the festivities

i haven’t had much time to write about the georgia throwdown, but it’s taken over my world. when i started dating justin, he told me about a modest music festival he and his business partners had envisioned bringing to albany. he beamed with pride as he shared the beginnings of a tale that, now, has not only changed my life, but the life of a city i love. what started as a humble idea has transformed into an unprecedented event that has brought equal parts excitement and doubt to the people in southwest georgia.

there’s so much of a story to tell. much of the planning is worthy of a television show (no joke). to begin my story, meeting justin was simply happenstance. i lost my job, and i brought my resume by the cool, new Creative Group in town. justin greeted me at the door, and we immediately hit it off. the magnitude of the projects he was thinking up only became evident to me after we had been dating a few weeks. during a time when i had ultimately lost my way, justin was not only there for me as a love interest–he involved me in his work projects, including soweGAfest. even i can’t grasp how much it helped my self worth through a sad time to be working on an enormous music festival with the power players of albany.

as this weekend comes around, i have so many emotions. i’m oozing with pride over my boyfriend’s and friends’ hard work–and i mean hard. hard. work.–on this event. i’m anxious to see the turn out. i’m disappointed in those who just don’t get it. i’m glad that there is hope for an area so devoid, so lacking in morale. i’m glad sam shugart, bo henry, justin andrews, evan barber, cynthia george, jeb tabb, mike kostoff, dallas davidson and many others separated themeselves from the ordinary. i’m glad that they believe in albany and southwest georgia. i’m glad they believe in the people of this area, some of who are so weary of change that they criticize the possibility for growth rather than support it. i’m glad this team believes in sparking ideas and continuing forward when many aim to snuff the flame.

this event is bigger than a music festival. it is an effort to make the change. it is a signal of things to come. so many ideas like this are thrown around for bettering the local economy, but who has swallowed their pride and put their name on the line to make it happen? these guys. i respect our core team so much, and i have enjoyed building the family that soweGAfest has become.

i was musing with justin last night, “what will we do when this thing ends on sunday?” it has been our lives. many people won’t know what it took. but i know what it took, and as an albany native, i couldn’t be more proud of this fantastic effort. so, what will we do when this thing ends on sunday? kick off the next big idea, that’s what.

i’m so proud of you, justin. you made the lowest point of my year the highest, and i hope others see your light like i do. one more day until the georgia throwdown! thank you to everyone who has worked and supported and watched with wonder; i hope you all will be as proud as i am after this weekend.

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  1. OMG Erin. How sweet. Thank u for being in Justins life when he needed you. I love this article and he has told me he could not have done it without you. All the hard work, late nights, no more”Mom , I cant come this weekend. I have too much work on festival to do.” More, Ill be relaxing at the beach or Ill be there by lunch. So, Im as excited as you for all these guys and gals that are truly changing the world with music. THANK YOU for your kind words.
    Much love, Donna

  2. I stumbled across Erin’s blog a couple of years too late (typical me). Erin Whatley Andrew’s is the BOMB!!!! Such a sweet, kindred spirit and now a wonderful Mommy!!! Thank you for your kind words and immeasurable support Erin!!!

  3. Wow I’ve never seen this until now…… This brings back so many memories. We really built an allstar team that became an allstar family. This entire project was a test of everyones true character and integrity. I have to say thats probably my favorite part because I built lifetime relationships with some of the best people i could ever imagine meeting anywhere else in the world. Although i wish some situations were different I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. My partners laid it all on the line. I will always remember that and look up to them for that. DYNAMIC SYNERGY!!! Im so lucky to have such an amazing wife. You are such a team player in our family, my career, as well as yours. Love you to the moon!

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