Lingua Franca performs at AthFest Music and Arts Festival in Athens, Georgia on Friday, June 22, 2018. (Photo/Jason Born)

1. Rain

Rain is nothing new at AthFest and this year it proved no different. With a few performances being entirely canceled last year, this year’s AthFest staff was determined not to let any show slotted for the Southern Brewing Main Stage go unheard.

The rain ended up cutting the set of The Norm short and the mood of the festival turned from lively and buzzing to soggy. Festival attendees crowded into the local establishments leaving Rook and Pawn without a single empty table at one point.

Rain delayed shows on all stages, cutting a few of the KidsFest performers from the lineup, and shutting down the Main Stage and the Hull Street Stage for the night.

2. Innovative improvisations 

Sometimes you have to roll with the punches, especially when you’re left to the will of the elements. Although both the Southern Brewing Main Stage and the Hull Street Stage were out of commission due to rain damaged equipment, there were still countless festival-attendees hungry to hear more music so AthFest organizers had to get a bit creative.

With a few lights string up and the essentials of sound equipment, a corner of the Southern Brewing beer garden tent was transformed into the new Main Stage for headliners, Linqua Franqa and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

3. The first night of Club Crawl performers

The first official night of the after-hour performers featured sets by many local favorites. At Caledonia, despite the hectic scene unfolding outside while makeshift stages were engineered, the Arcs kicked off the night inside Caledonia with a set starting at 10 p.m. 

At Little Kings Shuffle Club Linqua Franqa brought in a second performance to satisfy the craving of anyone who didn’t get to fully experience her fire in the confined beer tent. To follow, WesdaRuler, who has close ties with Linqua Franqa and has produced some of her music, rocked the stage. Linqua Franqa and Lex Callahan joined him on stage for two songs. More of Athens’ hip-hop scene including Montu Miller and members of Caulfield were in the audience to support WesdaRuler as well.

Eureka California rung in the night with a boppy, sporadic set full of jokes and catchy melodies. This two piece band features Jake Ward on vocals and guitar and Marie Uhler rocking the drums. Ward also held a slot in the comedy lineup for LaughFest which highlighted local comedic talent on Wednesday, June 20.

Ward started the band with a group of friends when he came to Athens about a decade ago, but it’s consisted of just Ward and drummer Uhler for the past six years. Their loud garage sound is as hard to define by the band as it is by critics.

Correction: In a previous version of the article it was stated that the Arcs who played at AthFest were in relation to Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys. This is incorrect and has since been corrected. 

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