Summer guide 2018
So you don’t have to worry about what to do during the sunny weather, we’ve made it easy.
If you’re one of the crazy ones like me, you thrive in the sweet, sweet summer heat. From warm nights filled with fireworks, outdoor concerts, Dad (or Mom) whipping up killer hamburgers on the grill, patio drinking, and cannonballing into the pool, one thing is for sure — ATL loves summer. Yeah, the bugs are awful and it may be humid as hell, but at least it’s not cold. And so you don’t have to worry about what to do during the sunny weather, we’ve made it easy. In Creative Loafing’s 2018 Summer Guide you’ll find beer correspondent Alex Patton’s recommended summer six-pack, film critic Curt Holman’s summer movies beyond the blockbusters, music writer Will Cardwell’s festival forecast, and a mega-list of concerts and events going on through August, compiled by a handful of CL scribes. So sit back, crack open a cold one, and enjoy. — Lauren Leathers
CONTRIBUTORS: Cristina Besosa, Will Cardwell, Sarah Fine, Rebekah Fuchko, Curt Holman, Crysta Jones, Olivia Cathcart, Lauren Leathers, Shaina McLawrence, Alex Patton, and Chad Radford.
DUNWOODY ART FESTIVAL (May 12-13) Celebrate Mother’s Day at the eighth annual Dunwoody Art Festival, as the city transforms itself into an artist market, frequented by some of the top artisans from across the country. A Kidz Zone is available for younger art connoisseurs, complete with rides, sand art, crafts, and games. As you take in the visual mastery around you, live music will be playing all weekend long. Grab your sunhats and critic’s eye for a day of art. Free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Dunwoody Village, 1449 Dunwoody Village Parkway. www.splashfestivals.com/events-festivals/dunwoody-art-festival.
SWEET AUBURN SPRINGFEST 2018 (May 12-13) The Historic District of Auburn Ave. will host a family-friendly weekend with Sweet Auburn Springfest 2018 in Downtown Atlanta. Celebrate a lively Mother’s Day weekend with food, entertainment, and child-friendly outdoor activities. The 34th annual event will have live entertainment from musicians, dancers, and comedians across Atlanta. Free. 11 a.m., 1 p.m. Rain or shine. Historic Auburn Ave. District. www.sweetauburn.com.
THE PUSSYWILLOWS (May 13) Since combining forces in 2015, the Pussywillows’ core duo, Hannah Zale and Carly Gibson, continue pushing the limit of sound with “Tarantino-feminism,” which the group describes as “cinematic, aggressive, and packed with strong feminine energy.” The duet unveils the “Too Bad” single on June 22, pulled from forthcoming EP, which is expected to hit shops in late October. The group pays tribute to their mothers and women who have shaped their lives with a special Mother’s Day show at Eddie’s Attic. $8-$12. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B North McDonough St. www.eddiesattic.com.
PRIMUS & MASTODON (May 16) Primus is touring in support of its 2017 LP The Desaturating Seven, a prog-rock concept album inspired by the children’s book The Rainbow Goblins, by Italian author Ul de Rico, which frontman Les Claypool used to read to his children. Primus is co-headlining with Atlanta’s own Mastodon, who’s supporting 2017’s Emperor of Sand LP and the Cold Dark Place EP. Both groups are known for their complex and heavy songwriting, as well as their high-energy live performances. With All Them Witches. $35-$100. 6 p.m. (doors). The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. www.foxtheatre.org.
NEIGHBOR LADY (May 18) Imagine if classic country-western and indie-rock had a baby. Well... they did. Neighbor Lady, featuring singer-songwriter Emily Braden, guitarist Jack Blauvelt, and bassist Merideth Hanscom, combines elements of psychedelic rock and folk that feel both original and familiar. Their folk-soaked single, “Oh Honey,” released April 18, is pulled from the forthcoming debut LP, titled Maybe Later, to be unveiled with a release party at 529. With Dot.s, Deep State, and Salsa Chest. $8-$10. 9 p.m. 529, 529 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E. www.529atlanta.com.
DR. DOG (May 18) Dr. Dog has seen more than a few incarnations during its nearly two decades. The indie rock band has been through phases where they were predominantly influenced by psych rock, punk, and folk. Currently touring in support of their latest record, Critical Equation, , the revitalized quintet has decided to slow it down for a more relaxed and mellow sound, a new musical direction definitely worth checking out. With Mothers. $27-$85. 7 p.m. (doors). All ages. Tabernacle. 152 Luckie St. N.W. www.tabernacleatl.com.
