SUmmer Music Festival Guide

By John Moore, Lee Valentine Smith and Demarco Williams

(June 29, Lakewood Amphitheatre)
The 23rd chapter of the Vans Warped Tour book peels open this summer with an impressive cast of musical characters from the past and present. The sweltering pavement of the amphitheater will be a molten cauldron of metal and sweaty angst. Speaking of sweat, can you imagine the soaring temps inside those heavy GWAR costumes? Well bring a thermometer and find out firsthand as the legendary grotesque metal act is one of the headliners. They'll be joined by fellow old-school punks and rockers Sick Of It All, CKY, The Adolescents, Strung Out, T.S.O.L., Anti-Flag and The Ataris. More recent acts included on the bill are American Authors, Andy Black and Dance Gavin Dance. The general admission fun starts at 11 a.m. and rocks until it drops, or around 11 p.m., whichever comes first. As always, the line-up is subject to change so check out for last-minute additions and subtractions.

(July 9, Heritage Sandy Springs)
Concerts by the Springs is a beloved 20+ year community tradition, presented free of charge by Heritage Sandy Springs – a non-profit whose mission is to promote history, steward a community park, and enhance the cultural identity of Sandy Springs. On July 9, the summer heat brings Kinchafoonee Cowboys, a classic country band based in Athens, GA. The Cowboys are local favorites and have also shared billing with entertainers such as Alabama, Trisha Yearwood, and Dave Matthews. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with the FREE concert from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Coolers welcome. Beverages are sold during the concert, with proceeds benefiting HSS. Concert-goers may visit on-site food vendors, or pre-order picnics from local restaurants. A beautiful venue, friendly community, amazing entertainment, delicious food, and more…it's THE place to be on summer Sunday nights! The remaining 2017 season will feature The Rupert's Orchestra (August 13) and The Tams (September 10). Visit for details.

(July 9, Chattahoochee Nature Center)
The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell is offering great nighttime entertainment this summer. Their Sundays on the River Concerts series is held the second Sunday of each month through September. Enjoy a night out with families and friends and listen to the smooth jazz sounds of Bob Bakert and his six piece band on July 9 from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. Other performances this summer: Gwen Hughes & "Grit Hits!" (August 13); Bob Bakert (Sept. 10). This is the perfect way to wrap-up the weekend at an outdoor concert at the Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion.   The Sunset Sips concert series is taking place the 4th Thursday of the month this summer through September except July. This program offers music lovers to an eclectic collection of local talent. In this is a laid back, family friendly series and CNC's grounds are open for you to explore. Sunset Sips is included with General Admission and Free to CNC Members. Grab a friend and head over for live local music, a cash bar and feel free to bring a picnic dinner. Visit for more details.

(July 13, Infinite Energy Center)
Arguably the most influential living rock musician on the planet, McCartney is also one of the most readily identifiable figures in pop culture. Yes, he was a Beatle and in Wings and yes, he still does impressive marathon shows that rival Bruce Springsteen in length, musicality and sheer stamina. Yes, it's an expensive ticket, but we're talking about a 40 (give or take) song set from a true legend.

(Aug at ASO, Symphony Hall/Woodruff Arts Center)
The crafty folks at the ASO have been programming an unusually varied slate of shows lately and this month they've gone overboard with a fine roster of classic folk and rock. Gillian Welch performs her Harrow and the Harvest album in its entirety on August 5. Stephen Stills joins forces with friend and muse Judy Collins for a unique evening of their individual and collective performances on August 9, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan revisits his solo material with a youthful, Woodstock-based band of players on August 16. Lyle Lovett politely ambles back to town with his sly and suave Large Band on August 19.

(August 11, Cobb Energy Centre)
Grammy Award®-nominated multiplatinum rock band 3 Doors Down will perform at Cobb Energy Centre on Friday, August 11. Since forming in 1995, Mississippi quintet 3 Doors Down has sold more than 16 million albums worldwide, received three Grammy nominations, and won two American Music Awards, and five BMI Pop Awards for songwriting—including "Songwriter of the Year." Their debut The Better Life, became certified six-times RIAA platinum in 2000 and was fueled by the success of juggernaut hit "Kryptonite." 2005's platinum Seventeen Days and 2008's 3 Doors Down each earned #1 debuts on the Billboard Top 200, while Time of My Life landed at #3 in 2011. Ignited by the single "In The Dark," 3 Doors Down unleashed their sixth full-length album, Us and the Night, in 2016. Tickets available at, and the Centre's box office.

