Downtown Macon offers an authentic city experience unparalleled in the South. Downtown is steeped in American music history –Otis Redding, Little Richard, James Brown, and the Allman Brothers Band began their illustrious careers performing in downtown Macon’s historic venues like the Douglass Theatre and the Macon City Auditorium. Grant’s Lounge, once the de facto playground of Capricorn Records, hosted bands including the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Wet Willie and continues to host infamous jam sessions to this day.
Downtown Macon is everyone’s neighborhood. It’s the place where the community gathers for 1200+ signature events and annual festivals including the International Cherry Blossom Festival, the Pan African Festival, Bragg Jam, the Macon Film Festival, and the Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza. Downtown Macon serves as the region’s dynamic entertainment district and cultural hub, offering craft cocktails and beer and a diverse calendar of performances at our historic venues. Downtown Macon inspires creativity and innovation -it’s the home of Macon’s independent radio station and 7 quirky art galleries. Downtown Macon is where people meet by foot or bike before enjoying fare inspired by far-reaching destinations and new twists on Southern classics. Downtown Macon is unlike any other place –it’s vibrant and distinctly local, driven by the community that curates their own authentic city experience for all to enjoy.
Today, that history is being honored with new uses for old buildings. The former Capricorn Studios’ office building has been converted into a rock climbing gym; the former Capricorn Recording Studios is now home to a new recording studio, music incubator, and Macon music history museum thanks to the efforts of Mercer University, and the Macon City Auditorium welcomes national touring acts. A once forgotten and dilapidated downtown is teeming with 670+ lofts and 1,000 residents enjoying downtown Macon’s 52 restaurants, 58 retailers, and 33 entertainment venues. Since 2015, downtown Macon has witnessed over $136 million in public-private investment resulting in 18 rehabbed buildings, 111 new businesses, and 548 new jobs. Downtown Macon’s revitalization celebrates the past while building a completely new narrative for the present and future.