With the success of Tuesday night’s James Brown Birthday Bash, event organizers are already looking to the future.
Hundreds of locals packed the bell auditorium in downtown Augusta to celebrate what would have been James Brown’s 83rd birthday.
Former Mayor Deke Copenhaver and his consulting company made sure the city came out in big numbers by making the event totally free.
With upwards of 2500 people the auditorium quickly reached capacity, and exceeded a lot of expectations.
What many people don’t know is the event was put together in 4 short months.
So with a year’s planning time, Copenhaver says he expects big things for next year.
“I always believe in under promising and over delivering,” Copenhaver said.
Over delivering is exactly what George Claussen did with Tuesday night’s James Brown Birthday Bash. A night he says was one of the best.
“I do concerts for a living, for years, and this definitely goes down as number one in the book,” Claussen said.
It’s a night that might not have happened without Deke Copenhaver’s sponsorship.
We asked the former Mayor why he decided to hop on board and sponsor the event, he responded by saying, “James Brown was a friend of mine and in 2006, kind words that he said about me at the dedication at the arena, I know helped get me reelected. So I owe a lot to the man.”
Claussen and Copenhaver agree the Birthday Bash set the bar high for events to come, and they both know more events for Augusta means more money for the city they love.
“Augusta is just so routed perfect you know. If you’re going to Atlanta, coming from charlotte, or Columbia, or anything, you have to drive through here. So it’s just important to continue to try to get these acts, and as long as the community keeps showing up we can keep doing it,” Claussen said.
So what can we expect for James Brown’s 84th Birthday?
“I think ideally I would like this to be a weekend event to bring in some bigger artists, I think, and to always have the James Brown Band as being the headliner, and to be able to have something as a weekend to make it, kind of like a type of jazz fest,” Claussen explained.
The next event for ‘Friends with Benefits’ is Sunday at the Jessye Norman Amphitheatre. It’s called the Riverwalk Revival and will include performances from ‘Trampled by Turtles’ and ‘The Devil Makes Three’.
This event begins at 7:30 but doors will be open at 6:30.