Lost Art Music Festival brings ‘high-energy Americana’ to Douglas County

Asked to describe Lost Art Music Festival, founder Jim Ethridge explained the concept as similar to a rock cruise — except it takes place at the Foxhall Resort in Douglas County, some 30 miles southwest of Midtown Atlanta.

Originally, Ethridge hoped to debut Lost Art in 2020. But due to COVID-19, it was pushed to June 2021. This year’s festival is set for June 17-18, with Aaron Lee Tasjan and Gabe Lee kicking things off on Friday, and Durand Jones & The Indications headlining on Saturday.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Ethridge grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and earned a graduate degree in communications at the University of Georgia, before moving to Los Angeles to work in the publicity department at Vanguard Records. More recently, he was the marketing director at City Winery in Atlanta.

“As a music fan, it was my dream to someday put together an event and bring people out to do what I loved to do my entire life,” Ethridge said. “I brought the idea to Rodney Stammel, who helped launch Sixthman Cruises years and years ago, and we worked through the concept.

“Music cruises are a destination event. They’ve got lodging onsite in a beautiful setting. They’ve got excursions with artists. And, of course, there’s a sense of community. So we’re taking all that, and making it landlocked, near the metropolitan center of Atlanta.”

As for the music at Lost Art, Ethridge calls it “high-energy Americana,” a wide-ranging genre that draws on American roots music styles.

“The great thing about Americana is that it’s this big umbrella, with so many different influences, from rock to country to gospel, blues, folk, and all of that together,” he said. “There’s a diversity in the sound, but there’s still a common thread that runs through it.”

The festival also caters to “the 30 and up crowd,” Ethridge noted, aimed at people who still love live music, but want it served up in the right setting with the proper amenities.

For Lost Art, that was Foxhall, an outdoor-focused resort on 1,100 acres, centered around what Ethridge describes as “a beautiful bend in the Chattahoochee River.” The property features one, two, three, and four bedroom villas, a new clubhouse, and an infinity pool that overlooks a large lake, where guests can kayak, canoe or paddleboard.

Credit: Valerie Bower

Credit: Valerie Bower

General admission and VIP tickets range from $20-$155 plus fees, and there are reasonably priced RV camping spots, plus shuttle service from Atlanta or Douglasville to the site. But renting a villa isn’t cheap. VIP Platinum tickets, which include onsite lodging and passes for Friday and Saturday, range from $1,469 for two to $5,306 for eight people.

“We wanted to have ticket prices for all types of fans,” Ethridge said. “To attend the Friday kick-off show it’s $20, on Saturday it’s $50 for six artists. But for the folks who want to stay for two nights, and be able to walk five minute to the stage and back, we’re offering the restaurants, the tennis courts, and all the other amenities. Last year, most people who stayed onsite were from outside the Atlanta area.”

Another draw is the Inner Circle Experiences, with a separate ticket that offers fans a chance to hang with some of the artists, and maybe even be treated to an intimate performance. Among this year’s Experiences, there’s Fishin’ with Durand Jones and The Indications, the Rayland Baxter ATV and Hayride, and the Lone Bellow BBQ and Wild Heaven Beer Pairing.

“The Experiences are outings shared by a small number of fans,” Ethridge said. “We’re looking to break down that wall between the fans and the artists. They take place before the doors open for the festival, and they’re all walking distance to the entrance to the festival.

“Last year, fans who took the ATV and Hayride stopped right in front of the Chattahoochee River, where the War and Treaty did a 20 minute a cappella set. That type of thing is something we work really hard to put together for the fans. It’s something you can only get at Lost Art.”


FESTIVAL PREVIEW

Lost Art Music Festival, featuring Aaron Lee Tasjan, Durand Jones & The Indications, Rayland Baxter, the Lone Bellow, Paul Cauthen, Southern Avenue, Margo Cilker, and Gabe Lee

June 17-18. $25.07-$166.82. Foxhall Resort, 8000 Capps Ferry Road, Douglasville. lostartmusicfest.com.