BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
Last year, more than 150,000 music-loving fans descended upon Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Jazz Festival.
This year is the event’s 40th anniversary, so the crowds will likely swell even larger to check out a lineup including Robert Glasper Experiment, Macy Gray, Charles Lloyd Sky Trio, Freddy Cole and dozens of additional performers.
If you’re heading to Piedmont Park this Memorial Day weekend to experience three stages of free music with an audience that usually hails from around the world, here are some tips to help you navigate.
When: May 26-28. Attendees can arrive any time during normal park hours (6 a.m.-11 p.m.), but official opening times are 6 p.m. May 26 and 11 a.m. May 27-28.
Where: Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave. Atlanta.
Parking and transportation: As with any major events at Piedmont Park, residential parking is for, well, residents. If you aren’t a resident, you’ll be fined $75 for clogging up their streets.
If you must bring a car, pre-paid parking at a few lots several blocks from the festival is available via Parking Panda. It is strongly recommended to purchase parking in advance to guarantee a space. Prices range from $5-$23, depending upon your desire to walk. The code ATLJAZZ will get you 10 percent off your initial booking.
Festival organizers recommend taking MARTA (the Midtown and Arts Center stations are closest) or Lyft (the code AJF40 provides a 25 percent discount).
Weather: It’s expected to be dry, but hopefully you like heat, since the forecast calls for July-like temperatures in the upper-80s.
Things you can bring: Food and beverages (including alcohol); blankets; chairs; common sense to make sure to use designated receptacles for all litter. Let’s take care of the park. Side note – there are vendors on site selling food and beverages as well.
Things you cannot bring: Pets (though the Piedmont Dog Park will remain open); glass containers; bicycles (there will be a free bike valet located in Piedmont Park on 10th Street near Park Tavern to store your bikes during the festival); skates; grills; solicitation materials; tent stakes; personal radios or instruments. As well, smoking is prohibited throughout the park, and yes, that includes any lighted tobacco product.
More info: www.atlantafestivals.com.
FRIDAY, May 26
7 p.m. – The Pedrito Martinez Group
9 p.m. – Robert Glasper Experiment
SATURDAY, May 27
1 p.m. – The Allan Harris Band
3 p.m. – Regina Carter: Simply Ella
7 p.m. – Reńe Marie and Experiment in Truth
9 p.m. – Charles Lloyd Sky Trio
1:30 p.m. – Moonchild
3:30 p.m. – Nik West
5:30 p.m. – Nicholas Payton Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
7:30 p.m. – Macy Gray
Next Gen Stage
12:30 p.m. – Little Tybee
2:30 p.m. – Harriet Tubman: The Band
4:30 p.m. – Deva Mahal
6:30 p.m. – Marquis Hill Blacktet
Late Night Jazz Jam // Park Tavern at Piedmont Park
11 p.m. – A Tribute to Miles Davis with Lil John Roberts & the All Star Band, featuring Russell Gunn and Mino Cinelu
SUNDAY, May 28
1 p.m. – Dwight Andrews
3 p.m. – Joe Jennings & Howard Nicholson’s Life Force
5 p.m. – Celebrating Sarah: Kathleen Bertrand & Friends Honor Sarah Vaughan
7 p.m. – The Joe Gransden Big Band with Audrey Shakir
8 p.m. – The Ojeda Penn Experience
9 p.m. – Freddy Cole
1:30 p.m. – Frank Houston
2:15 p.m. – Kemba Cofield
3 p.m. – Darren English
3:45 p.m. – Cleveland P. Jones
4:30 p.m. – Julie Dexter and Jacob Deaton Duo featuring Rasheeda Ali
5:15 p.m. – Mamaniji Azanyah & Mastery
6:15 p.m. – Russell Gunn & African Drums meets Kebbi Williams’ Wolf Pack
7:30 p.m. – Mausiki Scales & Common Ground featuring Giwayen Mata
Next Gen Stage
12:30 p.m. – Rialto Jazz for Kids
2:30 p.m. – Danii Roundtree
4:30 p.m. – Brenda Nicole Moorer
6:30 p.m. – Tivon Pennicott Quartet