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PV-23 performs at the Hull Street stage at the 22nd annual AthFest Music and Arts festival in Athens, Georgia on Saturday, June 23, 2018. (Photo/Tony Walsh)

Some artists are proud to play AthFest for their first time, while others have the luxury of playing the same night more than once, sometimes even peaking at six performances all weekend. Phillip Brantley played this year’s AthFest in six different bands, including Palace Doctor and Drew Beskin’s band. Both played the Hull Street Stage back-to-back on Saturday.

Summertime positivity mingled with humidity at the Hull Street Stage on Saturday, June 23. With no rain in sight, the day consisted of pop and country influenced rock from multiple bands such as Oh, Jeremiah, with Partials closing the evening with their brand of electronic pop.

There were some early standouts on the list like Light Brigade, and many of the artists were AthFest regulars, such as Drew Beskin and Palace Doctor.


“It’s so communal. People play together and share band members,” Brantley said. “I think that’s why I love Athens.”

- Phillips Brantley, man of many bands


Light Brigade is a five piece southern rock band made up of University of Georgia students. The band said they met in Ramsey their freshman year and formed a band soon after. This year was their first time at AthFest, and they managed to fill the street with a crowd.

“I think it’s a ridiculous thing to be able to get up there and express yourself,” said guitarist and vocalist Andrew Shuford. “I think that’s why Athens is so cool. There’s so much music and everyone wants to listen.”

Following Light Brigade, Drew Beskin and Palace Doctor took the stage, both of whom have been playing in Athens for years. Brantley, who was mentioned earlier, is a UGA graduate who has been playing in bands like these for about 15 years.

“It’s so communal. People play together and share band members,” Brantley said. “I think that’s why I love Athens.”

Crowds came back to Hull Street for the last two acts, Oh, Jeremiah and Partials. They each brought their own groups of fans to the show. Plenty of UGA students and graduates were in the audience saying they had watched these bands evolve to where they are today, beginning at house shows or even playing one couple’s wedding, and reaching the AthFest stage.

Recent UGA graduate Samantha Snyder came to Athens from Atlanta for the sole reason of seeing Oh, Jeremiah play.

“I loved them, I came from Atlanta,” Snyder said. “The whole reason I came to AthFest was to see their show.”

Simone Kurz was brought to the show by her friends Max and Courtney Christian, who had Partials play at their wedding. They were all fans of the band’s creativity and their ability to stand out from the rest of the lineup. Kurz described their sound as “pop mixed with funk and electronic. It’s a very interesting style.”

Partials put on their set on during sunset and brought their six piece set up of two guitarists, two keyboardists and two drummers. Judging by the crowd’s excitement, this group were the highlight of Hull Street. Their set ended with one of the few encores of the festival.

“OK we’ll only do one more if you promise to move around to this one,” said lead singer Adriana Thomas. The audience obliged, ringing in the second day with a collective engagement and excitement lead by the tune of music.

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