Over 200 bands to perform AthFest 2009

AthFest is the annual arts and music festival held each June in historic downtown Athens, Georgia, a town long renowned for its thriving music scene.  For the past 12 years, AthFest has showcased the best in local, regional, and nationally recognized Athens-based talent.   Everyday with Rachel Ray calls it “…one of the country’s great indie music festivals.”   Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has named Athens at # 5 on their “10 Best Cities of 2009” list.

Close to 200 bands and artists will perform over the course of the festival, which will be held June 25-28, 2009.  Performances on the three outdoor stages are open to all ages and are free of charge to the public.

The “headlining” artists on the outdoor main stage include:  Black Lips, Dead Confederate, Patterson Hood & The Screwtopians, Randall Bramblett Band and Dreams So Real.  Additional performers include Nappy Roots, Venice Is Sinking, Don Chambers + GOAT, Jason Ringenberg, Bloodkin, The Corduroy Road, Dave Barbe & The Quick Hooks, Grogus, Liz Durrett, Gabriel Kelley & the Reins, Pam Blanchard & The Sunny Side Up Band, and more!

The evening’s “club crawl” takes place on the Friday and Saturday nights of the festival.   Wristbands may be purchased for $15.00 in advance or for $20.00 at the festival that will give patrons entrance to close to 20 music venues (venue capacity and age restrictions apply).

The “Club Crawl” features anywhere from two to five bands or artists performing nightly at a variety of participating venues, including: 40 Watt Club, Blur, Caledonia Lounge, Ciné, Farm 225, Flicker Theatre, Georgia Theatre, The Globe, Go Bar, The Green Room, The Library, Little Kings Shuffle Club, Melting Point, Morton Theatre, Nuci’s Space, Rye Bar, Square One Fish Co., Tasty World, and Wild Wings Cafe.  A sampling of artists and showcases include:  Kindercore Records showcase with The Buddy System, Grape Soda and more; Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records showcase with Casper and The Cookies and more; Americana Showcase with William Tonks, Dodd Ferrelle and more; Love Tractor, Time Toy and more for a night of “classic” Athens music; The Dexter Romweber Duo; The Incredible Sandwich; Ken Will Morton; Music Hates You; Madeline; and so many more!   A full listing of bands can be found at www.AthFest.com.

This year’s festival includes film and cinema events.  On Friday, June 26th at 10:00 PM on the main stage, there will be a free screening of the highly acclaimed documentary, Darius Goes West, with clips from the movie interspersed with a live Q&A with the filmmakers and Darius Weems. Darius Goes West follows the story of Weems, a local Athenian who was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, who watched his beloved older brother Mario pass away from the same disease. Soon after, Darius lost use of the muscles in his legs and began using a wheelchair. A group of Darius’s college-aged friends decided to take Darius on the adventure of a lifetime, renting a wheelchair-accessible RV and traveling cross-country. The film is suitable for all ages.

Other film events include Rock Docs:  Music Documentary Series at Ciné on Wednesday, June 24th through Thursday, July 2nd.  Ciné will present a series of music documentary films, as well as a retrospective look at the early Athens music scene. Special guest filmmakers and musicians will introduce the films and lead a Q&A discussion afterwards.  Ciné will also present TEENSCREEN Filmfest on Saturday June 27th at 8:30 PM featuring a lineup of diverse short films made by local teenage artists.  Full details at www.athenscine.com

Other special events include:  The Flagpole Music Awards at The Morton Theater on Thursday, June 25th at 8:00 PM; AthChef, a cooking competition between two popular local chefs, on Sunday, June 28th at 5:00 PM; and the Mountain Music and Medicine Show at the Morton Theater on Sunday, June 28th at 7:00 PM.

Travel packages, available via the website, offer a variety of accommodations and include AthFest wristbands, AthFest compilation CDs and T-shirts, tickets for the Music Heritage Tour, a Downtown Gift Certificate and other cool AthFest gear delivered to your hotel.

AthFest, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The mission of AthFest is to educate citizens and visitors about the music and arts scene of Athens, GA. Since 1997, AthFest has showcased the incredible musicians, artists, businesses and residents of the Athens community.  In addition live music, this family-friendly festival also includes a juried artisan market, KIDSFest, and much more.   From 2005-2009, ATHFEST has been included in the “TOP 20 Events for June” by the Southeast Tourism Society.

This program is supported in part by the Grassroots Arts Program of the Georgia Council for the Arts through an appropriation of the Georgia General Assembly in partnership with the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center.

For more details, full band schedule, EPK, and high res photos go to: WWW.ATHFEST.COM