(August 12, Harmony Park in Oakhurst)
The 17th annual Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival flavored by Tabasco takes place Saturday, August 12th and has a musical lineup that features something for everyone. Eight bands and two stages will include local, regional and national Blues, Bluegrass, Folk and Rock acts. Headlining this year's event is the country & bluegrass group Farewell Angelina. "Each year we are fortunate to bring to our fans a great lineup of music, this year we feel the variety of acts and music will offer the festival goer a bit of everything while staying true to our blues and bluegrass roots" says Michael Vajda Festival Director. Other festival artist highlights include: Georgia Music Legend winner Beverly Guitar Watkins headlining the Sovereign Systems stage; returning acts include The Georgia Flood, Grizzly Goat, Porch Bottom Boys; plus new acts including Donna Hopkins Band and Vista String Band. Festival hours are 2pm – 9pm and will be located at 630 East Lake Drive and Harmony Park in the Oakhurst neighborhood in Decatur, GA. Tickets available at Fresh Tix and Ticket Alternative. For more information visit or call at 678 778-2000.

ABBA The Concert (Aug 18, Cobb Energy Center)
Not the original band, of course, but a lovingly-detailed tribute, right down to the costumes, arrangements, vocals, choreographed routines and those oh-so-'70s feathered hairstyles. With the renewed interest in the band's greatest hits thanks to the popular musical "Mama Mia," the songs are instantly familiar to new generations of fans who probably missed the original ABBA-mania. The lavish event, billed as being "as close to the original ABBA as you will ever experience" may even best the original quartet's harmony-laden performances.

ONE MUSICFEST (September 9, Lakewood)
For its eighth year, the One music and arts festival will feature a bill of legendary acts. Jill Scott and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley headline, but one of the most-talked about sets is sure to be the farewell show from Yasiin Bey (Mos Def). Scott is still touring her 2015 release Woman and reggae superstar Marley will be dipping into his latest release Stony Hill, scheduled for release July 21. Bey's jams will supposedly be his last, at least according to a message from Kanye West last year, so fans should most definitely be in attendance for the rare performance. Sean Paul, Too $hort, Jiddena, Kaytranada, and Tank and the Bangas. A kickoff celebration happens on Friday night, September 8 at The Tabernacle featuring a party with Thundercat, Ari Lennox and Noname.

(Sept 10, The Fred)
Now equally billed with her long-standing musical partner and husband as Benatar/Giraldo, Pat and Neil's live show is a rockin' retrospective of the diminutive singer's considerable cache of radio-friendly hits. Sure, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "You Better Run" are undeniable crowd-pleasers, but deeper cuts from 2003's Go and her 1979 debut are just as emotive as the original recordings.

(Sept 16, 17, Piedmont Park)
The venerable Music Festival returns to the Park with performances from Bruno Mars, Mumford and Sons, Blink 182, Future and a wide swath of musical styles from Young The Giant, Big Sean, Wiz Khalfa, Weezer, Two Door Cinema Club, Hiss Golden Messenger, The Naked and Famous, Haim, Coin and many more.

(Sept 22-24, Atlanta Motor Speedway)
The psychedelic overload of sound, light, color and creatively exposed skin known as the Imagine Music Festival takes it up a big ol' notch for its fourth annual event. Headliners include Above and Beyond, deadmau5, the legendary producer Tiesto, Pretty Lights Live and Gorgon City lifting the EDM gathering to a whole new dimension of sensory pleasures. At press time, Georgia-born instrumental favorites Sound Tribe Sector 9 had just been added to the constantly expanding line-up. Featured artists include Datsik, Big Gigantic, Claude Vonstroke and Netsky offering a literally dizzying array of acts on the expansive stages at the freewheeling Speedway. Last year over 25,000 attendees jammed the site, enjoying the central music stage as well as art and an intriguing selection of related workshops.


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