By Bradley Robertson
For the Opelika
I’m a music person, always have been. I grew up listening to my dad play tunes on our way to school and afternoon activities. Anything and everything from jazz, opera, classical and blues. I often feel as though I dance through my days, music playing in my head or on my iPhone.
Opelika has taken music to a new local level with downtown venues and a large support for the arts and musicians across the south. So what’s a Lee County local to do when we want a bigger show with more popular, well known musicians?
There’s a new sweet spot in LaGrange Georgia that fits that bill beautifully, Sweetland Amphitheatre.
I visited Sweetland for the first time in April to see John Prine. My brother and I take my dad to a concert every year for his birthday. It’s become a perfect tradition, something to enjoy together and celebrate the man that taught us to love music.
Sweetland opened its gates for it’s opening performance May 29, 2016 with headliner Willie Nelson.
Since then, they have brought to stage The Temptations, Jason Isbell, Taj Mahal and Need to Breathe, just to name a few. They host a variety of events throughout the year including family picnic days and fundraisers. They even offer a costume day during the fall season.
My first thought of this venue was its easy access in and out. It’s right off the I85 interstate, simple directions and quick accessible parking. Upon arrival, the venue is well managed with plenty of staff and volunteers, very clean with multiple gates, making getting in and out of the theatre pleasant.
Upon entering, Sweetland has a beautiful southern view with a fresh cut green lawn leading down to the large red, brick amphitheater. There is stadium seating, as well as tables for VIP tickets front row or you can take the lawn option as my family did. We brought our own beach chairs and parked them at our chosen spot for an incredible price. We had an excellent view. We were able to see John Prine well and my father did not get up the whole concert. Proof that it was comfortable and the show was fantastic.
The spacious venue also treated us to food trucks and beer stands. There was plenty to go around, with appropriate wait times and tasty local options. We enjoyed cold beer from Wild Leap and pizza from a local pizza parlor. Sweetland has its own concessions as well, offering burgers, sodas and all the good stadium style food.
Sitting in our chairs, we relished in our night together, enjoying music in an unforgettable space. The sunset was enough to make a southern lady smile and spending it with those you love makes it even sweeter.
Sweetland is offering a free sunset event Aug. 9 beginning at 6 p.m.. Folks can enjoy local music, food hosted by Sweetland or you may bring in your own picnic and beverages. The evening ends with a movie showing of Ralph Breaks the Internet. An excellent event to bring the kids and see what Sweetland has to offer.
One of my personal favorites, Dwight Yokam, is playing at Sweetland Sept. 12. I’m crazy excited, as this is going to make a great date night for me and my husband.
If you have yet to visit Sweetland, I strongly encourage you to look them up. Their lineup continues to be impressive and their price points are affordable. Grab your friends or maybe even your Dad and get outside and enjoy this fantastic setting, in LaGrange.
To purchase tickets or get details, visit www.sweetland.events. They also have a great Instagram account with lively pictures and upcoming concerts.