The Summer of Soul: The best ATL events — ONE Musicfest, Afropunk Atlanta + More

Janelle Monae and her Wondaland crew (Photo by Marc Baptiste)

Janelle Monae and her Wondaland crew (Photo by Marc Baptiste)

A ton of stuff’s happening in Atlanta this summer; of course, not all of it is worth your time or your cash — especially if you’re a lover of soul music and culture. So, yo, to help you navigate the next few months, the super-dope crew at Slo*Mo has curated a list of the season’s best events (we’re talking concerts, art exhibitions and more). Check it out:


Sept. 6: House in the Park — For the past 11 years, Labor Day weekend in Atlanta has served to mark the return of House in the Park … and this year is no different. Founded and fueled by DJ Ramon Rawsoul — along with his comrades-in-arms DJ Kemit, Salah Ananse and Kai Alce — as a way to celebrate the Chicago-born art form, the event has grown into the largest gathering of house heads in the Southeast. And: It’s free. This is a can’t-miss joint y’all. @: Grant Park. More info:

Sept. 3-6: The Atlanta Weekender — Paving the way for the previously mentioned House in the Park, The Atlanta Weekender gathers all four HITP DJs (the previously mentioned Salah, Kemit, Kai and Ramon) and a host of guest spinners and performers for a series of soul, Afrobeat and house- flavored shindigs all over the city. The Weekender offers music lovers of all stripes a chance to party and fellowship in the days leading up to the main event. @: Various venues. More info:

Sept. 12: ONE Musicfest — If you’re a fan of soul or hip-hop, you’re probably already aware of the dopeness (and massiveness) that is ONE Musicfest. Launched in 2010 by ATL-based Jay Carter, this year’s event features a lineup of legends and legends-in-the-making, including The Roots, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Janelle Monae and her Wondaland crew, Sza, The Internet and many more. Bought a ticket yet? Well, what the hell are you waiting for? @: Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood. More info:

Oct. 3-4: Afropunk Atlanta — It seems like everyone has been waiting for the Brooklyn-birthed alternative urban music throwdown known as Afropunk to hit the A … and come October, we’ll finally get a chance to partake in the Southern version of the famed festival. If the talent roster — filled with musical dons D’Angelo, Public Enemy, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Santigold, and local hero RAHBI, among many others — is any indication of the general joy to come, then it’s gonna be fun on an orgasmic level. @: Central Park. More info:

Oct. 7-11: A3C — Now, this one’s for my true hip-hop heads and, honestly, needs no introduction. A3C has cemented itself as one of the biggest and best rap-centric festivals/conferences in the nation. When we say there will be hundreds of artists performing at dozens of stages across Atlanta, we’re not being hyperbolic in the least. If you consume or represent the five elements, bring your ass. @: Various venues. More info:

— Carlton Hargro


Through Aug. 2: “Chasin’ Dem Blues” — A soul music vet straight outta the A, singer/musician Anthony David is temporarily trading in his vocalist role to serve as an actor in the newly opened stage production “Chasin’ Dem Blues.” The play tells the story of the birth of Paramount Records and is “is a foot-stomping, roof- raising, musical celebration, which thrills audiences with storytellers’ account of how a small Midwest town changed the landscapes of American music, and ushered in the sound of the early 20th century, a sound that still reverberates today.” And, yo, this ain’t no Tyler Perry play; directed by Kevin Ramsey, it’s a production of Kenny Leon’s award-winning True Colors Theatre Company, so it’s of the highest quality. Get yourself a ticket. @: The Southwest Arts Center. More info: — CH

July 17-Sept. 12: The Drawing Experiment — The work at most art shows has an ultimate goal to head into a private space and take on a life of its own, transcending possibly even the life of the artist. The Drawing Experiment (curated by Chastain Arts Center Director Karen Comer Lowe) is not that kind of exhibit. The artists in this exhibition, many of whom are Georgia- based, had two-and-a-half weeks to create a drawing on the gallery’s walls, and when the show is over, the drawings’ lives will come to an end. The idea is to examine the immediacy of drawing and the use of line within a composition. In a lot of ways, though, it also explores the temporary nature of creation, reminding us that even in the art world, nothing lasts forever. @: Chastain Arts Center. More info:— Layla Bellows

Mo Nice-ness:

July 18: Bilal — @: Center Stage. More info:

July 20: Emily King — @: Vinyl. More info:

July 29: Miguel — @: The Tabernacle. More info:

Aug. 1: Serenade Supper Club with Kameron Corvet — @: The Music Room. More info:

Aug. 3: Shuggie Otis — @: Terminal West. More info:

Aug. 5: Kamasi Washington — @: Aisle 5. More info:

Aug. 7: PJ Morton — @: Center Stage. More info:

Aug. 15: Doria Roberts & Friends Annual Birthday Party Show — @: Variety Playhouse. More info:

Aug. 21: Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles — @: Terminal West. More info:

Sept. 4: CeCe Peniston — @: The Loft. More info:

Sept. 4: Marcus Miller — @: Variety Playhouse. More info:

Sept. 5: Fool’s Gold Day Off — @: Turner Field Green Lot. More info:

Sept. 14: Snarky Puppy — @: Variety Playhouse. More info: www.variety-

Sept. 19: Ms. Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton — @: Variety Playhouse. More info:

Sept. 25: TomorrowWorld — @: Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. More info:

Sept. 27: Ibeyi — @: Terminal West. More info:

Sept. 26: Needle To The Record DJ Competition and WRAS Weekend Wrecking Crew’s 25th Anniversary Celebration — @: Vinyl. More info:

Oct. 3: Flux Night 2015: Dream — @: Streets of Old Fourth Ward. More info:

Oct. 14: Leon Bridges — @: Variety Playhouse. More info: www.variety-

Oct. 14-17: The Official Spread Love 8th Annual Felabration — @: Venue: TBA. More info:

Oct. 25: Lianne Le Havas — @: Center Stage. More info: www.

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