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2021 John Jarrard Foundation Concert happening in new Gainesville location
Dean Dillon
Dean Dillon accepts the Icon Award at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tenn. on Nov. 5, 2013. Dillon will perform Sept. 11 during this year’s John Jarrard Foundation concert. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

For two decades, the John Jarrard Foundation has brought some of Nashville’s best songwriters to Gainesville to perform in a charity event. 

The 20th anniversary John Jarrard Foundation Concert will do the same, though it’s at a new location this year.

The concert is set for Saturday, Oct. 23, at Midland Social in Gainesville, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. 

This year, songwriters Dean Dillon, Matraca Berg, Tim Nichols and Jim Collins will be performing their top hits and telling the stories behind their songs. 

Dillon, who began his Nashville career in the 1970s, wrote “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her,” which later became a hit for George Strait, who recorded many other songs by Dillon, including several others that went to No. 1. He also wrote “Tennessee Whiskey,” recorded by George Jones. More recently, he has written songs recorded by Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and Lee Ann Womack, among others.

20th Annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert

When: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23

Where: Midland Social 908 Grove St., Gainesville 

Cost: $25 per person

Berg co-wrote “Strawberry Wine,” recorded by Deana Carter and awarded the song of the year in 1997 by the County Music Association. She’s also known for songs recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless and Reba McEntire, among others.

Nichols co-wrote Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying," which was awarded a Grammy for Best Country Song in 2005.

Collins’ hits include “Big Green Tractor,” recorded by Jason Aldean; “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven,” recorded by Kenny Chesney; and “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” recorded by Thompson Square and nominated for a Grammy. He also co-wrote Easton Corbin’s hit single, “Baby, Be My Love Song.”

Jim Collins
Songwriter Jim Collins will perform Saturday, Sept. 11, at the John Jarrard Foundation Concert.

The John Jarrard Foundation began in 2002 in memory of Gainesville native and Georgia Music Hall of Fame songwriter John Jarrard. The concerts have been held annually since 2001, after Jarrard’s death, to honor his legacy and continue to support local songwriters.

“It’s a huge mile marker for us,” said Jody Jackson, executive director of the foundation. “Any time you can have a nonprofit that continues to raise money for 20 years, it’s a really big deal.”

Proceeds from the concert are given back to the community and local charities including the Georgia Mountain Food Bank, Boys and Girls Clubs of Lanier, Good News at Noon shelter, Good News Clinics and Sisu child care center. 

Tim Nichols
Songwriter Tim Nichols will perform Saturday, Sept. 11, at the John Jarrard Foundation Concert at Midland Social in Gainesville.

Jackson said they are excited to bring the concert back after they weren’t able to host it in 2020.

“It’s amazing how much support we receive from people in Gainesville, and they come to love and look forward to this fall event,” he said.

Jackson said the show gives back to the community but “in a way that’s just a lot of fun and is very music oriented.”

A live auction will be held before the concert and a video presentation of the Mike Banks Award will be shown on stage. 

Johnny’s BBQ and Easy B’s Kitchen will be selling food during the event. Tickets are $25 per person and eight-person tables are $600, which includes food, drinks and closer seating. 

Tickets can be purchased at up until the day before the concert. Masks and social distancing will not be required at the outdoor event. Sanitation stations will be set up around the event space.

For more information, visit

Matraca Berg
Matraca Berg accepts the ACM Poet's Award at the 12th Annual ACM Honors at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP)
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