FUNK FEST TOUR (May 18-20) Funk Fest is making its triumphant return to Atlanta the weekend of May 18th. The acclaimed traveling concert series has announced another year of stops throughout the Southeast. Funk lovers can look forward to performances from some of the funkiest touring soul and R&B groups around. R.B.R.M., Lil Kim, Nas, Goodie Mob, and Charlie Wilson are just some of the acts that make up the tour’s three-day lineup. $60-$450. 7 p.m. Fri., May 18, 5 p.m. Sat., May 19, 4 p.m. Sun., May 20. Wolf Creek Amphitheater, 3025 Merk Road S.W. https://atlanta.funkfesttour.com/event/funk-fest-atlanta
COLOR VIBE (May 19) Stone Mountain is going to transform from a big, bland rock to a multicolor mountain of sweat and joy. Far from your typical 5K, the Color Vibe breathes life into their runs by blasting color at every runner throughout their journey. With all those bright blues and flashy pinks, it’s the only run you’ll exit looking perfectly ready for that sweet Instagram selfie. $65. 9 a.m. 888 Gordon St., Stone Mountain. www.thecolorvibe.com/atlanta.php
MALCOLM X FESTIVAL (May 19-20) The 29th annual Malcolm X Festival returns with a day of music, speeches, and spiritual affirmations. Celebrate the birth of famed civil rights leader Malcolm X at this family-friendly event. Attendees have an opportunity to honor the legacy of Shabazz through community unity and diversity. Community Aid Development, a nonprofit dedicated to human health and welfare, and the Atlanta chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, whose mission it is to promote self determination throughout the nation, will co-host the festival. Free. Noon-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. West End Park, 1111 Oak St. S.W. 770-987-9390. www.malcolmxfestival.com
ATLANTA CYCLING FESTIVAL (May 19-25) The greatest festival on two wheels comes racing back into the A for a fifth year with the Atlanta Cycling Festival. One of the largest cycling fests in the Southeast, its week-long festivities are all about bringing together everyone who owns a bike, so come on out, meet your neighbors, and explore our vast city via the festival’s many bike rides, cycling classes, and of course, killer bike parties. All bike types and skill levels are welcome. Free. Various locations. www.atlantacyclingfestival.com.
MOMOCON (May 24-27) Welcome to the wonderful world of anime, manga, cosplay, gaming, and comics at MomoCon in the Georgia World Congress Center. Born from the vision of Georgia Tech’s anime club in 2004, MomoCon grew from 700 to 84,000 attendees in 12 years. There are a host of activities including workshops, celebrity panels, karaoke and trivia spanning across four days. Families are welcome to celebrate geek culture at Momo Night in the Georgia Aquarium. RPGs and tabletop games are also available for all types of gamers. $10-$70. 2 p.m. Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. N.W. www.momocon.com.
DECATUR ARTS FESTIVAL (May 25-27) Pre-festival activities include kid-friendly lantern parade and author signings. Explore Decatur’s East Court Square and beyond during the Artwalk stroll to view art in shops and galleries and enjoy complimentary arts and snacks. More than 150 local artists present their works at the Artists Market. Weekend events include musical performances, dance events, comedy performances, and a kids arts festival. Free. 5 p.m. Fri., May 25. 10 a.m. Sat., May 26. 11 a.m. Sun., May 27. Downtown Decatur. www.decaturartsfestival.com.
YHETI (May 26) One listen to Yheti’s 2017 EP Far from the Tree, overflowing with complex yet catchy rhythms, twists, and turns, and it’s easy to see why the Ohio-based electronic artist has been building a following and picking up steam since his 2008 debut. Catch Yheti at Terminal West for what will undoubtedly be one of the most high-energy shows of the summer. With Nastynasty, Toadface & Mt. Analog. $15-$18. 8 p.m. (doors). Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. N.W.
OLD FOURTH WARD ARTS FESTIVAL (May 26-27) Presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, the Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival is a celebration of history, community, and of course, the arts. Featuring fine arts and crafts, a children’s play area, local food and beverage concessions, and live acoustic entertainment on the lawn, Old Fourth Ward Park is ready to rumble. The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces was founded by artists for artists and by the community, for the community. And in that spirit, the festival asks all guests to respect the newly completed park throughout the festivities. Free. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Historic Fourth Ward Park, 592 N. Angier Ave. N.E. www.oldfourthwardparkartsfestival.com.
