Mountain Tough benefit concert called a success

GATLINBURG (WATE) – Money is still being counted from Saturday night’s benefit concert in Gatlinburg, but it is being called a success.

The Zac Brown Band took the stage for the Mountain Tough concert along with about a dozen other bands in the line-up.

The music filled the streets of downtown Gatlinburg. It was a stark contrast to the abandoned sidewalks more than two weeks ago after the wildfires ripped through, but Saturday night was a chance to move forward.

“It really is the lifeblood for the town and for the past couple of weeks it’s been kind of tough,” said Joe Baker with Ole Smoky Moonshine.

Ole Smoky Moonshine teamed up with Yeehaw Brewing and the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau to put on the show. They presented a $150,000 check on stage, and Sunday they were still tallying up the rest of the money raised through t-shirt sales.

“From the sale of t-shirts it looked like it was a brisk effort going on and I’m sure that it’ll be meaningful,” Baker said.

Another goal was getting people back into town and supporting the local businesses.

“As folks who live and work in the community have felt for the past couple weeks without our visitors it’s tough to get by, and it’s hard to get back on your feet when there’s not a lot of work to do,” Baker said.

Baker said that also seemed to be a success.

“I would imagine we had somewhere between 8,000-10,000 people show up,” he said. “People were just moving up and down town with shopping bags and excited to be listening to music and really excited to be back in Gatlinburg.”

All the money raised will go to the Sevier County Community Fund. They are hoping to have a better idea of the total raised Monday.

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