Atlanta puts on countless festivals, large and small, throughout the year, and many of them bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city. For music lovers, Atlanta music festivals offer everything from electronic dance, blues, hip-hop, country, classical, and jazz. While Music Midtown and Atlanta Jazz Festival are some of the biggest festivals, there are plenty of others that warrant a visit.
Held in beautiful Piedmont Park with Atlanta’s skyline providing a stunning backdrop, Music Midtown features over 30 artists across four stages, a pop-up Ferris wheel in the middle of the park, and amazing food vendors. Their diverse lineup covers electronic, pop, hip-hop, rock and roll, and several other kinds of music.
Atlanta Jazz Festival
Known as one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world, the Atlanta Jazz Festival celebrates the rich history of jazz and its impact on the city’s culture. The month-long music festival features emerging artists as well as internationally-acclaimed jazz musicians playing at several venues throughout Atlanta. It is held over the Memorial Day weekend with a number of outdoor jazz performances at Piedmont Park.
Imagine Music Festival
When it comes to Atlanta music festivals, Imagine has been in a class of its own since its launch in 2014. If you are an EDM or rave fan, you can’t afford to miss this one. It’s a four-day fest accompanied by early arrival camping and full music programming on the Disco Inferno stage. The 2022 headliners for the event include Seven Lions, Kaskade, GRiZ, and Excision.
Shaky Knees Music Festival
With nearly 40,000 attendees each year, this premier festival brings a killer indie scene to the streets of downtown Atlanta, GA. More than 60 bands play at the event, making it a rock lover's dream. Their lineup has always been impressive since the festival’s inception in 2013. Band of Horses, the Lumineers, Modest Mouse, The National, The Strokes, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Gaslight Anthem, and more have played here in the past.
Candler Park Music Festival
This is an annual festival that celebrates the glory of the autumn season. This two-day Atlanta music festival features live music performances by local bands and more than 100 booths showcasing local food vendors, craftsmen, and local artists. Known for its variety of musical genres, Candler Park Music Festival features artists such as Marco Benevento, Voodoo Visionary, Ripe, Spafford, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Vegabonds, Galactic, and more. They also organize a 5k race and other family events, proceeds from which support the entire community.
Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival
This has been one annual event since 2012 that keeps getting bigger every year. Almost 5,000 people come to this 4-hour festival to sample delicacies such as brisket, pastrami, Jewish corned beef, and barbecued chicken. There is a juried competition where more than a dozen judges decide which team makes the best stuff. Professional teams from across the country compete for a prize of \$46,000.
Virginia Highland SummerFest
SummerFest is set in the beautiful Virginia-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta and celebrates all things summer. Kick off your June with good food, live bands, shop for locally-made art installations, and enjoy everything the craftsmen have to offer. There’s an artists’ market that features artwork from 250 of the top artists in Georgia and beyond. You can also shop for handmade items such as candles, lotions, soaps, plants, pet items, honey, jams, chocolates, and more.
Atlanta Ice Cream Festival
The hot July weather brings much-needed relief in the form of the annual Ice Cream Festival. More than 120 vendors offer mouth-melting chilled goodness in Piedmont Park, along with live music and other entertainment. They also have a 5k Fight Cancer Walk, fitness and wellness workshops, games, crafts vendors, and more.
Nearly 25,000 people visit each year to not only sample scrumptious desserts but also to burn off those extra calories with Tai Chi, Frisbee Toss, Jump Rope Fun, Hula Hoop Competitions, Double Dutch Routines, Yoga, Zumba, and other exciting activities. The one-day event serves pretty much every ice cream flavor you can imagine. There’s an entertainment zone for children as well!
Piedmont Park Arts Festival
Recognized as one of the top 100 Arts Festivals in the US, the annual Piedmont Park Arts Festival is a 2-day outdoor event with a focus on the visual arts and family-friendly fun. This event will feature 250 sculptors, photographers, painters, crafters, jewelers, glass blowers, and leather and metal works. They also offer live acoustic music, artist demonstrations, a kid’s play area, and a large variety of foods and beverages.
Festival Peachtree Latino
This is the largest multicultural cultural event in Georgia that celebrates Hispanic-American culture. The festival offers dance music demonstrations, a parade, sporting events, family activities, arts and crafts, ethnic food trucks and vendors, and a live music stage featuring international performers from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
On top of this, more than 250 exhibitors present unique interactive displays and souvenirs at the event. World-renowned artists, as well as up-and-coming artists from the music industry, add to the thrilling ambiance. And the good news is, Festival Peachtree Latino is completely free to enter. You’ll find hundreds of exhibitors and delectable international food to suit everyone’s palate.
Taste Of Soul Atlanta Festival
Held over two days, Taste of Soul is hosted on two stages and offers the best soul food in the country. While the food festival is free to enter, you’ll need a ticket to see the musical concerts which are set outside in West Downtown across from the Mercedes Benz stadium. Their lineups of soul and R&B artists will raise your spirit while the food and beverage selection nourishes your soul.
The event also features a large kids' zone and an impressive marketplace for arts, crafts, and other merchandise.
Fall Fest In Candler Park
Every first week of October, two days at the beautiful Candler Park are transformed into a street festival involving live music, food, an artist market, free kids’ activities, and more. There’s also a 5k Run race you can register for in advance. Past performers at the festival have included Bradley Cole Smith, Dave Franklin, The Southern Gothic, Webster, and Deep Blue Sun.
Around 100 art vendors sell their handcrafted goodies on both days, with nearly 20 food trucks lining up the park. And unlike most festivals that charge a fee for children’s activities, all shows and rides have usually been free at Fall Fest in Candler Park.
Atlanta Hip Hop Day Festival
The Annual Atlanta Hip Hop Day Festival pays tribute to the 4 elements of hip-hop: deejaying, emceeing, beatboxing, and graffiti painting. You’ll find all four sides of the Robert Woodruff Park dedicated to these four elements with Graffiti artists, Turbtablism, Emcee Battles, and B-Girl and B-Boy exhibits. This is one of the most exciting days for hip-hop lovers in Atlanta who are treated to performers like SB Skooly, Killer Mike, OJ Da Juiceman, Trouble, and more.
There are two entertainment stages and more than 20 food booths and 90 arts and crafts exhibitors. Nearly 20,000 people attend the festival every year, which thankfully is FREE to enter.
Atlanta Pride Festival
Atlanta Pride Festival is the largest pride-day celebration in the southeast and welcomes everyone free of charge. Head over to Piedmont Park this October to show your support for the promotion of equality and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The event is free to attend and features an artist marketplace with live entertainment, food trucks, and over 200 booths.
The parade usually begins at the Civic Center MARTA Station, then proceeds north on Peachtree Street. It then turns onto 10th Street where it concludes at the Piedmont Park via Charles Allen Gate entrance. Several local artists and artisans look forward to the event to display and sell their unique works.
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is held during one weekend in early April when the native dogwood trees are in full bloom. First established in 1933, the festival takes place at Piedmont Park with family-friendly activities, arts and crafts, live music, and food booths. The Dogwood Festival has been ranked as the “Best 200 Fine Arts Festivals in the US” by the Sunshine Artists Magazine a number of times.
It includes a juried art competition that recognizes artistic achievement in categories like photography, jewelry, painting, and sculpture. They also set up a Kid’s Village to please children of all ages with fun activities like huge inflatables, rock climbing, and face painting.
Another highlight of the event is the US Disc Dog Southern Nationals, a world-renowned competition for the best Frisbee dogs in the country. Soul, rock, country, and bluegrass add a musical touch while visitors enjoy gyros, kettle corn, and funnel cakes.
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