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL (May 26-27) Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with traditional and authentic jazz all while enjoying the anticipated summer weather. With three different stages, this annual event showcases legendary musicians as well as young aspiring artists and hopes to entertain all jazz aficionados. For the first time ever, Saturday’s lineup will focus on a lineup featuring female-led acts! Free. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Piedmont Park, 400 Park Drive N.E. www.atlantafestivals.com
ATLANTA FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL (May 31-June 3) Cheers to summer! The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival brings you a four-day-long appreciation of the rich culinary traditions of the South. And what better place to call home than the ATL? Foodie features include tasting tents, Destination Delicious, Entrepreneurs Program, Brew-zy Brunch: Southern Staple Showdown, The Ingredients of Taste, Beat the Heat, Connoisseur Dinner Series, and more. $55-$100. Thurs. 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Fri. Noon-7:30 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sun. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Midtown. www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com.
FLYING COLORS BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL (June 2-3) The Chattahoochee Nature Center is hosting a weekend of exploration at the annual Flying Colors Butterfly Festival. Learn more about these beautiful winged creatures through a variety of activities including crafts, face painting, fairy-house spotting, and much more. Food trucks will be on hand, and cold treats will also be available for purchase. Attendees can enjoy walk-through exhibitions and witness the coloration of the sky as hundreds of butterflies are set free. $8-$12. Sat., June 2. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun., June 3 noon-5 p.m. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road. www.chattnaturecenter.org/special-events/festivals/butterfly-festival
INDEE KILLED THE POPSTAR (June 7 ) Atlanta’s own Indee Killed the Popstar is a true original, a singular crafter of indie art pop with a powerful voice. Frontwoman Jennifer Zuiff composes awe-inspiring harmonies and an unconventional roster of instrumentation in a way that is truly unrivaled. The group will play Aisle 5 and will be supported by fellow Atlanta group Zale as well as the Orlando-based Chasing Jonah. The bill is stacked, and all the ingredients are present for a standout performance. $10-$15. 8 p.m. (doors). Aisle 5, 1123 Euclid Ave. N.E. www.aisle5atl.com
ATLANTA MOON RIDE (June 8) Whether you’ve got a street bike, mountain bike, wheelchair, or unicycle, join this six-mile moonlit ride around Midtown. This is a ride, not a race, so participants from all skill levels are encouraged to join. Additionally, all proceeds will benefit Bert’s Big Adventure, a nonprofit organization providing magical, all-expenses-paid trips to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses. Last but definitely not least, the night-time event also includes a festival pre-party and costume contest in Piedmont Park, so come prepared! $30-$95. 7 p.m. Rain or shine. Piedmont Park Meadow, 10th St. and Monroe Drive. www.atlantamoonride.com
BIG BOI (June 8 ) No introduction is needed for this forerunner of Atlanta music. While probably more famous for being half of the legendary hip-hop duo OutKast, Big Boi has plenty of his own laurels. The rapper has released three respectable albums under his own moniker, including 2017’s Boomiverse. Big Boi plays the Tabernacle for what will undoubtedly be one of the most wild and memorable shows of the summer. Come out to pay respect to this groundbreaking musician who helped shape Atlanta as we know it. $25-$50. 7 p.m. (doors). Tabernacle. 152 Luckie St. N.W. www.tabernacleatl.com.
TUNES FROM THE TOMBS (June 9) Historic Oakland Cemetery celebrates the 8th annual event with Tunes from the Tombs with Drivin’ N Cryin’, Heather Gillis Band, and other local musicians taking to one of the three stages, along with food trucks, beer, and an artists market. Free mini tours are also available for Tunes from the Tombs ticket holders. Bring a blanket and the family to enjoy this unique music venue. All proceeds go to the Historic Oakland Foundation. $10-$75. Noon-8 p.m. Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Ave. S.E. www.oaklandcemetery.com.
ATLANTAFEST (June 14-16) AtlantaFest, the south’s premier Christian music festival, returns to Six Flags Over Georgia and Hurricane Harbor for three days of music, rides, and fellowship with believers from across 12 different states. AtlantaFest was one of the first commercial Christian music festivals in the country. Since then, it’s become one of the largest in the industry, and a trailblazer for live Christian entertainment. The lineup includes Phil Wickham, Micah Tyler, JJ Weeks Band, Seth & Nirva, Aaron Bucks, HumbleTip, Danny Gokey, Colton Dixon, and more. $51-$115. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Pkwy. S.W. www.atlantafest.com.
