One of the great things about Athfest is the number of “non-official” shows that pop up each year. The bands playing them usually have gotten passed over for one reason or another and have taken up shop with some venues that usually aren’t venues associated with Athfest. This number has been growing year to year as bars have noticed patrons coming in, asking if they can get in with the wristband.
Most of these shows will usually let you in with an Athfest wristband or for completely free. You just have to know where to look. Try J.R.’s Baitshack on Saturday for acoustic dabblings or the Arch Bar on Friday for atmospheric rock and roll. How about strolling down to the GA Bar for some jamming tunes on Saturday? If you live further on the outskirts of town, Hendershot’s is still open for tunes from some incredible singer-songwriters. Wristband entry is likely but not guaranteed with venues.
So today’s lesson is don’t feel like you only have to attend the shows listed on the official venue schedule. A quick glance into the many local businesses and bars downtown will reveal that Athens has picked up the “unofficial party” vibe from SXSW. There’s a whole town full of music out there. That’s why it’s called ATHfest, not “specificvenue fest”. Allons-y!