That’s according to Rolling Stone Magazine.
Ath Fest, a nonprofit annual music and arts festival in downtown Athens, Georgia that largely showcases the Athens area musical and artistic community for four days in June, was first started in 1997 because no one heard of or heard most of the 400 bands in Athens. It attracts 145 music acts (and 40 Southeastern artists) each year – the majority of them from the Athens area.
It’s a lot of fun, to be sure, but it’s also about serious business development. Local stores equate the business volume to Univ. of Georgia football games and Athens gets a lot of outside exposure. But it’s really all about promoting Athens’ music industry, via the live performances, compilation CD, awards, publicity and even panel discussions by music experts that benefit the musicians.