live music in Athens, Georgia

Athens Music in Three Days or Less

Whether you have one day or three, here is how to make the most of your music experience in Athens.

Upon first visit, Athens doesn't necessarily look like a place that could’ve launched some of the most innovative, unique musical luminaries in recent history. It’s a sleepy, laid-back college town, home to the University of Georgia, that truly comes alive on football game days as red-clad Georgia Bulldog aficionados pack Sanford Stadium and pour out into the downtown streets for post-game revelry. The university is a key factor in the Athens music scene, though. The continual influx of new talent keeps things fresh, creating a community that evolves and changes with the times as well as with the tastes of the town’s captive collegiate audience.

Athens gave us kitschy party-band royalty in the form of the B-52’s, poetic lyrics and jangly rock from R.E.M., the endless jams of Widespread Panic, and the modern Americana of the Drive-By Truckers. Other notables include Vic Chesnutt, Danger Mouse, of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Colt Ford – proving that you really can’t pin down that Athens sound. Best to just head out to one of the many iconic live music venues in the city’s vibrant downtown, grab a locally brewed beer, and soak it all in.

Published: October 2019