Statement from AthFest Educates Executive Director, Jill Helme, Regarding AthFest 2020:


After careful consideration, The AthFest Educates Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2020 AthFest Music & Arts Festival scheduled for June 25-28, 2020.

We very much hope that by the end of June things in the U.S. will have improved enormously, however, the majority of the funding to put on the festival has to be secured in advance of the event. Given these difficult economic times we’re all facing, that is not going to be possible and committing hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the festival, without that foundation could jeopardize the organization’s stability moving forward. This would lead to the organization’s inability to continue producing the festival in the future and financially supporting music and arts education programs for Athens’ youth, and we can’t risk that.

As the weeks pass and community life resumes, we will continue to have conversations about potential events we can produce that might showcase Athens’ creative culture in different ways.  We know the community has come to depend on AthFest as an outlet for public celebration and creative expression; this loss will be felt by many. We are grateful for the community’s understanding of the decision to cancel this year’s festival, and we want to assure you that AthFest Educates remains committed to sustaining and advancing music and arts education for youth in Athens Clarke County

Please know that this was a very difficult decision, as we know the festival is an important economic boost for many downtown businesses and this news comes at a time when many performing artists are also losing income. We hope to do our part to support artists and our community in other ways, including a $10,000 donation to the special Nuçi’s Space fund set up for music and entertainment industry folks who need help.

For the past 23 years, we have proudly produced the annual AthFest Music & Arts Festival without fail, and we are heartbroken that we're having to skip this summer so deep into our tradition. But we're not going anywhere. We remain committed to our mission and to advancing music and arts appreciation and celebration throughout our community for many years to come.

The AthFest Music & Arts Festival is an annual event that showcases Athens, GA’s musicians and artists, while raising money for the nonprofit AthFest Educates, which gives grants to Athens based public school teachers, administrators, community educators and youth development specialists for music and art education.  More about AthFest Educates at

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Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen Media Services

Athens, GA