Bulger's Beat: Livingston singing the right tune for tourism - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: Livingston singing the right tune for tourism

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LIVINGSTON, TN (WSMV) -

The town square in the beautiful plateau town of Livingston, TN, will be the place to be Saturday as an outdoor music festival kicks off a long-term plan to use live music in attracting tourism.

"I moved here in '72. I escaped south Florida," said resident Jack Stoddard.

Stoddard has been a champion for Livingston and its modest, honest people ever since.

His photography celebrates life in Overton County and is part of the permanent exhibit inside Washington's Smithsonian Institute.

Now, he thinks it's time more folks visited the community he loves.

"We've got lakes nearby, mountains, nice restaurants, good shopping. Now we're gonna have great entertainment," he said.

Stoddard and many others in Livingston hope the live music shows can lead to a much-needed economic boost after two local factories closed.

"Look to the fact that people are looking for a destination. They want some place cool to go where they can enjoy themselves and be safe. Well, here it is," Stoddard said.

That pitch comes from the guy who first parked his hippie bus in Overton County more than 40 years ago and knows what you're missing.

"They're missing the most beautiful small town. If you were gonna make a movie and wanted to build a classic set, you wouldn't have to do it. You could come right here," he said.

The free, all-day Live in Livingston music festival is also a food drive, so organizers hope attendees will bring along some canned foods to help out that cause.

It will go forward rain or shine, and the program includes bluegrass great Sam Bush and Texas country singer-songwriter Hayes Carll.

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