Friday morning, Nordista Freeze had no idea he would be performing in front of a packed crowd at the Georgia Theatre Rooftop. 

Here, he had the space to stand on two wobbly bar stools and jump into the headbanging crowd, dancing right along with them and racing through the audience.

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Nordista Freeze, a 22-year-old, Nashville-based artist, performs a ‘60s-inspired surrealist pop set. Four bands rocked out the Georgia Theatre Rooftop on Friday, March 1, after the original house show they were supposed to perform at was cancelled. The Rooftop was packed with Rooftop regulars and friends of the bands and University of Georgia junior Kyler Vollmar, who hosted the show. (Photo/Erin Schilling, eschilling@randb.com)

“We were supposed to play in a living room — I don’t know how we ended up here,” Freeze said to the crowd, who laughed and cheered at the venue upgrade.

But this upgrade didn’t come without stress.

After The Red & Black posted a preview of University of Georgia junior Kyler Vollmar’s house show on Friday, March 1, the Athens-Clarke County police were on alert, according to Vollmar's landlord.

The landlord recommended Vollmar cancel the show, which put him in quite a predicament, considering the show was set to start in a few hours.

According to ACC police, if the party had amplified sound, it would have had to been registered with the county per county ordinance. There would also be concerns about parking and underage drinking violations.

Additionally, the ACC Planning Department said charging and profiting for the show may violate zoning regulations because it would be considered running a business in a residential area. However, Vollmar said the original $2 cover charge wouldn't have been a profit. Instead, it was to compensate the bands performing.

With a lineup of four acts and more than 100 people interested in the then-taken down Facebook page, there was no question the show must go on. But Vollmar’s living room was no longer an option.

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Shane T. performs a rock set as the second act of the night. Four bands rocked out the Georgia Theatre Rooftop on Friday, March 1, after the original house show they were supposed to perform at was cancelled. The Rooftop was packed with Rooftop regulars and friends of the bands and University of Georgia junior Kyler Vollmar, who hosted the show. (Photo/Erin Schilling, eschilling@randb.com)

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Within the hour, Tommy Trautwein, who was on Vollmar’s lineup, secured the Rooftop, thanks to help from general manager Drew Beskin.

Vollmar said the show even had options of other locations, but the Rooftop couldn’t have been better.

Thirty minutes after the free show started, the Rooftop already had a one-in-one-out policy.

The Rooftop was packed the whole night, and walking through the crowd you could hear the same conversation: “It was supposed to be in his living room … now look where we are!”

“It was unbelievable to be so stressed out and calling everyone I know and could think of … to getting the Rooftop,” Vollmar said. “We were so blessed to be there.”

Cam Sims, a junior entertainment and media studies major, found out about the location change through Vollmar’s Instagram, where he posted about an hour before the show to let everyone know the new venue.

Sims, along with the artists and Vollmar, never doubted everything would work out.

“We knew that something more exciting was in store,” said Stephen Schultz, 24, who played guitar for Shane T., the second artist on the lineup. “We knew we would figure out. We were just anticipating what it would be.”

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Julia Anderson performs with Nordista Freeze, ‘60s-inspired surrealist pop artist. Four bands rocked out the Georgia Theatre Rooftop on Friday, March 1, after the original house show they were supposed to perform at was cancelled. The Rooftop was packed with Rooftop regulars and friends of the bands and University of Georgia junior Kyler Vollmar, who hosted the show. (Photo/Erin Schilling, eschilling@randb.com)

A rocking Rooftop

Schultz said it was only the third time the band played as a group, and they’d never performed outside before.

Standing in the audience, you would have never guessed that. The Rooftop was jamming to Nashville-based artist Shane T.’s rock tunes, and all the artists drew similar enthusiasm.

Freeze, a 22-year-old, Nashville-based artist who’s performed in Athens three times now, said the city has a charming quality.

“People show up for the first band and stay for the fourth,” Freeze said. “That’s just not something that happens in Nashville. Here in Athens, people really engage in the music culture. People are really supportive.”

He performs ’60s surrealist pop, drawing inspiration from the Beach Boys. It was a high-energy performance, to say the least, with Freeze singing on top of chairs and headbanging with Vollmar, who was taking pictures in the front of the crowd, smiling the entire time.

Freeze and a bandmate created a mini mosh pit to end their last “fight song,” before UGA student Elijah Johnston took the stage. Trautwein, who performed the first set, played bass with Johnston.

After the success of the show, Vollmar said Beskin seemed impressed with the turnout and said Vollmar could put together more shows on the Rooftop.

“I’ve been working so hard to build up a platform for my photography for bands that I believe in,” Vollmar said. “This is the first opportunity like this that I’ve gotten, which is great. Hopefully, we can pack out the Rooftop again.”


Correction: A previous version of this article misattributed which artist secured the new venue. The Red & Black regrets this error, and it has since been corrected.