JUNETEENTH ATLANTA (June 15-17) Morris Brown College hosts the sixth annual Juneteenth Parade and Music Festival 2018, a celebration of the last African-Americans freed from slavery on June 19, 1865. The Juneteenth parade, in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, will commence at Mozley Park at noon and finish at Morris Brown College. . Events include jazz and opera performances, face painting, arts and crafts, fashion shows, yoga in the park, and fireworks throughout the three-day event. Venue subject to change. Free. 1 p.m. Fri., June 15.;10 a.m. Sat.-Sun., June 16-17. Morris Brown College, 643 MLK Jr. Drive S.W. www.juneteenthatl.com.
ATLANTA SUMMER BEER FEST (June 16)Time to put down the winter coffee stouts and chocolate porters and pick up your favorite fruit saisons and hoppy IPAs. The 10th annual Atlanta Summer Beer Fest returns to Historic Fourth Ward Park, featuring more than 200 beers, wines, and ciders from Atlanta’s local breweries and from around the country. Tickets include unlimited tastings and access to a live DJ tent, but you’ll have to pay extra to satisfy your beer munchies from a selection of food trucks. There will not be parking available at the venue, so be safe and walk, bike, or Uber. Rain or shine, 21+ only. $40-$55. 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas St. N.E. www.atlantasummerbeerfest.com.
WHITE DENIM (June 19) The Texas-based rock band White Denim’s discography is laced with blues, punk, soul, jazz, garage rock, and a bit of country music. The rockers make a mid-summer Atlanta stop to perform their brand of classic rock ’n’ roll with a true passion for performance. With UNI. $17-$20. 9 p.m. (doors). Aisle 5, 1123 Euclid Ave. N.E.
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD (June 20) King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard dropped five full-length conceptual LP’s in 2017, amidst a relentless touring schedule. The seven psych-rockers from Down Under began their most prolific year with the Eastern-influenced desert rock experiment Flying Microtonal Banana, followed by the heavy and apocalyptic Murder of the Universe and a jazz collaboration with Mild High Club called Sketches of Brunswick East. Following their September Atlanta show, the group self-released the proggy Polygondwanaland for free and finished off the year with the eclectic Gumboot Soup. The boys could use a rest, but not before another nuclear Atlanta performance this summer.With Amyl and The Sniffers. $26-$28. 7:30 p.m. (doors). Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E. www.variety-playhouse.com.
VON GREY (June 21) The Atlanta-based alt-rock group, composed of the three Von Grey sisters Kathryn, Annika, and Fiona, combine elements of cinematic orchestration, vocal harmonies, and intimate lyrics. It is no surprise the trio hails from a classically trained background, but the group takes it a step further by incorporating folk and electronic elements, as displayed in 2017’s “Poison of the Water.” Von Grey returns to Eddie’s Attic this summer for an evening of multi-instrumental, hauntingly infectious sounds that is bound to be a unique experience. $10-$15. 9 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B North McDonough St. www.eddiesattic.com.
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA (July 8) Unknown Mortal Orchestra has one of the most distinct voices in psychedelic rock. The New Zealand-based rockers have been making a name for themselves since 2010, and their innovative approach to the genre has garnered them a large and devoted fan base. Currently touring in support of their fourth studio album, the recently released Sex & Food, the band is slated to perform at Variety Playhouse. Unknown Mortal Orchestra is only picking up more momentum as their career progresses, so grab this opportunity to see them in a more intimate venue before it's too late. With Shamir. $20-$25. 7 p.m. (doors). Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E. www.variety-playhouse.com.
ATLANTA COMIC CON (July 13-15) Show off your cosplaying skills in Atlanta’s prestigious family-friendly comic convention. This event welcomes everyone, from hardcore collectors to casual pop-culture admirers, for a weekend of visual storytelling at the Georgia World Congress Center. The artist exhibitions will include comic books, magazines, toys, games, anime, sketches, and more. Comic writers and creators will be offering professional advice on the industry through expert panels and discussions, anda roster of celebrity guests will be available for meet ’n greets. Admission is free for kids 12 and under! $30-$60. Noon Fri., July 13; 10 a.m. Sat.-Sun., July 14-15. Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. N.W. www.atlantacomiccon.com
AFRICAN AMERICAN BOOK FESTIVAL (July 14) Celebrate the Atlanta African American Book Festival’s inaugural event this summer at the Georgia State University campus. The festival includes a variety of workshops and lectures where attendees can meet and engage with successful African American authors. With the purpose of educating, entertaining, and impacting the Atlanta community through African American literature, this festival serves as a vehicle of expression for all black literary voices. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Georgia State University, 55 Gilmer St. www.aaabookfest.com
ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATO FESTIVAL (July 15) The 10th annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival is happening again this summer! “Roma” around and try tomato-themed dishes and cocktails by a variety of chefs and mixologists from both inside and outside the perimeter. Live music from G. Love & Special Sauce (I don’t think it’s tomato sauce, though) will keep the vibe funky and laid-back while you drink and feast (rain or shine). All proceeds benefit Georgia Organics, a non-profit bringing local farm fresh food to local families. $60-$130. 1-5 p.m. Westside Provisions District, 1198 Howell Mill Road. www.killertomatofest.com.
