Widespread Panic will headline this year’s CounterPoint Music Festival, a three-day event officials expect will pump cash into the local economy.
CounterPoint, scheduled for May 22-24 at Kingston Downs, brought some 65,000 people to the venue last year, organizers said. They spent $3.6 million in Floyd and Bartow counties over three days, according to estimates from Lisa Smith, executive director of the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“We feel very fortunate to have the event here,” Smith said. “We are real excited. These organizers are very precise in what they do and how they think.”
This year’s lineup includes jam band Widespread Panic and American hip hop/neo soul band The Roots, the latter of which performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. More than 40 bands are slated to perform on multiple stages.
Outkast, a popular hip hop duo, headlined last year’s festival. Other bands included Pretty Lights and Foster the People.
Ellen Archer, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow Convention and Visitors Bureau, hopes to lure some of CounterPoint’s traffic to her hotels and retail stores.
“We are going to be promoting packages with transportation this year,” Archer said. “That’s what I’m cooking. We do that for Steeplechase some and it works great.”
According to Archer, festival-goers filled restaurants and bought out some items from Walmart. The volume caught some businesses by surprise.
This year businesses can sign up for text alerts, which will give them advance notice of events expected to draw crowds to the area.
Restaurants and vendors can text “Whozntown” to 88202 to sign up for the alerts.
“It’s like anything else that’s high profile — it brings a lot of people in that otherwise wouldn’t,” Archer said. “It broadens awareness of the beauty that Northwest Georgia has.”