JORTSFEST celebrated its 4th year at the Mammal Gallery on a beautiful jorts weather Saturday, Aug. 20 with 10 amazing acts. Former WREK Program Director, Maria Sotnikova and Sea Ghost frontman Carter Sutherland organized the DIY arts and music festival this year with the help of a successful Kickstarter that aimed to make Atlanta more accessible and help the expenses of the event. The Kickstarter raised a total of $3,504 with 118 backers, enabling the organizers to purchase a portable ramp with the funds raised. The ramp was placed by the stage during the show and will be available for other spaces in the city to be used at their events.
JORTSFEST’s motto “always free, always all ages, all accessible” were all evident during the show. The crowd was quite diverse, full of different people all ready and open to listen to any artists on stage. “There’s definitely more people this year than last year” said Maria. Artists like Rayne Garnett and Jessica Blinkhorn were also present at the festival showcasing and selling their art.
Psychedelic DIY band Pinkest opened the night followed by Pseudo Color. The crowd had a fun jorts fight (similar to a pillow fight) as Pseudo Color frontman Keron Robinson and the rest of the band played tracks from their album, Seasons released just a month ago.
Emotive indie rock trio, World’s Greatest Dad brought out the emo kid in all of us with tracks like “Key West” and “Sorry, Anna”. Maddiesun Duncan’s vocal style added a unique grungy twist to their emo tunes. Duncan talked about her first ever jorts-making experience and then later revealed a matching tattoo on stage with bassist Karack Bennett.
Athens experimental punk band Nihilist Cheerleader gave everybody a good time with a very powerful set. It was refreshing to witness a mosh pit of such a diverse crowd. Frontwoman Flynne Collins sure knows how to charm the crowd, and despite the left-handed guitarist breaking a string, the band kept the party going. She might just be this generation’s new Karen O.
Halfway through the night, Fit of Body spun a feel-good set that gave JORTSFEST goers a chance to show off their dance moves.
Wrapping up their short tour that started in their hometown of Chicago, Synthwave/Darkwave duo Wingtips switched the mood into a little more 80’s New Wave feel, opening with a track off their album Ultravision, “Meteorology”. The duo gave JORTSFEST a taste of their upcoming EP, GREYAREA, with their latest single “Last Minute”. The EP will be released sometime this year.
By the time Mutual Jerk got on stage, the crowd got thicker. The punk band played eight tracks, half of it from their demo released in 2015. It was an entirely hair-raising set closing with “Finding Success”.
Still warmed up from Mutual Jerk, the crowd welcomed lo-fi punk band, Pretty Boy. The band had a great time on stage and later joined by Carter Sutherland, Flynne Collins, and others jammed as they closed their set.
JORSTFEST fans gathered and anticipated The Wild vigorously. With tracks like “New Houses” and “Come Home” you can’t help but just enjoy every moment of their set. The Wild’s unique blend of punk banjo riffs, harmonica, and aggressive drum beats make a perfect folk punk ensemble. No wonder JORTSFEST fans were excited to see them.
Rapper/producer Ethereal concluded this year’s JORTSFEST. Ethereal’s style is a lot different from the stereotypical Southern rap you hear on airwaves these days. His beats are rather relaxed and dreamy, redefining the Atlanta’s definition of rap music. Dubbed as the Aaliyah and Timbaland of Atlanta’s Awful Records, Alexandria and Ethereal joined forces on stage with the hypnotizing track “Agoraphobia.” Ethereal played a longer set with requests from crowd like “Trip” and “Beef.”
JORTSFEST 2016 lived up to its sole mission and purpose. This is how all music festivals should be, big or small. It welcomed everyone, it was accessible, it was free, open to all ages and it united everyone who just want to have a great time and enjoy good music, all whilst sporting a pair of jorts. JORTSFEST is Atlanta’s own, and this is one-of-a-kind, support and love – it’s ours. /- Katrina Merto
All photos by Katrina Merto. Check out additional scenes from JORTSFEST 2016 below:
Video of Nihilist Cheerleader:
Video from Ethereal’s set: