1st ‘R&B Blues Picnic’ in Albany brings estimated 800 people

The event was held at Riverfront Park in Downtown Albany.
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 7:22 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The first R&B Blues Picnic in Albany was held on Sunday evening.

The event has been held in other southern cities.

“Everyone just come out and have a good time in Albany. We are having a good time,” Venus Hamilton, Sylvester resident, said.

Although this is the first R&B Picnic in Albany, many more could soon follow. It’s all based on community response.

“I think it’s going to go really well. The people are going to want it again so we might come back in August with the blessing of the city,” Travon Duhart, Program Director at WJIZ-FM (96.3), said.

Duhart is professionally known as “DJ Tray.” He helped organize the event.

He says thousands show up to Montgomery’s music festivals. He sees the same for downtown Albany.

“I’ve always wanted to do something here because I’ve never really seen anything big down here. I think this park is a really good spot to do outside events,” Duhart said.

Some, like Kernal Tannahill, drove hours away to be at the festival. He drove to Albany from Macon.

“There’s a lot of people out here. People out here dancing. People out here having a good time,” Tannahill said.

Vendors came from as far away as Tallahassee.

Duhart estimates 800 in total came this year. The idea for music festivals like this was to bring people out after COVID-19. He hopes this event gets rid of the stigma that there’s not enough to do downtown.

“There’s a lot of ‘grown events’ coming to Albany but it’s not enough... Just get some people out here to have a good time without having to worry about violence I’m just listening to music and having a good time,” Duhart said.

Arrowhead Chiropractic helped sponsor the event. George Willis Jr., marketing director at Arrowhead Chiropractic, has a history in the music business.

“Just supporting R&B music man. It is phenomenal. It has a whole lotta history,” Willis said.

Duhart said they invited local talent as well as DJs from the 90s to now.

“I hope this can show people that we can do a lot of great things right here and this park. Shout out to all the downtown businesses that helped us pull this off,” Duhart said.

Albany’s downtown has slowly added businesses like Cornerstone Coffee + Co and The Showroom. Duhart wants to keep the positive momentum going.