Athens Community Music Fest Celebrates 15 Years

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For local musicians, it’s a chance to play for new, possibly larger, crowds.

For some local residents, it’s the last hurrah of the season: an opportunity to revel in the town’s Mayberry-like atmosphere before OU students reclaim it in a few weeks.

It’s the annual Athens Community Music Festival, and it’s happening this Saturday.

Now in its 15th year, the ACMF has become a full-blown August tradition, featuring more than 30 local acts on six stages.

The man at the center of it all is Scott Winland, who has organized the fest since its inception on the roof of the Athens Parking Garage in 1999.

After a decade-and a-half of coordinating multiple venue and band schedules, one could forgive Winland for feeling a little burned-out, but the longtime Athens musician and booking agent remains enthusiastic about the event.

“Fifteen years, and I still love putting this together,” he said. “The biggest challenge is sorting out bands that share members. Sometimes one musician will play in three bands with other musicians who also play in four bands, who have members that play in five bands…It can be confusing, but we always manage to make it work.”

Although Athens has its share of festivals, the ACMF is the only one to feature exclusively local music (or former Athens acts who still have close ties), and it’s arguably the most eclectic, with folk, bluegrass, Americana, punk, hip-hop and hard rock acts scheduled to perform this weekend.

For those who aren’t familiar with the local scene, but are curious as to what it has to offer, this weekend’s fest could be looked at as “one-stop shopping.”

“I think it’s truly a great way to sample what our music scene has to offer,” said Winland. “It’s also a great way for bands and performers to share the stage with other local acts they don’t normally get booked on the same bill with. I like the fact that pretty much every available local act is playing simultaneously on the same night.”

The performers are also playing for a good cause. Since its beginning, proceeds from the ACMF have benefited local charities and organizations. This year, ARTS/West, The Bryan Winland Memorial Art & Music Scholarship and The Gathering Place are the beneficiaries.

As an added bonus, several area businesses have rallied in support of the festival with generous donations and prizes to be given away throughout the night.

For Winland, it’s that feeling of community–local artists, businesses and organizations coming together for a cause–that keeps him going year after year.

“I’m a native Athenian, and it truly is a great feeling to see everyone pull together to make such a fun end-of-summer event possible,” he explained. “This fest didn’t exist when I was growing up in Athens, and it feels good to be a part of making something like this happen each year.”

Admission is $5 per venue, or $8 for an all-venue-access pass. Visit the ACMF Facebook event page for details and updates.


6:30 p.m. Bingxin Huang

6:55 p.m. Winter Wilson

7:20 p.m. Austin McGrath

7:45 p.m. Cory Love

8:10 p.m. Aubree Riley

8:35 p.m. The Geek Girls


7 p.m. The Dead Hand of Man

8 p.m. Adam Remnant

9 p.m. Rattletrap String Band

10 p.m. Hex Net

11 p.m. County Pharaohs

12 a.m. Unmonumental

1 a.m. Fathers of the Revolution


7 p.m. Leah Nairn

8 p.m. Joey Hebdo and his drum

9 p.m. Paranormals

10 p.m. Shamantis

11 p.m. Lennon Orchestra

12 p.m. Burning River Ramblers

1 a.m. The Porters


8 p.m. Bad Castle

9 p.m. JJ Reed

10 p.m. Appalachian Hillside Revolution

11 p.m. Controlled Folly

12 a.m. Dysfunktional Family

1 a.m. Black Spyral Dancer


8 p.m. Laura Nadeau

9 p.m. Dad Arm

10 p.m. Corbin Marsh Band

11 p.m. Wrongzai

12 a.m. Princess

1 a.m. Weird Science


10 p.m. Slut Castle

11 p.m. Night Stalker

12 a.m. Little Blind “Lightnin” Millie Jinkins & Her Litterbox Wranglers

1 a.m. Method Air