For five years, Georgia Aquarium brought sonic waves into the venue with its weekly Jazz Journeys series.
But this season, the event received an overhaul, including a new name – SoundWaves – and a broader exploration of musical genres.
Scott Higley, vice president of marketing and communications at the aquarium, acknowledges that 2011 saw a drop off in attendance, so it was time for some refreshing.
“A jazz-specific series skews a little older, so we thought we could do something more contemporary to attract our target audience. And it’s family friendly.”
(That target audience, by the way, is women 25-54.)
Higley is working with Nolan Reeves Music, the booking agent for Smith’s Olde Bar, to pull in acts that “usually play bar settings,” such as recent performers Mike Bourne & Atlanta Boogie and Wesley Cook.
“It’s highly unique,” Higley says of the experience. “Most aquariums do one-off concerts, but we really wanted to work to grow the audience and expand it.”
The musical entertainment from SoundWaves – held Fridays from 7-9 p.m. – is included in aquarium admission. An adult ticket purchased after 5:30 p.m. is $24.95, seniors 65 and older are $20.95 and children 3-12 are $18.95.
If you bought a ticket earlier in the day and happen to still be gawking at the belugas or African penguins once SoundWaves begins in the main atrium, you’re welcome to stick around and enjoy the music.
Those seeking a more inclusive experience can pre-purchase a trio of food baskets created by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
The generous portions in the Southern Picnic for Two costs $45 for non-members and $40 for members and includes sliced fried chicken, cornbread, potato salad, coleslaw, fruit and dessert. Lighter appetites might prefer the Cheese Tray for Two ($63/$57) which boasts an array of cheeses, fruit, hummus, garlic pita, antipasti and desserts.
Food orders must be placed by 10 a.m. the Thursday prior to the concert. However, a cash bar is open at every show and guests can take their adult beverages with them while touring the aquarium.
“We just thought we’d give people an opportunity to experience something we didn’t think they’re getting anywhere else,” Higley says.
Tonight’s show features R&B/soul from Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, while the Aug. 24 entertainment will be provided by singer-songwriter Gareth Asher.
SoundWaves is expected to run through September. Check www.georgiaaquarium.org for updated artist info.