Jason Aldean and Ludacris at Sanford Stadium in Athens
Georgia's Music Scene
Georgia's musical heritage spans time and styles.
From bluegrass to gospel and everything in between, Georgia has a wide-ranging musical history that spans as many genres as it does decades. Artists such as Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, the B-52s and more, all hail from the Peach State.
Sites, museums, tours and memorials throughout the state pay homage to the musicians who claim Georgia as their home. Start your tour of Georgia's musical heritage with these sites in Athens, Macon and on the Georgia coast.
Athens is known as the birthplace of some of rock and roll’s biggest names, including R.E.M. and the B-52s. Additionally, the Morton Theatre, one of the first, and oldest surviving African American-built, -owned and -operated vaudeville theaters, showcased talents such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway.
A self-guided tour of Athens should include top stops as:
- The 40 Watt Club: The city’s iconic music venue for rock, folk and more.
- The Classic Center: A convention center and performance arts theater.
- Morton Theatre: Home to history and host to musical acts and plays throughout the year.
- The Last Resort Grill: This famed restaurant was once owned by R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe.
- The Foundry: This dimly light, multi-store playhouse and bar hosts live music acts almost every night.
- The Globe: This old-world, pub-style venue hosts musicians playing Irish folk songs each Sunday.
- Georgia Theatre: Although it burned tragically in 2009, this active, legendary music venue rose from the ashes two years later with the addition of a rooftop restaurant.
Macon is a hub of musical heritage with multiple genres stemming from the area. The legendary Allman Brothers Band, the soulful Otis Redding and Little Richard, country star Jason Aldean, rapper Young Jeezy and violinist Robert McDuffie all call this city home. A visit to Macon, with music in mind, needs to include visits to:
- The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House and Rose Hill Cemetery, the final resting place of guitarist Duane Allman.
- Rock Candy Tours: Take a two-hour tour to notable music spots in the city.
- Hummingbird Stage and Taproom or the Grand Opera House at Mercer University, both of which regularly offer live music.
Savannah and the Golden Isles also have lively music scenes. The Savannah College of Art and Design often brings major names to town, regularly showcasing talents at The Lucas Theatre for the Arts, and the Savannah Civic Center. Alternative groups flock to The Wormhole variety stage, while The Congress Street Social Club is known for live music, food and drinks.
Feeling jazzy? Head to Jazz’d Tapas Bar to discover hot acts performing live six nights a week. Savannah also hosts the Savannah Music Festival, a long-running, cross-genre music event in the spring.
Head to St. Simons and Jekyll Island, as well as Brunswick, for some Golden Isles entertainment. On St. Simons, Palm Coast Coffee Café and Pub hosts live music acts every weekend with great eats and craft beer in tow. Coastal Kitchen and Raw Bar in the Golden Isles Marina also hosts live music, notably on Sundays on the outdoor, waterfront patio.
On Jekyll, The Wharf has live music on weekends right on the dock. Brunswick plays host to the local’s favorite Tipsy McSway’s Neighborhood Bar in the historic downtown area, with live acts every Friday and Saturday nights.