AthFest Day Two Recap: Vision Video, Kxng Blanco and Other Performances | Arts & Culture

After a spectacular comeback on its first day back on Friday, the second day of the AthFest music and arts festival began on Saturday morning as workers and vendors began to set up for the longest day of the festival.

The day’s setup followed the same pattern as Friday, but many spectators came later in the afternoon after watching the protest against the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade yesterday. The crowd slowly infiltrated as the day progressed, and the protest was a talking point for many in attendance.

AthFest started at noon anyway with Zac Crook performing on The Wicked Weed stage. Crook started the day with a unique indie sound that appealed to those who had arrived at the festival.

Reed Winckler opened the Hull Street Stage at 12.30pm and performed solo with his acoustic guitar and also dropped a new song to the audience. The four-piece rock band Kadillak then performed at 1.20pm as crowds at the Hull Street Stage continued to grow throughout the day.

The heat was a major topic on the minds of most festival attendees in the early afternoon as the sun beat down on downtown Athens. The Wicked Weed stage took a few shows to gather a crowd in front with no shade covering the stage crowd area. Many people instead stopped on the shaded sidewalk outside the 40 Watt Club to watch Check The Signs at 12:50 p.m. and Telemarket at 1:40 p.m.

Sloane Spencer, a music enthusiast from Atlanta, has been coming to Athens since the 1980s to see concerts. Spencer attended AthFest on Friday and Saturday and really enjoyed hearing new music from new bands in town as well as older and more established ones.

“I love that there’s still a community of people who want to create and I love that you don’t have to be spit-polished,” Spencer said. “There’s a lot more art involved here.”

The Hull Street Stage crowd remained steady and shaded with attentive audiences enjoying performances from art-rock band Jock Gang at 2.10pm, alternative rock band Mother Fore at 3pm and rock band Ashes to Omens at 3.50pm.

CannonandtheBoxes performed on the Wicked Weed stage at 2:30 p.m. and drew large crowds to enjoy the indie rock band’s performance. They were followed by trio Shameless James at 3:20 p.m. and power pop group Blunt Bangs at 4:10 p.m.

Many bands performing at AthFest share band members and play in each other’s bands. Some musicians appear on stage multiple times with different bands to help out other local bands and have a great time playing music.

AthFest attendee Mark Johnston is the father of Elijah and Gideon Johnston, who both played for several bands on Friday and Saturday. Elijah Johnston played with his band yesterday and also played bass for Well Kept on Saturday. Gideon Johnston has played drums for Elijah Johnston, Hotel Fiction and CannonandtheBoxes.

“They work really hard at what they do and they have a great community here supporting them,” Johnston said. “It’s encouraging for me to meet all of their friends who are in different bands who have collaborated with them as well.”

Mark Johnston is thrilled that his sons are performing at AthFest and has expressed his appreciation for the festival and what it is capable of achieving.

“It’s a great time to see people get out and enjoy not just bands, but all of the arts,” Johnston said. “People are so friendly and it’s a great time to come together and see people cheering for each other. There is a great atmosphere here in the city.

Much of the crowd on the second day of AthFest decked out in sun hats, sunglasses, shorts and held fans and water bottles in their hands to stay cool and hydrated during the show. AthFest had several water stations throughout the festival and also a misting station for people to cool off from the sun. At 4 p.m., AthFest began to see clouds peeking above the sun on occasion, which contributed to the heat.

The Hull Street scene continued to gradually grow with many people spilling onto the sidewalk next to the tent stage. Blues band Cam & His Dam Jam Band performed on stage at 4:40 p.m. and Trvy and The Enemy followed at 5:30 p.m. with an audience member calling the performance “masterful”.

Kxng Blanco performed on the Wicked Weed Stage at 5:00 p.m. and drew a large crowd. The artist was the first hip-hop artist to perform in front of the AthFest crowd for the day.

The heat did not prevent many participants from dressing in their own way. Much of the college-age audience wore fashionable clothes to look stylish even in the heat. That didn’t stop performers either as rock band Vincas performed at 5:50 p.m. on the Wicked Weed stage wearing all-black shirts and jeans, which matched the band’s darker tone and voice.

AthFest attendee Wade Walker stayed hydrated during the festival and was there all day Friday and Saturday. Walker looked forward to The Woggles and Orange Constant later at night at club shows and enjoyed bands like Kadillak throughout the day. Walker was just happy to be back at the festival after waiting for him to return.

“AthFest is so awesome, it’s really awesome,” Walker said. “It’s such an important part of the city and we love getting it back. We’ve been missing it for the past two years.”

AthFest also featured beer gardens next to the Hull Street and Wicked Weed stages as a designated area for attendees to drink. The areas were under large tents and were popular throughout the day as people sipped beer and watched performances in the shade.

The Hull Street Stage area was completely packed by the time rock band Immaterial Possession took the stage at 6.20am. The stage crowd remained packed with alternative rock band Well Kept performing songs from their latest album ‘The Inquirer’ and rock band Lo Talker performing many songs from their latest album ‘A Comedy of Errors’.

Shehehe performed in front of the growing Wicked Weed Stage crowd at 6:45 p.m. and Cassie Chantel followed by giving an emotional hip-hop performance to the crowd at 7:50 p.m., who by then were throwing beach balls, blowing bubbles and dancing to the music.

Between performances by Shehehe and Cassie Chantel, the Athens Music Walk of Fame inductees for this year – Bloodkin, Tituss Burgess, The Glands, Ishues and Love Tractor – were announced at 7:45 p.m.

Similar to the first night of the festival, much of the festival crowd was spread throughout the area until most attendees headed to the Wicked Weed stage for headliner Vision Video to perform. The sun was setting and bringing a pink hue to the sky as the audience socialized before Vision Video took the stage at 9 p.m.

The gothic pop group took to the stage in their signature gothic looks with heavy black makeup and black clothes. Lead singer Dusty Gannon, is currently a paramedic, firefighter and also fought in the war in Afghanistan.

The band started the show by playing their song “Broken Fingers” to the massive dancing crowd. The band played hits like “Comfort in the Grave,” “Inked in Red” and “Kandahar,” which Gannon wrote from his experience in Afghanistan.

The band was energetic on stage and encouraged everyone to dance and have a good time. “It’s the beating heart of this city here, right now.” Gannon said between songs.

Vision Video finished their performance and once they left the stage, crowds started marching to different parts of downtown, including the AthFest club shows at the Georgia Theater and the 40 Watt Club. Attendees walked past vendors who were once again packing up and preparing for the final day of AthFest on Sunday.

The Georgia Theater saw another packed audience from the outdoor part of the festival to see Pip the Pansy perform at 10.30pm, The Orange Constant perform at 11.30pm and Underground Springhouse perform at 12.30am.

The 40 Watt Club also filled with AthFest attendees and saw Current Rage perform at 10 p.m., The Woggles perform at 11 p.m., and Maserati perform at midnight.

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