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Athens Punk Music Scene Expands

Lead Singer of Snuki captured at Globe Athens


In the past year, Athens, Georgia has seen a large expansion in its punk music scene. New bands, venues, and fans have been coming and going, and it can be hard to keep track of what is going on.

Athens has always had a large musical presence within its culture and celebrated an extremely diverse array of music. Legendary bands like R.E.M, The B-52’s, and Widespread Panic have originated here, and unsurprisingly, wave after wave of music has come through. However, recently Athens has seen a boom in its underground music scene specifically. 

It seems as though more and more metal, punk, and bands of similar genres are the driving force behind Athens music. There are less than a handful of jazz, afrobeat, or soul bands in this city. I feel like people with more diverse music tastes are left wanting more. Brennan Murphy, drummer of Nuclear Tourism and Exit Row

Photos By Mason Pearson

The unfortunate closing of the Caledonia lounge in March 2020 caused many bands to feel that the punk scene in Athens would either wane or die off. However, spaces like Flicker, Cine, 40-Watt, World Famous, and Nowhere Bar have kept the scene alive with their constant hosting of local bands of all demographics. Flicker Theatre and World Famous especially, are known for constantly hosting local bands rather than only booking more established ones. Athens also has legendary venues such as the Georgia Theatre and 40 Watt Club. Spaces like these don’t specifically host punk music, however they attract bands with mainstream appeal to Athens. Attracting larger bands to Athens gives local bands the opportunity to play in front of, and sometimes beside, legends. Nuclear Tourism, Gymshorts, and Oceaneater recently had the opportunity to play at the Georgia Theatre alongside The Chats.

Parker Allen of Nuclear Tourism breaks guitar during performance at the Georgia Theatre ahead of the Chats.

House shows are also responsible for the continuity of the underground scene in Athens. As a notoriously party-oriented city, house shows are a staple of the Athens music scene. Bands in Athens often have a tendency to both begin performing and grow their popularity from house shows. Often these shows are not at will of the police, so venues either abide by noise ordinance or host renegade shows. 

Bands that have been active in the community recently include Nuclear Tourism, Aunt Moth, Commune, Consec, Bog Bod, Wieuca, Nihilist Cheerleader and many others. Almost all of these bands are putting out new content. Nuclear Tourism has recently finished recording their new album. Aunt Moth is scheduled to debut their premier album in early 2023. Sadly, Wieuca announced that their band would be going on hiatus indefinitely, as band members are moving away from Athens after finishing college. They’ll be greatly missed. 

Following this much music can become  hectic, thankfully there are lots of avenues for figuring out where events will be. Places like Wuxtry Records, 40 Watt, and Flicker often have boards in the windows with flyers for events. There are also social media methods for finding events other than bands’ Instagrams accounts. Athens Live Music is a Youtube channel that posts full sets of nearly all live music events in Athens, with permission of course. There are also Instagram pages like Knowathens dedicated to listing local events in town. Knowathens specifically posts a weekly lineup of all live music happening in town during the week. Athens Banner Herald also typically posts event lists in its print editions of their papers. Available at Wuxtry records and by individual request, Blunderbuss magazine features sections from your favorite local bands and skateboarders.  “There are so many different artists in Athens that deserve to be spotlighted and celebrated for their creations. It has been really great to see such interest in a genre of music that was looked down upon when I was coming up.”-Athens Music videographer Brian Hall



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Athens Punk Music Scene Expands