Athfest Returns Following Two-Year Hiatus


A local music festival called Athfest is returning after being unable to take place due to COVID-19 for the past 2 years.

“It was canceled because we couldn’t get our city permit that you have to have to hold the event,” said Rachel Allen, a member of the Athfest team. However, she says that all the relationships necessary to hold Athfest had been continued, “so there wasn’t much of a gap there getting back started.”

The Athfest music and arts festival is a 3 day gathering that features local artists and culture. It consists of outdoor stages, iconic local venues, an artist market, and even an area for children. After not taking place for the past two years due to concerns about COVID-19, the Athfest team is working hard to make it return on June 24th to June 26th of this year. 

“It’s an organization that works year round,” said Allen, referring to the Athfest team. “It’s a well oiled machine.”

Allen’s description of the team highlights how the return of Athfest is expected to be very smooth despite the 2 year gap since the previous festival. “It’s not like everybody just went away for two years,” Allen said. The Athfest team has been working through the COVID-19 pandemic and are prepared for their return. 

However, this year’s festival does have a change. 

“For the last many years we’ve had a system where you buy a wristband and can go to a dozen different venues where there is music,” Allen said. But this year, there are only two ticketed venues – the Georgia theater and the 40 watt club. “It had to do with the last minute nature of having to wait until the number where right covid wise” Allen said. By the time the Athfest team knew they would be putting on the festival, numerous venues had not opened back up due to concerns about COVID-19.

Despite this change, one of Allen’s comments assured that the music will remain the same. 

“We still had all the relationships with bands,” Allen said. Even though there has been trouble setting up the festival amongst the chaos brought by the pandemic, the same bands will perform like they have at the previous Athfests.

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