Blog Contributor: Christina A. Williams
The 2nd annual Holla Yella Live Music Festival will be held near downtown Ellijay, GA from June 10-12, 2022 with a special guest appearance from the one and only American legend, Bigfoot. Last year’s audiences rave over the live music, including a saxophone performance from “Sasquatch,” punctuated with brews and cocktails to kick off the summer in the north Georgia mountains. It’s pretty clear that this isn’t your typical summer music festival.
In 1958, northern California loggers wrote their local newspaper, The Humboldt Times, about a suspicious set of footprints they came across in the area.The doubtful connection to the Abominable Snowman was not taken seriously, and some stories of sighting and encounters date back to the late 1800s before the existence of a recorded history of the mysterious creature. Over a time span of nearly 200 years, people mainly from the northwest region of the US have told stories of seeing a powerfully-built beast, towering anywhere from 7-feet tall or more, but never being able to confirm if it is an actual hairy human or something like a large, upright ape.
Depending on where you hear recounts of the legend, Bigfoot is known by different names in different cultures, serving a wide range of purposes. The Salish Sasquits refer to Sasquatch, while the Algonquin indigenous people know of Witiko or Wendigo. Alson the Ojibway tell stories of Rugaru. The most common story of sightings include scaring hikers, campers and lumberjacks, but other cultures reserve more important duties such as having special powers and characteristics, appearances in times of danger and being a messenger of warning, inspiring man to change his, assumedly negative, ways.
The Western Air Defense Sector of the Washington Military Department has adopted Bigfoot as their mascot, complete with a statue representing a mixture of various descriptions on the property, and when locals report seeing footprints, having encounters or turn over grainy photos and videos, the organization takes it as a general message of warning to prepare for possible danger. Doubtful sightings haven’t stopped journalists and locals from all over the world from creating what is now a 64-year-old urban legend of an evasive giant living in the woods, and apparently, traveling to bi-coastal destinations for festival performances.
With the mission of bringing people together to inspire positive connections through music and the arts, last year’sHolla Yella Live Music Festival featured pet adoption opportunities, local art to browse and purchase, as well as vendors from the Ellijay area selling unique knick knacks and tasting opportunities from local restaurants.
A featured restaurant, Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza, also happens to be the one of the event organizers and boasts the highest quality of locally-sourced authentic Neapolitan style pizza and Italian food made from ancient cooking methods and all natural flavors. No wonder they were voted Best of Georgia 2021 in the Georgia Business Journal. Previous event sponsors include Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Artful Ellijay, TEN Spring Water and Gilmer Chamber.
Last year’s event was held from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM at Artful Acres, with ticket prices ranging from $11.00 to $40.00. The organizers of the event have high hopes of developing this event to eventually be one of the leading festivals in Georgia with music genres of the performing bands that include rock, classic rock, indie and jam bands to accommodate the diverse listening pleasures of the masses.
This year’s event is still in the planning stages, so keep an eye on the Holla Yella Fest Facebook page for updates.