Welcome to AthFest (click here to see all my photos from this year’s AthFest), the annual celebration of local music in the city of Athens, Ga. Better known as the home of R.E.M., the B-52’s and Drive By Truckers (among other big names), but its also home to the University of Georgia. Anyways, once a year this festival comes together with a free outdoor stage and many club shows in the bountiful number of venues that adorn the city.
This first post from AthFest was the headliner from last night’s main stage. The Black Lips, a rock band who remind me a bit of The Exploding Hearts in some regards, put on a great show. The crowd was very energetic, to a level that almost became dangerous, but more on that in a second. The members of the band were all over the stage, rocking out on the amps and even diving into the crowd at times.
As mentioned though, the extreme amount of pushing towards the stage almost caused the barricade fences to give way which would have probably caused injury to those up front, but also all the photographers who were in that 3 or 4 foot space between the fence and stage. I noticed the initial surge and was able to warn Athens Banner-Herald Photographer Kelly Lambert to get out of the way before the next one which pushed the fences to within a few inches of the speakers (there was space to the sides so the photographers were able to move over and not get hurt). Pretty quickly after that 3 AthFest staffers came running in to try and hold the fence into place, then there were 5, then about 12 by the time the show was over including 2 cops.