Summer in Atlanta is known by many local denizens as an action-packed time of myriad dope cultural happenings — especially of the soul music variety — and, scanning the tons of activities on tap from now until the fall (and beyond), this year is proving to be no different. To help you navigate these hot weather months, Slo*Mo, via our annual Summer of Soul special, is serving up our picks for the biggest and best stuff to do. (Oh, and check our picks for top local summer tunes, too.) So be sure to take a look, take note and then take your boo-tay to some of these choice events.
Every month through October: ATL Live on the Park — Music industry vets Shanti Das and Marlon Nichols have unveiled Season IX of their long-running live music series ATL Live on the Park, starring up-and-coming and established artists, along with some big-name celebrities thrown in the mix for good measure. No joke: You never know who you’ll see at this event — either on stage or in the audience. $15-$150. 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Park Tavern, 500 10th Street NE. www.atlliveonthepark.eventbrite.com.
August 11: Flashback Festival — Soul and R&B fans, it can be argued, sometimes live in the past a lil’ too much. Maybe you know the type: so enamored with old-school artistic heights that they can’t notice the dope stuff happening all around them in the present. Still, nostalgia has its place and should, without a doubt, be celebrated. Case in point: the KISS 104 Flashback Festival Series. All summer long, “Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” station is mounting its tribute to the music of yesteryear, starring the legendary artists who created those beloved hits. The August edition of the concert series features heavyweights like Stephanie Mills, Rose Royce, Joe, Tony! Toni! Tone! and more. So grab some tickets and commence to reminiscing. $30-$85. 6 p.m. Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way. www.kiss104fm.com.
August 30-September 3: The Atlanta Weekender — The sounds of house music are set to take over the ATL once more via the return of The Atlanta Weekender. Taking place at local venues like the Sound Table, Wildpitch and The Music Room, the event is curated by Salah Ananse, DJ Kemit, Kai Alce and Ramon Rawsoul — the DJs behind the acclaimed House in the Park (more on that below) — and also features music by a bevy of other record spinners from all over the world. Stay tuned for the full lineup coming your way soon, but in the meantime go grab your ass a weekend pass. $50-$85. Various times and various venues. www.atlantaweekender.com.
September 2: House in the Park — Speaking of house music, Labor Day weekend means it’s time for the mother of all local house music events: House in the Park. And, look, you know the deal: the fantastic four of Ramon Rawsoul, Kai Alce, DJ Kemit and Salah Ananse will, once again, conduct this bass-thumping orchestra for tens of thousands. Bring towels, lots of water and get ready to jack your body. Free. Noon-8 p.m. www.houseinthepark.org.
September 8 + 9: ONE Musicfest — What could undoubtedly be called the city’s premier soul and hip-hop music festival, aka ONE Musicfest, is back. And for 2018, ONE has expanded to two full days, and it’s moved to a brand-new venue: Central Park. Along with all that newness, the festival is also rolling out an extra-large lineup of fresh acts, including: Nas, Cardi B, Miguel, Big Sean, Jeezy, T.I., DVSN, Big K.R.I.T., August Greene (featuring Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins), Davido, Goldlink, Brandy, Kelis, Raspody, George Clinton & Parliament, St. Beauty, Jessie Reyez, Teedra Moses, YoungBloodz, Ying Yang Twins, Eastside Boyz, Trillville, Kilo Ali and more to be announced. $110-$750. Noon. Central Park, 400 Merritts Avenue NE. www.onemusicfest.com.
October 3-7: A3C Festival and Conference — For this year’s version of A3C, the massive multi-day/multi-venue hip-hop conference and festival, organizers are serving up some of the industry’s biggest names; we’re talking cats like the Wu-Tang Clan, The Diplomats, Lil Wayne, Curren$y, Young M.A. and more. Plus: Attendees will have the chance to take deep dives into the art form by attending panels hosted by visionaries like Steve Stoute, the RZA and Goodie Mob, among many others. $95-$699. Various times and various venues. www.a3cfestival.com.
October 13 + 14: Afropunk “Carnival of Consciousness” — The Atlanta iteration of the Brooklyn-born Afropunk festival, dubbed the “Carnival of Consciousness,” sets up shop one mo’ gin at 787 Windsor this October. Attendees should keep their eyes peeled for offbeat superstars like N.E.R.D, The Internet, Wicked Wisdom, Benjamin Booker and more to be announced. Plus: Afropunkers will get the chance to interact with nonprofit organizations, visual artists, makers, artisans, craftspeople and tons of other thought-provoking folks. $50-$95. 12 p.m. (Oct. 13) + 11 p.m. (Oct. 14). 787 Windsor, 787 Windsor Street SW. www.afropunkfest.com/atlanta.