Insider’s Guide to AthFest: Don’t Miss a Beat

2016 celebrates the 20th Annual AthFest Arts and Music Festival! This year’s festival features Family and Friends, Kishi Bashi, and Arrested Development as the headlining bands with plenty of other activities to enjoy too.


Where to eat

Looking to avoid the crowds and get some classic Athens meals in? Catch brunch a block away from downtown at The Grit. The doors open at 10am on Saturdays, so it’s easy to beat the crowd and get a phenomenal breakfast in before the crowd hits. For lunch, stop by The Last Resort for a sophisticated yet well priced, filling, and delicious meal. Dinners during AthFest can be tricky! For a meal close to the music and fun, Ted’s Most Best is a good choice, but bound to have a long line. For something quick and easy, the new Zaxby’s open on Clayton will be sure to provide you with some tasty chicken. If you and your party are looking for a nice Southern meal, The Place is the place to be with casual dining and comfortable seating.

Where to park

Between Uber surge charges and road blocks throughout downtown, your best bet is to leave your car where you are staying and either get dropped off by a friend or walk. Your ten minute walk will probably be worth saving fifteen dollars. If you need to park downtown, the campus parking lots will be open on Saturday and there is street parking in the neighborhood west of downtown.

Music Information

With Family and Friends, Kishi Bashi, and Arrested Development headlining, this year’s lineup is looking fabulous. There are a lot of Athens’ favorite bands performing throughout the day like Wrenn, the Welcome Home and Walden to check out. The Outdoor Schedule is available for any and all people in Athens for the weekend, but if you’re looking for extra shows after the headliners for the day be sure to check out the Club Crawl Schedule where, with the purchase of a wristband, you can get into any of the late night shows without cover charge.

Arts Festival

Don’t forget about the Artist Festival! There will be booths on Washington Street between Hull St and Lumpkin St where vendors will have their work available for sale. There will be local artists feature visual art, handcrafted work such as woodwork, jewelry, and ceramics, and clothing. There will also be a juried competition with about 50-60 artists from all over Georgia and the Southeast participating.

The Hidden Gem: Dirty Athens

We’ve got AthFest’s best kept secret. From 2 pm to 10 pm at the Caledonia Lounge, there is a free (for 21 and up) day party. With its cheap beer, live music, and outdoor patio, this non-AthFest-sponsored event is great for anyone trying to take a break from the outdoor crowd, reapply sunscreen in the shade, and enjoy a cold beer. Check out the Facebook Event for more information and details on who will be performing.