Athens’ largest music and arts festival (and probably largest outdoor event besides football gamedays), AthFest, occurs this weekend. The beginning of this month saw the release of the first AthFest compilation album, containing a slew of new singles by favorite local artists. Much like the compilation, AthFest lays host to an assortment of musical acts with varying styles, popularity, degrees of commercial success and experience playing live. Outdoor shows from longtime local favorites such as Of Montreal, The Whigs, New Madrid and others are sure to draw in large crowds, along with a variety of shows from touring artists and up-and-coming big names such as Wrenn.

At the heart of AthFest, however, is the “club crawl.” About a dozen local venues play host to over 100+ bands. Personal highlights include Mind Brains, an electronic group that released their debut album earlier this year and have already made large strides in staking out a place in local music. Lazer/Wulf is another group that has its origins in Athens with a fairly large following all around the state. Additionally, I’m excited to check out other “experimental” acts such as Cult of Riggonia, Half-Acid, and Richard Gumby. The great part about AthFest however, is that there are so many different bands playing. You never know what might grab your attention. – Turner McCreight

Here are some of the artists we’re excited to see:

Muuy Biien

After a tour that took them as far away from home as Toronto, Muuy Biien are returning to the Classic City to play yet another AthFest at the Caledonia Lounge on Friday night. The band has sounded even more tight and intense since last spring’s D.Y.I., and considering the band is getting more and more exposure outside of Athens, it would be wise to take the opportunity to see Muuy Biien as chances are going to become rarer and rarer. – Andy Tabeling


With an upcoming east coast tour with psych-pop powerhouses Of Montreal and a new three-piece setup, it seems that Mothers may be on the verge of being a big deal. I remember first hearing Kristine Leschper’s minimal, sad-folk solo set during a WUOG Live in the Lobby back in 2013, and have been delighted to see it develop into a fuller sound with songs such as the demo for “Get Around”. I can’t think of a better place to be on Friday at 10pm than the Caledonia Lounge. There’s also going to be some cool coffee mugs on sale if you want to get your merch on. – Trevor Adams


If you don’t know who Warehouse is, it’s only a matter of time before you and all of your friends do. It seems like overnight they went from being another one of Atlanta’s many artsy musical projects to a band known by listeners even outside of Georgia. The factors in this include Bradford Cox’s blessing in a Pitchfork “Best of 2013” guest list, a recent signing to Bayonet Records, an imprint started by Beach Fossils frontman Dustin Payseur, and most importantly the music. The name dropping gets people to the show, but it’s the music that has crowds leaving in disbelief that Warehouse isn’t already as big as they inevitably will be. Their art-punk sound is most often compared to local darlings Pylon – an organized cataclysm of bright, restless instrumentation and Elaine Edenfield’s signature vocals, which shift between a deep bellow and a gravelly screech. If you can only go to one performance this weekend, this would easily be my pick. – Jonny Williams

We Love Tractor

Love Tractor isn’t touring and recording anymore, but the classic Athens group will be reborn on Sunday as We Love Tractor featuring original members (such as R.E.M.’s Bill Berry) along with current local favorites like Elf Power’s Bryan Poole and Drive-By Truckers multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez. This is a chance for younger Athenians to experience a classic Athens band in a very rare and unique way. – Andy Tabeling


The last time I saw Brothers (and it was too long ago) was during a show at a yard sale during last year’s AthFest. It was a beautiful day on a quiet block, and the setup was modest, which made for a charming experience. The band has always reminded me of Yellow House­-era Grizzly Bear with the slightly fuzzy vocals and delightfully clangy percussion that makes it almost melodic. – Trevor Adams


If you’ve never seen them before, I’m afraid that my word count is not nearly large enough to fully encapsulate what exactly Dip is. In fact, even if I did have enough space to attempt an explanation, it wouldn’t do any good. Dip is just the kind of act you have to see live (a couple of times, really) to fully grasp what’s happening on the stage. The only advice I can give to the newbies is to get as engaged as possible in what will more than likely be one of the most active crowds of AthFest. As for my fellow Dipsters, you already know what’s coming. Scotty Dippin’ and Johnny Dip are going to bring the boom-diddy, the stage props and most importantly the hype. We’re all going to be exhausted by the 40 Watt’s stacked lineup by the time Dip hits the stage at roughly 1:30am, but nothing is going to stop this act from bringing the positive energy of boom-diddy to the people. – Jonny Williams

The Baseball Project

The Baseball Project is admittedly a pretty niche idea. The group, which includes members of The Dream Syndicate and R.E.M. among them, performs songs entirely about America’s pastime. However, the band’s power-pop energy is addictive even if you can’t tell the difference between Tim Lincecum and Ted Williams (even though you absolute should). R.E.M. fans should pay particular attention to this show, as both Peter Buck and Mike Mills have spent time with the Baseball Project, so odds are the closest thing to an R.E.M. reunion you’ll get at AthFest will probably be this show. – Andy Tabeling