Atlanta Fall Festivals: Things to Do in Atlanta This Weekend
"Yeah, yeah, I think I'm gonna go in the house. I ate them two blunts when the cops came. So tonight... tonight's gonna be weird"
— Darius (Keith Stanfield), Atlanta
Rolling down Ponce de Leon listening to T.I. and Migos, you'll catch a glimpse of how Atlanta has reshaped pop culture. The best way to feel what keeps our city inspired is through one of its many neighborhood festivals offered throughout the year.
If you're wondering what events are in Atlanta this weekend, worry no more. Experience top music festivals, extravagant cosplay, and the best food through our roundup of the eight best cultural and music festivals in Georgia this fall.
1. Dragon Con (Downtown)
Conventions in Atlanta are more than an excuse to get out of the office. Let your geek flag fly at the largest multi-media and popular culture convention in the world! The two-day Atlanta comic convention focuses on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, and music. An estimated 85,000 science fiction and gaming fans will swarm Downtown Atlanta for Labor Day Weekend to show off the best of the best in cosplay.
Dragon Con 2018 guests can anticipate intricate cosplay – or costume play – from competitors who will leave it all on Peachtree Street for a parade that steps off at 10:00 a.m. sharp on September 1. Beginning at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue, the parade will head south on Peachtree until it ends in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Don't set yourself up for failure by trying to drive downtown through the 85,000 DragonCon guests to find parking. Riding MARTA to get off at Peachtree Center Station is SMARTA. Thursday, August 30 - Monday, September 3
2. House in the Park (Grant Park)
House in the Park is like the kickback in Atlanta that no one told you about. A must for Labor Day weekend, the soulful day is filled with electronic dance music from a range of house music’s emerging local, regional, and international talents. Created by club DJs and music producers in Chicago, the funk-infused ---- has united people across cultures and ethnicities since the late 1970s.
Gates will open at 10:00 a.m. sharp for those seeking the best shaded plot near the dance floor. There will be a $10 admission this year, and if you know what's good for you, you'll bring more than enough ice and water to keep you hydrated. You'll leave in a pool of sweat, but your body will thank you for leaving it all on the dance floor. Sunday, September 1, noon - 8:00 p.m.
House in the Park is held in Historic Grant Park at 537 Park Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315. Parking is very limited, so consider using a ride-sharing app.
3. ONE Musicfest (Old Fourth Ward)
The Southeast's largest two-day urban progressive music festival, ONE Musicfest will be back and bigger than ever before at a new location in O4W’s Central Park. Festival-goers can expect an eclectic mashup of Hip Hop, EDM, Reggae, Funk, Trap, House, Classics, Alternative Rock, and Soul that will have bodies vibrating waves of positivity.
ONE Musicfest's 2018 lineup includes artists H.E.R., Kelis, Ying Yang Twins, Brandy, and Miguel alongside the best local DJs responsible for Atlanta's eclectic nightlife scene. Get ready for the unapologetically black outdoor music festival with my "Whistle While You Twerk" Apple music playlist (username: @FELAtl) for the top songs by all of the artists. Saturday, September 8, noon- 11:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 9, noon - 10:00 p.m.
ONE Musicfest will be held at Central Park, in the Historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Entry gates are located at 467 Central Park Place NE, Atlanta, GA 30312. For tickets visit onemusicfest.com
4. Music Midtown (Midtown)
I remember my first Music Midtown like it was yesterday. It was 2012, and all I needed was to see that Florence & The Machine would be there for me to need to attend the festival. Back then Atlanta had not caught on to the forced weekend festival trend that we now know so well, so I opted to skip Friday, for a one-day experience on Saturday. I went for Florence, but I left with Girl Talk and Neon Trees added to my playlists.
I have attended two more Music Midtown festivals since then, and each lineup gets better than the last. The September music festival has paved the way for the Atlanta festival scene we cherish today. I am so excited about the nine Black artists set to hit the big music festival's three stages. Get a little intimate with the emerging artists through my cuffin season "In My Feelings" Apple music playlist (username: @FELAtl). Saturday, September 15, noon - 11:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 16, noon - 10:00 p.m.
