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Mark Your Calendar: If Athens can do it, why can't Savannah?
Futurebirds headline the Outdoor Mainstage at Athfest on June 24

Here’s a challenge for those creative types and forward–thinkers (they know who they are!) who brought us the amazing Savannah Stopover in March: Let’s have a festival featuring all Savannah musicians!

The current climate in town is one of joyful renaissance; there are probably more original–music bands, artists and collaborators here now than at any moment in semi–recent Savannah history.

I make this suggestion because I’ve been looking at the schedule for the upcoming 15th annual Athfest, in which the justly–praised music, art and film communities in Athens gets to strut their collective stuff for three consecutive days.

Many thousands of visitors will trek to Georgia’s university city June 22–26 to soak up the tunes, et al. Nearly 200 bands (and artists) will perform on three rotating outdoor stages and in a dozen of the best Athenian clubs and other music venues, including the 40 Watt, Melting Point, Flicker Theatre, Cine, Bad Manor, Caledonia Lounge, New Earth Music Hall, Far, 255, Rye Bar and others.

They’re not all from Athens, of course, but every act is decidedly southern in one way or another, both near and dear to the Georgian musical heart.

Let’s throw a couple of names out: On the outdoor stages, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit headline on the last day; other semi–famous names include Guadalcanal Diary, Bloodkin, Kevin Kinney, Chickasaw Mudd Puppies and Col. Bruce Hampton.

There’s a children’s stage, film screenings, an artists’ market, gallery shows, and of course the annual Flagpole Awards ceremony.

Perhaps we should consider a Savannah–Fest on a slightly smaller scale – at least to start with – and then work our way up. This town not only has the talent, it has the support system. And the desire.

If Athens can do it, why can’t Savannah?

See for full event schedule – and all the other details you need.

And now, this

• Speaking of Athens, the Whigs have been booked into the Jinx for a July 30 show.

• On June 26, it’s an all–day benefit at Coach’s Corner. The noon to 10 p.m. bash will feature performances by the Looters, Hazzard County, Greg Williams, the Chuck Courtenay Band, Strange Brew, Bluesonics, Jack Sherman and more.

• Alt-country singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams - she’s one of the very best there is - has a July 30 date at the stadium in Fort Stewart. That’s all we know at this point - as details come in, we’ll be sure to share them with you.

Looking ahead

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus will open the fall season on Sept. 11 - the 10th anniversary of 9/11 - with a Lucas Theatre concert entitled The American Spirit. The program will consist of, among others, George Gershwin’s Manhattan masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue, and music from Aaron Copland.

The entire schedule was just announced; it’s at