Updated Wed, Apr 11, 2012 1:33 pm
Just as scores of movie buffs are heading uptown Athens this weekend for the film festival, an equally excited group of music fans will converge just around the corner on West Union Street for the 17th annual Blackoutfest.
Nearly 30 bands will take The Union's stage, featuring a wide variety of local, regional, national and international acts.
What started out as a birthday party for a few local musicians has grown in reputation--and in the number of bands.
"After a couple years, it became a two-night event, featuring acts from all over the country," said Scott Winland of Blackout Booking, who has organized the fest since its inception.
"The following year, we started doing three nights. It's become The Union's annual celebration of live underground music in Athens," he said.
In addition to the bands, a custom guitar raffle will be held, courtesy of Blue Eagle Music and local luthier Erick Coleman, who will be playing with The D-Rays on Thursday night.
"Erick transformed an old beater guitar into a collectible instrument...a work of art, really," said Winland. "The guitar’s custom head features the Blackoutfest emblem, and its body will be signed by the bands playing this year’s fest."
Blackoutfest begins Thursday, April 12 and continues through Saturday, April 14. One or three-night passes are available at Haffa's Records, and Winland says tickets will be available at the door.
Scott Winland on this year's lineup:
SO MANY great bands....
White Mystery: I LOVE them. They are in the middle of an eight-week tour. On top of their game and truly one of my favorites touring these days.
Shilpa Ray: Started playing in Athens a few years ago with Beat The Devil, then with Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers. This year she will be backed by the Dropdead Sons/Greg Ashley Band rhythm section (Scott Winland, Brandon Robinson). Did you know Shilpa Ray did a split single with Bruce Springsteen? Its true! A tribute 7" featuring covers of the band Suicide by both Shilpa and the Boss.
Birthday Suits: Doesn't get more high energy than this. These guys have played the fest and Athens several times and are one of our favorite bands!
Psychedelic Horseshit: Weird and wonderful...this will be their third Blackoutfest!
Los Vigilantes: Making their Blackoutfest debut...all the way from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Great rock 'n roll.
Greg Ashley Band: Blackoutfest tradition, starting with his band The Gris Gris back in 2002 or 2003. Greg is certainly an embodiment of Blackoutfest.
Guinea Worms: Gary Brownstein of the Guinea Worms played the very first Blackoutfest with his band Pimpy Accelerator in 1995!! Guinea Worms are our favorite Columbus band.
Johnny Ill Band: Features members of Terrible Twos, Fontana and other legendary Detroit bands. Johnny ILL Band is Detroit's latest and greatest...a little Modern Lovers, a little Stones, a little Devo.....creepy, crawly and amazing.
Horseburner: Our favorite band to come out of Parkersburg. Stoner metal through Orange and Marshall amps...fantastic.
So many bands...that's just a taste. Sorry for the short descriptions...
THURSDAY (DOORS AT 6PM)
OCTOPUS AND OWL
FRIDAY (DOORS OPEN AT 6PM)
NICK TOLFORD & CO
GREG ASHLEY BAND
WHEELS ON FIRE
JOHNNY ILL BAND