Music Midtown is located at Piedmont Park in Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood. For more information on entry/exit and to familiarize yourself with the festival map, visit musicmidtown.com
5. Imagine Music Festival | An Aquatic Fairytale (Hampton)
Lorin Ashton, bka Bassnectar, is seriously all you need to know to NEED the experience of Imagine Music Festival on your fall festivals lineup. If you're a lightweight bass head, you may be familiar with the American DJ and record producer's "Upside Down" and "Red Step" remixes (Divergent Spectrum Remix). Whenever my spirit needs a lift, I use my Apple Music "Good Morning" playlist to dance off any anxious energy and remind myself that I'm that... I wouldn't recommend this playlist for those that are currently anti-Mr. West.
6. Atlanta Pride (Midtown)
We still do pride to celebrate how far we've come as a community and to show how much harder we must push back against our political leaders. 2019 will mark fifty years since the Stonewall Riots, and I for one am going to attend as many Pride festivals, in as many towns as my liver can stand. I kid I kid. Pride is 60% day drinking before noon and 40% awareness of where to spend our LGBTQ dollars because representation matters.
Pride in Atlanta is unique in that we have two that occur a mere month apart from one another. Atlanta Black Pride is held Labor Day weekend and is much more lesbian-friendly with the best parties held at My Sister's Room or thrown by Queendom Atlanta and Southern Fried Queer Pride.
Atlanta Pride is held in October and outshines Atlanta Black Pride with an epic kick-off party at the Georgia Aquarium and three empowering parades. The Atlanta Pride parade will step-off Sunday, October 14 from the Civic Center MARTA Station at noon and extend across to 10th Street until it reaches Piedmont Park. October 12 - 14, 2018
Atlanta Pride is held at Piedmont Park in Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood. For more information on the festival's itinerary, visit atlantapride.org.
7. AFROPUNK Atlanta (Mechanicsville)
AFROPUNK presents The Carnival of Consciousness 2018 Atlanta Edition as a festival to free your mind and commune with a sea of highly melanated, gender-bending creatives. Famously known for its no transphobia, no homophobia, and no sexism mantra, the October music festival highlights an incredible lineup of ground-breaking icons and emerging black punk bands like N.E.R.D and The Internet.
I'm obvs going gaga that N.E.R.D is headlining after their star-studded 2017 studio album No-One Ever Really Dies. I'm willing to bet we'll have a few guest surprises during their set (I'm manifesting getting high like planes with M.I.A.), but I'm most intrigued to witness Jada Pinkett Smith's American nu metal band, Wicked Wisdom. Remember to rage as yourself. The most uniquely dressed wins. Saturday, October 13 noon - 11:00 p.m.; Sunday, October 14, noon - 10:00 p.m.
AFROPUNK Presents The Carnival of Consciousness 2018 Atlanta Edition will be held at 787 Windsor St. in Atlanta's Mechanicsville neighborhood. For more information on the festival's itinerary, visit. For more information on parking visit afropunk.com/atlanta.
8. 17th Annual Taste of Atlanta (Old Fourth Ward)
The three-day foodie lover’s dream festival is back with over 90 restaurants, a kick-off party, and a VIP barcraft competition to indulge to your palate’s content. The food festival will feature food samples from Atlanta's best local restaurants and three live cooking stages to learn tips and tricks from local and national celebrity chefs. Wash down the Instagrammable bites with craft beer, wine, and cocktails as you meander through interactive installations and the sounds produced by Atlanta’s best DJs.
Each ticket entitles you to a wristband with a preloaded bonus of 10 Taste Points (General admission) or 20 Taste Points (VIP Guests) that will be used as currency for all samples during the festival at Historic Old Fourth Ward Park. Kids 13 and get free admission when accompanied by a paid adult, but VIP is 21+. October 19, 7:30 p.m.; October 20, October 21 (times to be announced).
Taste of Atlanta will be held in Historic Fourth Ward Park, across the street from Ponce City Market on North Avenue Northeast, in Historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.
Which festivals are you excited about attending this fall?
Bianca is a hot toddy sippin', festival lovin’, LGBTQ content strategizing, Om addict. When she's not exploring a new city, you can catch her tinkerin’ in the kitchen.
Thank you for reading. Have A Worthy Week.
SHARING IS CARING!