After bursting on the national scene in the 1980s thanks to bands such as R.E.M., the Athens music scene lives on with a variety of performances throughout the year and summer festivals.
Hot Corner Food and Music Festival
Dates: June 7-8
Celebrating African American culture and business in Athens, the two-day event takes place at the city’s historic Hot Corner — the intersection of Hull and Washington Streets that was a center of African American culture and business. Hot Corner, which turns 19 this year, features a barbecue cook-off, a car and bike show and a lineup of local artists performing music ranging from gospel to rap to jazz.
AthFest Music and Arts Festival
Now in its 23rd year, three-day AthFest brings together over 100 local, regional and national artists to raise money and awareness for AthFest Educates, a nonprofit dedicated to funding youth music and arts education. Daily concerts on three outdoor stages, an artists market, food and drink vendors and activities for kids make this a fun, family friendly event. While the shows during the day are free, festival goers can purchase Club Crawl wristbands which give them access to the more than 12 venues where artists perform nightly sets after the three main outdoor stages close.
Sigh in July
Organized by local band Universal Sigh and hosted at Live Wire Athens, this two-day music festival showcases local vendors, food and music. Last year, headliners included Zach Deputy, Consider the Source and the organizers themselves.
This article originally appeared in the spring 2019 Visitors Guide