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Widespread Panic, Isbell, Avett Bros. headline 2019’s SweetWater 420 Fest

posted: Oct. 23, 2018

***** UPDATE: Early bird passes are sold out **********

Stay calm, Widespread Panic is coming back to make more memories at Centennial Olympic Park.

The venerable Athens-born jam band returns to headline Sweetwater 420 Fest’s 2019 lineup at the park in April, along with Grammy-winning Americana artist Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, popular folk-rock act The Avett Brothers and indie rockers Moon Taxi (of “Two High” fame), with “early bird” three-day passes going on sale today.

Widespread Panic’s John Bell performing at 2017’s Sweetwater 420 Fest at Centennial Olympic Park. Photo credit: Kent Kimes, GWCCA.

And like the band’s last appearance at 420 Fest in 2017, Widespread Panic will perform two nights, double sets each night, for a total of four sets.

“SweetWater Brew team and I are working hard to make the 15th Fest one for the books for our patrons! We are bringing back the double set format of our jam band headliners along with a well-rounded variety of music genres including Americana, alternative and EDM (electronic dance music), performing on four stages throughout the 3-day Fest,” said Jennifer Bensch, President, Happy Ending Productions, which produces the festival.

Other 420 Fest artists revealed today:

Chart-topping reggae-rock band Rebelution (pictured at left).

Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, featuring, to quote Williams’ website, “loose interpretations of Grateful Dead songs done in a bluegrass style.”

John Medeski’s Mad Skillet (featuring the namesake from jazz trio Medeski, Martin and Wood), nine-piece funk band Turkuaz, and electronic/funk/jazz act KNOWER.

The remaining 45 acts will be announced in January.

Three-day general admission passes start at $99 and three-day VIP packages start at $303.

As Bensch alluded to, this will be the festival’s 15th iteration overall and sixth consecutive year calling the 22-acre downtown Atlanta park owned and operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) as its home.

Always held on or around Earth Day, the event was established to celebrate craft beer (and is named after the brewery’s flagship brew, SweetWater 420 as well as Sweetwater Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River), music, and the environment.

As the GWCCA’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Tim Trefzer noted in an April unConventional post, “The symbiotic partnership between SweetWater 420 Fest and the GWCCA is a result of both organizations holding stewardship as a core value and is due to the impact that the event can have on Atlanta’s primary water source.”

Festival-goers will see some new features at the park, which has been under renovation since March 2017, including a retooled Southern Company Amphitheater, the Paralympic Plaza on the northwest corner of the park honoring athletes that participated in the 1996 Paralympic Games, a new entry point at the Baker Street corner, and a new interactive feature called The Spectacular, a 10-foot high Olympic ring sculpture designed with selfies in mind.

Kent Kimes
Posted by Kent Kimes / Sr. Staff Writer
on Oct. 23, 2018
A metro Atlanta native, Kent joined the Authority in 2015. He is your digital tour guide to the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world. His customer service approach is summed up by the Little River Band track "Help Is On Its Way."

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