Atlanta’s best little music and arts festival, JORTSFEST, is back for it’s 5th year. What was one of Atlanta best kept secrets over the last 4 years, starting it’s humble beginnings at Georgia Tech’s Under the Couch, has become an Atlanta staple in the local DIY scene. For the second year in a row, JORTSFEST 2017 returns to South Broad Street in Downtown Atlanta on Saturday, August 26th at The Mammal Gallery.
Co-hosted by former WREK DJ Maria Sotnikova and Sea Ghost frontman Carter Sutherland, JORTSFEST lives by it’s motto:
always free, always all ages, always accessible.
The festival was conceived as a way to bring various music scenes together to bid farewell to summer by celebrating everyone’s favorite piece of summer attire: cutoff JORTS! And they want you all to come to The Mammal Gallery to maybe wear some good ole fashioned jorts, and help create a community with a great lineup of up and coming artists across multiple genres. JORTSFEST is all about inclusivity, a safe haven and welcome place for anyone and everyone. They’ve built that around their diverse lineups. Last year included artists such as psych pop rockers Pinkest, emo band World’s Greatest Dad, punks Nihilist Cheerleader, folk punk indie rock ensemble The Wild, rapper/producer Ethereal and more. Check out our photos and review from last year’s JORTSFEST here.
This year, JORTSFEST has recently revealed their 2017 lineup, another great diverse lineup that includes Athens’ folk punks Nana Grizol, ATL party rockers BABY BABY, Athens’ rapper Lingua Franca, jazzy funky experimental rockers LONER, drag Queen DIY pop priestess TAYLOR ALXNDR, “dreamy pool” rockers Lunar Vacation, Modern vintage pop goddess Chelsea Shag and Latinx Expression Rock from Yukons. Maria and Carter did an excellent job working through the over 50 applicants to play this year’s JORTSFEST, into a festival that’s quite unique and diverse. Whether it’s the insanely wild live show from BABY BABY, or dancing to the dreamy club ready dark pop on TAYLOR ALXNDR’s irresistible single “Nightwork”, or living through a Chelsea Shag guitar solo surrounded by her soulful pop that will have the bods moving, each of these artists brings a little something for everyone, and each artist brings unique perspective to the conversation.
That’s what’s JORTSFEST is all about; using the gathering power of live music to create conversations that need to be happening to create a better community that’s all inclusive. All of the artists were chosen not only for their musical talent, but also because they’ve taken on activist roles within their respective communities. Each of the performers will designate an organization they’ve gotten behind that is doing important work to them. Those chosen organizations will be able to have a table at the event, while the artists are encouraged to tell the attendees about their cause and how they can get involved. It’s a win win for everyone, but especially a win towards a tighter knit community within Atlanta and surrounding areas.
JORTSFEST is certainly doing it’s part, but it goes beyond just the one day festival. Last year, JORTSFEST launched a successful Kickstarter campaign that funded a portable ramp that allows people with disabilities access to inaccessible spaces. The ramp is able to be reserved for free through JORTSFEST for arts and music events in Atlanta. The Kickstarter campaign also covered production costs for the fest and allowed them to actually PAY the artists, all while allowing JORTSFEST to remain “ALWAYS FREE.”
While announcing this year’s JORTSFEST, the crew has also made it be known that they’d like to expand the operations into more than just a festival, but an organization, a 501(c)3 non-profit to be exact. A few weeks ago, JORTSFEST announced their latest Kickstarter campaign to help once again cover this year’s production costs, but also to help with the costs of formally becoming a non profit. Becoming a non profit “will allow JORTSFEST to apply for grants, accept tax deductible donations, and generate more funds to do more things that build intentionally inclusive arts and music communities.” And that means more rad JORTSFEST events, more conversations and collaborations, and hopefully a better Atlanta. Around 8pm last night, JORTSFEST officially reached it’s Kickstarter goal of $3,000! Once again, the Atlanta DIY arts and music communities have come through! The fundraising doesn’t end until July 23rd though, no shame to being late to the game and still contributing to a worthy cause! Hit the link for the JORTSFEST Kickstarter here.
Give a listen to the 2017 JORTSFEST artists below, and let’s all meet at The Mammal Gallery on August 26th and do plenty of this: