2015 Athens Community Music Festival poster (Jason Frederick)
Poster by Jason Frederick

Athens Musicians Spotlighted at Annual Community Fest

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From its humble beginnings as a rooftop party at the Parking Garage to its current status as a multi-venue end-of-summer blowout, the Athens Community Music Festival (ACMF) has become one of the county’s must-attend events.

The annual celebration of local music returns this Saturday, featuring nearly 30 acts at Jackie O’s (both sides), Casa Cantina, Donkey Coffee and ARTS/West. The event, which kicks off in the early afternoon at ARTS/West (also celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend), is a benefit for two area non-profits (ARTS/West, The Gathering Place), one music education program (Athens Rock Camp for Girls) and one arts education scholarship (Bryan Winland Memorial Arts & Music).

Unfortunately, one venue is missing from this year’s schedule. The Union Bar & Grill, the unofficial ACMF headquarters, is still undergoing repairs from last fall’s Union Street fire. For Scott Winland, ACMF co-founder and organizer, the already tricky task of assembling the talent schedule became a little trickier with The Union taken out of the equation.

The D-Rays (Scott Winland)
The D-Rays (Scott Winland)

“Less venue space sadly meant I wasn’t able to include many of the acts that would normally be playing,” he said. “Aside from that, I actually really enjoy the challenge of putting together the schedule.”

The challenge stems from the fact that a number of Athens musicians perform in more than one band. So coming up with an ACMF schedule is akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

But there’s a side benefit for Winland, who heads the Music Management program at Hocking College.

“I had no idea how much this sort of thing would prepare me for all the student block schedules I have to put together at work. It’s my calling, I suppose…block schedules,” he joked.

J.D. Hutchison (Scott Winland)
J.D. Hutchison (Scott Winland)

As in past years, the festival–now in its 17th year–is an opportunity to sample a wide variety of music, from folk and jazz artists to punk bands and some acts that are just plain uncategorizable.

“I think it’s a great “taste of Athens” type of event,” explained Winland. “Many of the bills feature bands that normally wouldn’t be sharing a stage. It’s also fun for folks who don’t normally go out for live music to see what all the hubbub is about, without all the craziness that we expect during the school year.”

Admission is $5 per venue or $8 for an all-venue wristband. For updates, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Blond (Scott Winland)
Blond (Scott Winland)


Casa Cantina

8 p.m. Teardrops

9 p.m. Supernobody

10 p.m. Weird Science

11 p.m. Hex Net

12 a.m. Unmonumental

1 a.m. Halcyon/Feathers

Jackie O’s (Public House)

8 p.m. Laura Nadeau

9 p.m. J.D. Hutchison

10 p.m. The Summoners

11 p.m. Whole Hearted Halfwits

12 a.m. dadARM

1 a.m. Dysfunktional Family

Jackie O’s (Brewery side)

8 p.m. Touchy Feelys

9 p.m. Dox City

10 p.m. Bright At Night

11 p.m. Blond

12 a.m. The Bronzies

1 a.m. The D-Rays

Donkey Coffee (sets from 7-9 p.m.)

Jason Weimer

Emily Jones

Alexa Gornall

Tony Xenos


ARTS/West (all events are free)

Performance Space (upstairs)

12 p.m. Hot dog eating contest sponsored by O’Betty’s

1 p.m. OVST Summer Theater Camp performance

2 p.m. Yang Miller’s kids’ digital films & Ellie Olin’s belly dancers

3 p.m. SATB Choir

5 p.m. local teen band

6 p.m. Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble

8 p.m. OU Jazz Ensemble

9 p.m. The Gatherers

Basement Space

10:30 a.m. Open House with refreshments

12:30 p.m. Cheryl Cesta with Dakini Yoga demonstration

1:30 p.m. Family music with Laura Nadeau

2:30 p.m. Local band (TBA)

3:30 p.m. Belly dance demonstration

4:30 p.m. Music with Brian and Janice Evans

5:30 p.m. TBA

6:30 p.m. TBA