Ashley Walls, a junior marketing major at the University of Georgia and up-and-coming country artist, poses for a portrait at The Foundry in Athens, Georgia on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. Walls will be headlining the Classic City Music Festival on April 28. (Photo/Caroline Barnes, http://carolinembarnes.wixsite.com/photography)

 The Music Business Certificate program at the University of Georgia is “geared towards those aspiring to be leaders in the music industry,” according to the Terry College of Business’ website; it seeks to educate and provide experience to students who want to work in any aspect of music after graduation. One of the many opportunities for experience provided to students by the program is the Classic City Music Festival.

An event since 2010, the Classic City Music Festival is the work of a group of students in the Emerging Issues in Music Business class (MBUS 5100) completing their microcosm, the official name for the class project.

Madison Darling, a junior advertising major and music business student from Acworth, Georgia, said students are handling all aspects of the festival including everything from booking to merchandise.

“The people working on it all put in so much effort,” Darling said. “We all didn’t really know each other before this, so it’s been great getting to make some friends in the process.”

The festival will feature 21 artists, all of whom are affiliated with MBUS as students, program alumni or faculty, according to Jared Bouland, a junior entertainment and media studies major from Marietta, Georgia, also in the music business program and working on the event. For bands, at least one member is in the MBUS program.

Country singer Ashley Walls and funk-jam band Underground Springhouse are headlining this year. Rap will be represented on the stage by artists like 97chaddy and Zac Chase, and faculty members including David Barbe and Lane Marie O’Kelley will perform. Five-piece band Ruhaa! will feature blues and alternative rock, according to their guitarist Zach Watkins, a junior third-year management and information systems major from Loganville, Georgia also working on the MBUS certificate.

“Pretty much every single person is different,” Darling said. “That is kind of the point of the festival to be a unique mix of every person in Music Business’ style.” 

Classic City Music Festival will be held at The Southern Brewing Company for the second year in a row. SBC’s co-founder Brian Roth said the venue will not be charging the music business program for using the space because of their good working relationship with UGA programs.

“Anything we can do to help and raise funds for programs at UGA, we’re always on board,” Roth said.

All of the proceeds from the festival will go towards the Music Business Summer Opportunity Scholarship Fund, a scholarship dedicated to assisting students pursuing music-related internships in other parts of the country and need financial assistance for living accommodations and other expenses.

The main purpose of the festival is to raise this money and help students “experience those cool opportunities,” Bouland said.

The theme for the event this year is “electric forest” — it will build upon last year’s Earth Day theme by incorporating psychedelia in the form of neon lights and tie-dye with plants like flowers and trees, according to Darling, who came up with the theme.

Beyond music, the Classic City Music Festival will have local artists and vendors “promoting what they have and what Athens has to offer,” Bouland said. T-shirts, food and drinks will be available for purchase. Darling hopes with the music and everything else the festival offers, people can and will come out to enjoy a nice day of music and camaraderie.

“I’m hoping the weather is going to be beautiful for people to come out and have a beer and listen to music with their friends, and hopefully make new ones,” Darling said.