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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

January Jams is named top tourism event in southeast

January 30, 2018

Abingdon's January Jams concert series has been named by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for January 2018.

This year's January Jams program ran on weekends at the historic Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. A diverse music line-up was on tap for the series, hosted by the Town of Abingdon.

Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published on Southeast Tourism Society andTravel Media Press Room. The STS Top 20 has highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985.

"January Jams at the Barter showcases intimate concerts with music legends," said Sara Saavedra, special events coordinator for the Town of Abingdon. "We are pleased to receive this recognition from the Southeast Tourism Society.

"As Abingdon's largest tourism driver, when Barter Theatre went dark in January, so did many of our restaurants in town, closing for the entire month," she continued. "January Jams changes that by putting Grammy-Award winning artists on stage each weekend of the month. An intimate venue with just 500 seats, January Jams is a unique experience with these musicians that cannot be replicated anywhere else."

The concert line-up for the 2018 series schedule included Amythyst Kiah & Her Chest of Glass, Lillie Mae, John Paul White, John Moreland, David Grisman & John Sebastian, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen with Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Muddy Magnolias and Booker T. Jones.

"The Southeast is home to unique and memorable events throughout the year," said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society. "In spotlighting the Top 20 festivals and events each month, STS is not only giving these events the recognition they deserve but we're also creating a quick reference guide to some of the best festivals in the Southeast. These events are important to the economic vitality of our communities and this is a way for us to acknowledge the time and resources organizers have tirelessly spent to create memories for their attendees."

Events considered for the STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000.

"Now entering its sixth year, January Jams has helped to firmly establish Abingdon as an up-and-coming music destination," Saavedra said. "Agents and artists are now requesting to be considered for the series which has increased the caliber of musicians participating every year. Our surveys show that people are driving from as far away as four hours to attend the shows and since 2013, meals and lodging taxes collected in Abingdon have increased steadily during January, and we expect it to continue to trend in that direction because of January Jams."

STS, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.