PETAL (July 16) Petal is coming to the Masquerade to get you out of your late-summer slump. The indie-rock group from Scranton, PA, blends melodic guitar with melancholic vocals dripping with emotion and poetry. Kiley Lotz, the group’s only permanent member, chooses to surround herself with a rotating cast of seasoned musicians borrowed from acts such as Tiger Jaw, Three Man Cannon, and Captain, We’re Sinking. The fluid nature of the band’s lineup creates a unique and ever-changing atmosphere that perfectly encapsulates Petal’s melodic and hard-to-define spirit. With Camp Cope. $13. 7 p.m. (doors). The Masquerade, 75 MLK Jr. Drive S.W. www.masq.com.
WEEZER/PIXIES (July 27) Weezer’s “Island In The Sun” became the anthem of summer for many since originally releasing in 2001. The group moves forward with their 11th studio album, Pacific Daydream, (2017), which continues the same endless summer feel with songs like “Beach Boys,” “Feels Like Summer,” and “Happy Hour.” The quartet is trekking across the U.S. co-headlining with ’90s alt-rockers, the Pixies. With Sleigh Bells. $25-$150. 7:30 p.m. Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way S.W. www.thelakewoodamphitheater.com.
ATLANTA ICE CREAM FESTIVAL (July 28) I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! What better way to cool off on a hot ATL summer day than with some sweet deliciousness at the seventh annual Atlanta Ice Cream festival? But don’t be fooled by the name — this festival is just as much about wellness as it is about sweets. Hosted in the heart of Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival features the 3rd annual Leah Dortch Fight Cancer Walk, all-day free Wellness Pavilion, toga sessions, Boom Shock Fitness, live entertainment, and of course, an ice cream-eating competition. Free. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Piedmont Park, 400 Park Dr. www.atlantaicecreamfestival.com.
PIEDMONT PARK ARTS FESTIVAL (Aug. 18-19) This annual two-day outdoor event highlights visual arts and family fun, in the hope of giving back to the community through the arts. Presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, the festival will host 250 artists with specialties ranging from photography to glass blowing. Complete with artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, an Emerging Arts Pavilion, children’s play area, festival foods and brews, the Piedmont Park Arts Festival is ready to paint the (Mid)town red! Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.Sat; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.Sun.. Rain or shine. Piedmont Park, 400 Park Dr. N.E. www.piedmontparkartsfestival.com.
SUMMER SHADE FESTIVAL (Aug. 25-26) As much as we love summer, all good things must come to an end, so let’s do it the right way. The 16th annual Summer Shade Festival has been the place where Atlanta art and music lovers have congregated for over a decade to bid a proper farewell to the summer. Complete with a kids zone, live music, and and a Run for the Park 5K, the festival also doubles as a fundraiser for Grant Park Conservancy, a nonprofit committed to the restoration, renovation, and maintenance of Grant Park. Free. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.;11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sun..Grant Park. www.summershadefestival.org.
DRAGONCON (August 30-September 3) It’s that time of year again! DragonCon will take over Downtown this Labor Day weekend, bringing traffic and cosplayers to flood the streets of Atlanta. Along with five days of panels, performances, workshops, celebrity appearances, parties and a sprawling parade, special events include DragonCon Burlesque, Night at the Georgia Aquarium, and autograph signings. Late-night parties are held from dusk ’till dawn on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with live performances, DJs, and Filk singing. From sci-fi nerds to gamers and book lovers, DragonCon is a one-stop-shop for all folks to enjoy. $115-$160. 10 a.m. www.dragoncon.org.
DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) The largest independent book festival in the country returns for 2018! Located in the historic downtown Decatur Square, this year’s Decatur Book Festival offers an opportunity to enjoy keynote speakers, book signings, readings, panel discussions, kids storytelling, and more. The DBF’s mission is to encourage the love of reading and writing, and it celebrates the beauty of both the spoken and written word. Don’t miss a chance to discover new authors and books or reconnect with old ones! This event is open to all ages. Free. Fri., Aug. 31. 5 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 1. 10 a.m.; Sun., Sept. 2. Noon. Downtown Decatur. www.decaturbookfestival.com.