Blackoutfest Returns To The Union This Weekend< < Back to
In 1995, a little shindig christened ‘Blackoutfest,’ intended to be a birthday show for a couple of employees at The Union, was born. Over the course of 20 plus years, the event has grown into a three-day rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza right on the main drag in Athens.
“Much of the longevity of Blackoutfest had to do with the fact that I had started Blackout Booking, a tour booking agency that was working with labels like Sympathy For The Record Industry, In The Red, Birdman and Fat Possum,” said Scott Winland of The Union. “It eventually became our signature annual rock ‘n’ roll bash with acts coming in from all over the place.”
For the first time in almost two years, Blackoutfest is back at The Union. Some 18 months ago, the beloved rock club was devastated by a fire, which left it unusable until it was re-opened earlier this summer. This year the event is back in full force, taking over The Union July 7 through July 9.
“Blackoutfest has always been in April, but as April grew closer this year, it looked like we weren’t going to be open,” said Winland. “I rescheduled the show to happen in the summer this year. I like the idea of it happening in the summer, but I suppose we’ll see how it works.”
Some of the big names on this year’s ticket include The New Bomb Turks, a well-known and highly regarded Columbus-based act; brother-sister rock ‘n’ roll duo White Mystery, hailing from Chicago; The Greg Ashley Band from Oakland, CA; Nashville-based Savoy Motel and Japanese garage punk act The Birthday Suits.
The 2016 edition of Blackoutfest will also serve as reunions for both The Makebelieves and Geraldine. Geraldine, in particular, hasn’t performed in over a decade and was one of the acts that played the original Blackoutfest some 21 years ago.
“The Union has always been a great place to play and see a rock show. I think everyone involved is happy to see it open again. Each year I call up bands I want to bring to the fest, and then see what works,” said Winland when asked about attracting larger acts to Blackoutfest. “It is easier to find folks that are already on tour, or give enough lead time for shows to be booked around it, but we do what we can. This one had been rescheduled a couple times due to the reconstruction, but everything worked out well. love the line-up. I think it is a nice representation of rock ‘n’ roll at The Union. After all the venue has been through in the last 18 months, finally getting to host this show truly means a lot to me. This is the show I’ve been waiting for the most.”
Winland did say that this year’s Blackoutfest may be the last one, depending on how everything goes this weekend. With that in mind, it seems especially important to get out there this weekend and get your groove on at The Union.
This year’s line up is as follows:
Weekend passes are $35 and available online at http://blackoutfest20.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased separately at the door, $15 for Thursday’s show and $20 each for Friday’s and Saturday’s show.