festival, slated for July 24-26, will feature 18 nationally known country music artists, a Midway carnival, camping, fishing, horseback riding and more on the resort’s 1,100 acres in south Douglas County.
The festival is organized by CelebScene, Inc., a young social media platform and promoting agency based in Paulding County’s Atlanta Film Studios.
“We weren’t looking just to have a ‘music festival’ or a ‘carnival,’ we were looking for an experience,” said Jason Benson, co-owner of CelebScene. “We were looking to give the festival goers … almost kind of a mini-vacation (and) something they would be excited about bringing their family back to year after year.”
A barbecue competition, fireworks and dancing parties will also be among activities available for festival-goers. While there will be plenty of activities for college students and adults, Benson said at least four acres will be filled with obstacle courses, bounce houses, inflatable slides, rock climbing walls and zip-lines for the youngsters. The carnival will run for a week after the festival.
“It will definitely be kid-friendly and family-friendly,” Benson said. “I think it’ll be a big Southeast region draw.”
Scott Powers is managing partner of Douglasville-based experiential marketing agency DriveTerrain and a sponsorship coordinator for the festival.
“We (organized this) to create an entirely new type of experience in country music and festival going that has national appeal,” Powers said.
Powers said there will be zones on the festival grounds, “for families to be separated from some of the other elements,” while camping in tents and participating in other activities.
“We also have targeted college students,” Powers said. “We’re reaching out to fraternities and sororities around the Southeast. We’re targeting outdoor enthusiasts with on-site camping and the ability to be at a country music festival and (also) go canoeing or go fishing or rent a mountain bike or schedule a time to shoot sporting clays.”
In addition to tent camping, Powers said the festival will bring RV campers, too. Through a partnership with Good Sam Club, an international organization of recreational vehicle owners, Powers said he expects 1.6 million RV campers will hear about the festival.
“(The festival) becomes an economic development opportunity for not only Douglas County, but our state,” Powers said.“(Douglas County) has so much to offer and this creates a huge regional tourism marketing opportunity for Douglas County and it’s right in our back yard.”
Organizers of the Chattahoochee River Country Music Festival have learned a lot about what not to do from TomorrowWorld, the annual electronic music festival across the river in Fulton County, Powers said.
“We will be very different than TomorrowWorld,” Powers said. “We’ve been able to learn a lot from TomorrowWorld in terms of how late music plays and traffic and safety and security and things like that.”
A longtime resident of Douglasville, Powers said he feels like Douglas County is often discounted as a regional player in metropolitan Atlanta.
“It feels really good … to have someone of this scale and regional impact coming here instead of getting to hear the music from across the river and not getting to enjoy any of the benefits,” Powers said. “I think over the next five years (the festival) is going to generate tremendous income from taxes and (bring) awareness (to the county) in a very positive light. It’s long deserved.”
Chris Pumphrey, executive director of the Development Authority of Douglas County, said he expects the economic impact will be significant for Douglas County.
“Immediately, what you begin to think about is some of these other major festivals around the country (such as) South by Southwest, Cochella,” Pumphrey said. “Our hopes are that is has a similar impact on the county as those do.”
The estimated economic impact of TomorrowWorld, a much smaller three-day festival, was about $70 million, Pumphrey said.
“We’re excited about its potential,” Pumphrey said. “It will be a huge, huge benefit to the county.”
The line-up for the festival is expected to be announced Saturday, March 14. Tickets range from $69 to $1,099. For more information, visit www.crcmf.com.
For updates on the festival, visit Chattahoochee River Country Music Festival on Facebook at Facebook.com/CRCMF.