The “Johnny Cash Now Tribute” event in LaFayette proved a success as more than 620 tickets were sold for the Aug. 10 concert honoring Cash.

Reliving a historical moment in our community to see what the future could possibly hold was the goal of the Johnny Cash Now event at Ross Abney Complex.

That’s just what the City of LaFayette did when the LaFayette, Ga., Downtown Development Authority and LaFayette’s A Thriving Community group were hoping for on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Community leaders and volunteers wanted to explore the possibilities of utilizing the Ross Abney Complex for future community events. It was important to know if the space seating, parking, power, lighting, bathroom facilities, gate check-ins, vending and spatial arrangements would be feasible as well as if the community would support it.

Given the large crowd and the feedback, it was a success and gives the community something to work towards for future events.

A bit of history

For years, the Aug. 13, 1970, concert that Johnny Cash performed on Patton Field in LaFayette was that of local legend.

The Man in Black came to our town and put on a show that helped raise nearly $500,000 in today’s value to pay off debt on LaFayette High School’s Patton Stadium.

Cash performed in front of more than 12,000 people nearly half a century ago. It was the biggest-attended concert crowd prior to the inaugural Honeybee Festival in 2017.

The Aug. 10 concert headliner was Johnny Cash Now, an unbelievably authentic tribute to Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Three. Right down to Cash’s iconic introduction, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,” performer Gray Sartin and his band made you believe you’re experiencing the real thing.

Local favorite, Dennis Brown and Friends, featuring Kenny Smith, opened the show and entertained the audience.

As the evening grew, so did the crowd.

Community members brought lawn chairs and blankets to view the concert with a mix of people who attended the 1970 Cash concert and younger folks with their children.

Food and art vendors stayed busy the whole night and artwork from North LaFayette Elementary and LaFayette High schools were on display honoring the Man in Black. Guitar lessons were given by the Songbirds Foundation. Cash T-shirts, pictures, posters and memorabilia were also for sale at the event. There was something for everyone, especially Cash fans.

It was a success in the city of LaFayette and gives inspiration to host future concerts, festivals and community events at the Ross Abney Complex.

A large portion of the show was shared on Facebook to great response. Attendees would later comment that it was a great, family event where the community got to come together, and they look forward to seeing more events held at Ross Abney Complex.

Recommended for you