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10 Signature Georgia Music Festivals to Experience this Spring

  • Shaky Beats

Georgia’s spring music festival offerings are as original and diverse as the state's musical landscape itself. Soak up local sites and sounds while catching regional, national and international touring acts.

8th Annual Atlanta Jewish Music Spring Festival, March 2 – 19, 2017

David Buchbinder
David Buchbinder

With an eye toward spotlighting the transcendent power of Jewish music, curators at the Atlanta Jewish Music Spring Festival (March 2 – 19, 2017) assemble more than two weeks of programming citywide. The lineup includes contemporary artists interpreting storied traditions, and innovators like trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder, who explores the Jewish-Cuban connection during “Odessa/Havana” on opening night 2017.

Savannah Stopover Music Festival, March 9 – 11, 2017

Lee Fields & the Expressions
Lee Fields & the Expressions

From techno-pop violinist and singer Kishi Bashi to retro-soul stalwarts Lee Fields & the Expressions, Savannah Stopover (March 9 – 11, 2017) presents more than 80 indie bands and artists in spaces dotted throughout the coastal city’s famed historic district. At only $79 for a three-day general admission pass and $149 for the VIP package, Stopover stands as one of the best music discovery values for miles and miles.

7th Annual Swamptown Getdown, March 17 & 18, 2017

Col. Bruce Hampton at 2016 Swamptown Getdown
Col. Bruce Hampton at 2016 Swamptown Getdown

It is is often said that Native Americans called the Okefenokee Swamp “land of trembling earth.” But during the two-day Waycross music festival known as the Swamptown Getdown (March 17 & 18, 2017), it's more likely that the roots-and-rock rumble of bands like Athens-based veterans Bloodkin and hometown heroes the Pine Box Dwellers will be the cause of the Okefenokee Fairground’s shivers and shakes.

Savannah Music Festival, March 23 – April 8

Che Malambo. Courtesy of Savannah Music Festival/Diane Smithers
Che Malambo. Courtesy of Savannah Music Festival/Diane Smithers

Now in its 28th season, Savannah Music Festival (March 23 – April 8, 2017) is globally recognized as an unmatched cultural experience celebrating the musical arts. Over 17 days, more than 100 jazz, classical, blues, roots and world music performances will be staged in intimate venues throughout the historic district, from Jason Isbell and The Wood Brothers to Che Malambo and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Sweetwater 420 Fest, April 21-23, 2017

Widespread Panic
Widespread Panic

As if the beer-centric Sweetwater 420 Fest (April 21 – 23, 2017) isn’t reason enough to head to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park over Earth Day weekend, Georgia Music Hall of Famers Widespread Panic play four sets over two nights! The jam- and funk-packed lineup also features Trey Anastasio Band, Slightly Stoopid, Ween, Dirty Heads, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Lettuce and many more.

21st Annual Bear on the Square, April 22 & 23, 2017

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Lovers of old-time music flock to Dahlonega's Historic Public Square during Bear on the Square (April 22 & 23, 2017) to listen, learn and join in one of the many impromptu jam sessions. The weekend of authentic Appalachian culture includes traditional music workshops and demonstrations, an old-fashioned mountain dance, storytelling and a juried Artists Market Place.

Little Roy & Lizzy Music Festival, May 4 – 6, 2017

Little Roy & Lizzy
Little Roy & Lizzy

Little Roy Lewis, from the legendary Lewis Family bluegrass dynasty, and multi-instrumentalist Lizzy Long, host their fifth annual Little Roy & Lizzy Music Festival (May 4- 6, 2017) in Lincolnton, just outside Augusta. Regulars camp in gorgeous Elijah Clark State Park so as not to miss out on any of the acts which this years include the Oak Ridge Boys, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Jeff & Sherri Easter and more.

Shaky Beats Music Festival, May 5 – 7, 2017

Shaky Beats
Shaky Beats

After a much-lauded debut in 2016, Shaky Beats Music Festival (May 5 – 7, 2017) returns to Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park for three days of electronic, indie and hip-hop music. Headliners The Chainsmokers, Kaskade, GRiZ, Flosstradamus and Zeds Dead are among the 40+ acts scheduled.

Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, May 6, 2017

Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival
Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival

For the 24th year, Thomson, Ga., celebrates the legacy of one of its native sons when it presents the annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival (May 6, 2017). Staged in a gorgeous pastoral setting under a Georgia blue sky, the 2017 installment features The Wood Brothers, The Marcus King Band, Mingo Fishtrap, Alvin Youngblood Hart and more, plus regional food vendors serving up Southern soul favorites from barbecue to fried catfish.

Shaky Knees, May 12-14, 2017

Shaky Knees
Shaky Knees

Shaky Knees Music Festival (May 12 – 14, 2017) celebrates its fifth anniversary with a lineup of more than 60 bands, including English pop band The xx, LCD Soundsystem French rockers Phoenix, Cage The Elephant, Pixies, The Shins, Moon Taxi, Car Seat Headrest, The Revivalists and many more. Three stages, appropriately named Peachtree, Piedmont and Ponce de Leon, are spread throughout Atlanta’s Centennial Park.

Lisa Love

Lisa Love assists in the efforts to promote Georgia as a destination for music tourism and entertainment projects. In the past two decades, she has produced content, exhibits and events on behalf of Georgia Tourism, Georgia Music Foundation, Georgia Music magazine and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

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