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Boogie on the Bricks bringing large musical lineup to the Athens street party


Boogie on the Bricks, Athens’ “premiere summer street party” returns to the bricks of Court Street for the eighth year in a row.

The event initially began as a way to stimulate business for uptown food establishments during their slowest time of the year: summer. The party features musical performers, food, mixed drinks, beer, art vendors and student-run booths, among other things.

“This is the only day of the year you can drink beer on Court Street,” said Will Drury, organizer of the event. “It really represents Athens — all vendors are local, and this is the best time of the year for everyone who lives in Athens and for them to enjoy Court Street.”

Along with the usual “Boogie” fare, this year will boast an additional stage to house the 15 musical acts, which is double the festival’s typical set list. The street party will also premiere some new features including a signature beer, “Boogie Brew,” and an expanded “Kids Zone.”

“I think one thing that makes Athens so unique is we really know how to have a good time; it just comes naturally to us,” said Paige Alost, executive director of the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I think Boogie on the Bricks has really shown to have something for everyone.”

This year will also mark the return of the “Boogie Buskers,” the festival’s street performers who juggle, dole out balloons and more.

In addition to the “Boogie Buskers,” the festival has recently secured the street performers “Qiet,” a gypsy street band that will walk around the festival, stopping to serenade groups of attendees.

Though the festival boasts a list of multifaceted aspects, the headliner is Big Sam’s Funky Nation, a five-member New Orleans funk band that has played shows nationally and performed on Live! with Regis and Kelly. Drury said that the band is a good fit for the festival because of how interactive they are with the audience.

“Big Sam refuses to let the audience sit still,” said Michael Mauer, the band’s booking agent. “Between the band’s solos, Big Sam’s signature dance moves and his distinctive trombone riffs, the energy level is high voltage when this band takes the stage.”

While the event started as a way to aid Athens’ businesses, this year Drury said he hopes the party brings a different kind of relief to the people of Athens.

“It’s been a difficult few weeks with the heat, storms and loss of power,” Drury said. “So hopefully the event is a way for people to relax and enjoy the cooler weather.”

What: Boogie on the Bricks

When: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 21

Where: Court Street

Cost: Free

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