With the return of in-person music and football games planned for full capacity, fall in Athens, Georgia, is sure to be even more spirited than usual. Everyone has been cooped up for far too long with far too few fun things to do, but luckily the line-up of Athens events for fall is sure to bring some relief. Not only will Sanford Stadium be back to its usual bustling glory during home football games, but Athens will also welcome back the Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade and Spectacle, Twilight Criterium, Classic City Brew Fest, Historic Athens PorchFest and
AthFest. Plus the Georgia Theatre, 40 Watt Club, Southern Brewing Company and all of the other amazing music venues in town have calendars crammed with fantastic bands and musicians. With so much to do, and the famous Gingko trees just waiting to burst into brilliant gold, a ramble through Athens in the fall is more than warranted.
August 2021 events
Athens Twilight Criterium
As CyclingTips.com puts it, "The streets of downtown Athens, Georgia, become a block party. Fireworks in the parking lot, bars overflowing, thousands of screaming college kids lining barriers. Oh, and there’s also a bike race happening. This is Athens Twilight, the pinnacle of criterium racing in the United States."
Athens Twilight Criterium, presented by Terrapin Beer Co, is on August 20 and 21. The men’s pro-am criterium is an 80K race around historic downtown Athens, while the women’s pro-am criterium measures 40K. The course start-finish line is on Clayton Street at College Avenue. For more info visit: https://athenstwilight.wpengine.com/
Classic City Brew Fest
The Classic City Brew Fest, Georgia's longest-running beer festival, will return on August 28 for its 25th Anniversary. Named by Beer Connoisseur Magazine as a "Top 20 US Beer Fest for Beer Geeks,” Brew Fest will be held on Hotel Indigo's expansive covered patio and observation deck. Attendees will enjoy 50+ unique, one-off cask ales with special ingredients, live music, food and the opportunity to meet local craft beer celebrities. All beer samples are included in the ticket price. Hotel Indigo is offering special overnight rates during the Classic City Brew Fest weekend. Hotel Indigo is the perfect base to explore Downtown Athens and all SIX of Athens' breweries. For more info visit: https://www.classiccitybrew.com/brewfest.html
Other August events of note:
- Jeanne Robertson live at The Classic Center on August 13
- SouthernFest Southern Rock Jam at Southern Brewing Company on August 14 from 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM
September 2021 events
AthFest Music and Arts Festival
A statement from the AthFest Educates Executive Director, Jill Helme, about the 2021 AthFest Music & Arts Festival, (September 9):
"We are very sad to announce that the 2021 AthFest Music & Arts Festival did not receive its final permit from the Athens-Clarke County (ACC) government due to the high number of current COVID-19 cases in the area. Because the COVID-19 community spread numbers were above ACC’s threshold to permit special events, the county will not issue a final permit for the 2021 AthFest Music & Arts Festival scheduled for September 24 - September 26.
We are incredibly disappointed by the cancellation, and we hope our community’s numbers improve drastically over the next few weeks. While improvements won’t change the status of the 2021 AthFest, there are still a number of upcoming special events that support our community’s local nonprofits and we’d like to see them spared the same outcome as the festival. We can only hope that by next year things will look better for all of us, and we’ll be able to produce the community festival we all love and miss.
The team of dedicated volunteers and professionals who plan and organize the festival have been working for months on this year’s festival, with sponsors lined up, musicians booked, vendors in place and plans for a great festival in the works, with every intention for it to happen this year. We are heartbroken to say the least, but we understand: the community’s health and safety must come first.
We strongly urge everyone to follow CDC recommendations for community safety so we all can move on and enjoy events like AthFest in years to come. We’d like to thank our dedicated sponsors who chose to support this event regardless of the potential for cancellation and we encourage everyone to support those businesses and their products and services. You can see a list of our generous sponsors under the “Sponsors” tab at athfest.com website.
We’ll assess the situation in January 2022 when considering moving forward with a 2022 festival. Until then, thank you to all the musicians, visual artists, vendors, sponsors, and volunteers for your continued support. Hopefully we’ll see you next year.
AthFest is Back! The 2021 AthFest Music & Arts Festival will take place in downtown Athens, GA from September 24 - 26.
The annual celebration of Athens’ creative scene is a multi-day, free, outdoor festival including live performances on three outdoor stages, an artist market, KidsFest, food and retail vendors and multiple beer gardens. The festival showcases the best talent in our area, and generates huge awareness for the nonprofit, AthFest Educates, and its mission to provide much needed funding to support music and arts education for youth.
For more info visit: AthFest is A 3-Day Music and Arts Festival in Athens, GA.
Other September events of note:
- UGA kicks off its home football season against UAB on September 11 at 3:30 PM. Plan your football weekend getaway to Athens!
- Check out the newest Football Friday tour, “'Not Only for Ourselves: The Integration of UGA Athletics” on the Friday before each home football game this season at the UGA Special Collections Libraries from 3-4 PM.
- Rumours- The Fleetwood Mac Tribute at the Georgia Theatre on September 18
- The Black Keys: Live in Concert at The Classic Center on September 20
October 2021 events
Zombie Farms Haunted Trail
Zombie Farms will be OPEN every Friday and Saturday night of October for the 2021 season. Tickets are $20-25/person. If you are looking for a Halloween adventure anywhere in Northeast Georgia, you don't want to miss Zombie Farms! You get a full 3/4 mile walk through dark and spooky woods filled with scary monsters and creepy characters who will scare you, entertain you and sometimes even make you laugh. 2021 will have a whole new theme that is sure to give you a thrill! Zombie Farms also now features a new rope maze.
For more info visit: https://www.zombiefarms.com
Wildwood Revival returns for 2021 Oct. 8-10! Named one of Garden & Gun's "Southern festivals well worth adding to the calendar,” Wildwood Revival is an intimate, thoughtfully curated boutique festival tailored towards a truly unique music and cultural experience for all, located just on the outskirts of Athens, Georgia on a historic 30-acre farm. Camping is offered in the picturesque, rolling countryside by teepee, tent or trailer. Local, seasonal food is served, and craft beer is served in mason jars. It is a plastic-free event.
All tickets to Wildwood Revival include three full days of music. VIP tickets include access to a 7,000- square foot Antebellum Mansion that includes gourmet catered meals, complimentary alcohol, private restrooms and an outdoor courtyard. Tickets are $80.
For more info visit: https://www.wildwoodrevival.com/
Historic Athens Porchfest
Historic Athens Porchfest returns in 2021 with what promises to be an amazing lineup of 100+ musicians, playing throughout several intown neighborhoods. Put on your walking shoes and get ready for a full day of cool tunes in an array of lovely front porch and yard settings throughout Pulaski Heights, Newtown, Boulevard, Buena Vista, Normaltown and Cobbham Neighborhoods on October 10 from 1-8 PM.
For more info visit: https://www.historicathens.com/porchfest
Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade & Spectacle
The 13th Annual Wild Rumpus Halloween Celebration is coming October 29-30. All are invited to participate in the Wild Rumpus by dressing in costume and marching!
Athens is known as a "Never Never Land" to an active population of wildly creative, experimental artists and musicians and an enormous student population of the University of Georgia. Through tourism and participation, The Wild Rumpus also serves as an economic generator for Athens downtown businesses. Additionally it channels profits from event fundraising to local non-profit organizations that work for the betterment of the community.
For more info visit: http://www.wildrumpus.org
Other October events of note:
- Athens Haunted History Walking tours, daily by appointment. $15/person
- The 2021 Athens, GA Half Marathon & 5K: 12th Annual Half Marathon on October 24 at 7:30pm and 5th Annual 5K on October 23 at 2:30pm.
- Athens to Savannah Ride presented by Hi Lo Trail October 22- 24
- The 37th Annual North Georgia Folk Festival, date TBA
- LatinxFest, date TBA
November 2021 events
Athens Pride 2021 Street Festival
Athens Pride returns, stronger than ever with a safe, welcoming, in-person festival in Downtown Athens for the LGBTQIA+ community!
2020 was hard and 2021 is proving to have its many challenges as well. It's time to cut loose and shed the existential dread for a spell, and what better way than at an outdoor Pride Festival complete with Athens Pride’s FIRST-EVER Pride Parade! Details will continue to emerge as the festival planning solidifies, but there is one thing you can count on - Athens Pride Festival 2021 on the weekend of November 13!
For more info visit: Athens PRIDE
Planning a Fall Getaway to Athens
Fall is a great time of year for a getaway to Athens, and it is about so much more than football! Make plans to attend one of the biggest festivals of the year, and enjoy the return of live music. As always, Athens restaurants are a huge draw as well. Book your hotel now; weekend dates are going fast! For more Athens travel ideas and complete planning information, go to VisitAthensGA.com.