ATLANTA (April 15, 2016) – The 12th edition of SweetWater 420 Fest isn’t simply three days of live music and locally- brewed craft beer.
Although there’s plenty of those main ingredients on tap when the festival takes over downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park next week (April 22-24), there’s so much more.
The homegrown festivities – including headliners The Roots, Ludacris, The Disco Biscuits, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Cypress Hill, Kid Rock and Bastille – also features a 5K that is a qualifier for the Peachtree Road Race, a full slate of stand-up comedians, an Artist Village, the 420 Disco, Food Village, a cornhole challenge and other games, and an eco-friendly ethos that’s the heart of the event.
The SweetWater 420 Fest was founded as an Earth Day celebration, and its sustainability message is still central to the mission, and continues to grow year after year.
According to Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewery, “this festival represents an opportunity for us to bring all of SweetWater Brewery’s passions together into one event to share with our community and celebrate our planet. We always remain committed to efforts ensuring the betterment of our planet, both environmentally and socially.”
And the opening day of the festival, appropriately, falls on Earth Day this year, Friday, April 22.
A centerpiece of the festival is the Planet 420 Eco-Village, featuring non-profit ventures dedicated to sustainability, including AWARE Wildlife Center, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Surfrider Foundation Georgia Chapter, Georgia Jack Russell Rescue, and Camp Twin Lakes. And for the first time at the festival, HeadCount will be on-site registering voters.
Other green hallmarks of the 420 Festival include:
- In 2015, Solar Belly trash compactors were donated to keep downtown streets clean.
- Approximately $50,000 has been raised by the Gas South cornhole challenge, with those funds donated to charities, and the tradition continues this year with another tourney.
- More than 18,250 pounds of waste from the festival was diverted from the event
- More than 23,600 pounds of compost was created from the event.
- Reusable steely 20-ounce cups are used at the event.
In addition, festival-goers are encouraged to arrive at the festival in eco-friendly fashion via bike valet, carpooling or using MARTA (easily accessible from the Peachtree Center, Five Points and Philips Arena/Dome/GWCC stations).
“While the significant environmental impacts of events has been overlooked in the past, it’s refreshing to work with an event that places sustainability at the forefront of the planning process,” said Tim Trefzer, Sustainability Manager for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which owns and operates Centennial Olympic Park. “SweetWater 420 Fest has been a great partner by combining its environmental efforts with those of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. While the attendees may not be coming to Centennial Olympic Park for the environmental messaging, it is our hope that they recognize that sustainability is at the heart of the festival and that they take that value with them long after Earth Day.”
Then there’s the Atlanta-brewed namesake beer, which is an experience within itself, and the focus of the SweetWater Experience Tent. According to the festival’s Website, the SweetWater Experience Tent is “a weekend-long craft beer-centric event where you can taste your way through more than 25 unique styles of SweetWater beers and enjoy presentations on topics as wide as our brewers’bellies.”
Inside the Experience Tent, festival patrons will find selections of Sweetwater’s year-round beers, along with seasonal offerings, and samplings of brews only available at the 420 Fest, such as barrel-aged options, experimental cask variants, and the cellared Dank Tank series.
In addition to the suds sampling, the Experience Tent also hosts panel presentations and discussions about industry trends and topics, food-and-beer pairings, homebrewing demonstrations and Q-and-As with SweetWater’s founders and brewers.
All of this adds up for an exciting and interactive experience for the seasoned beer geek, as well as those hopping aboard the ever-growing craft brewing train.
“Besides the crazy good music (at the festival), there’s more to do, more to see, and the Experience Tent allows you to get a little more in touch with the beer,” said Reid Ramsay, founder of Beer Street Journal and an Experience Tent guest speaker. “Beer is big now, thankfully, in America. And a lot of people are just interested in beer and to hear (SweetWater co-founder) Freddy Bensch speak. You get to hang out with him, drink beer and high-five him. It’s a very organic experience. It’s a deeper immersion into the world of beer.”
For more details and to purchase tickets, visit www.sweetwater420festival.com.
Follow the festival on Twitter/Instagram at @420Fest or on Facebook at facebook.com/420fest.