Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Slingshot festival to bring music, art, technology to Athens

Tinariwen Slingshot festival
Tinariwen is a Grammy Award-winning Malian Tuareg band.

Athens, Ga. – The second annual Slingshot festival, which brings local and international innovators in music, art and technology to Athens and the University of Georgia, will take place March 19-22 in multiple venues on campus and downtown.

The festival’s co-founders and organizers are Eric Marty, an instructor in the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art, and Kai Reidl, a doctoral candidate in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

“Slingshot is the nexus for local, national and international music, electronic art and tech in Athens, Ga.,” Reidl said. “It is a hybrid festival that allows the audience to engage with music, art and tech as a continuum across pop, alternative and experimental genres in a city renowned for its creative culture.”

The festival opens March 19 at 4:30 p.m. with “Startup Stories,” featuring Michael Heekin, who was a founding board member of WebMD and served as the company’s first chief operating officer. The event will take place at the Georgia BioBusiness Center, 111 Riverbend Road.

Festival events the evening of March 19 will be headlined by the Grammy Award-winning Malian Tuareg band Tinariwen at 10:30 p.m. at the Georgia Theatre. On March 20 at 7 p.m., a “Kick-Off Art Party” will be held simultaneously at the Georgia Museum of Art—featuring installations by Tristan Perich and Quayola—and the art school—featuring video animation by Kota Ezawa.

Weekend music and art events will take place at 13 venues in downtown Athens. March 21 will include showcases by the New West and New Granada record labels. The “Japan Nite!” at New Earth Music Hall, 227 W. Dougherty St., will feature five bands from Japan including headliners Peelander Z.

Music events March 22 include a label showcase by Cloud Recordings, a headlining set by the eclectic multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Kishi Bashi at the Georgia Theatre and a rare DJ set by singer-songwriter and producer Washed Out at the Green Room, 175 N. Lumpkin St. Comedians Doug Benson and Jonah Ray also will perform Saturday night at the Morton Theatre, 199 W. Washington St.

Early bird festival passes are available in limited quantities for $20, which includes all weekend events, or $25, which includes weekend events and the Tinariwen show on Wednesday night. Passes also include a 20 percent discount at participating downtown restaurants.

Festival passes and Tinariwen tickets are available at For a full festival schedule and details on all events and artists, see

Slingshot is supported by UGA’s Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the Lamar Dodd School of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art and the Athens Music Project, a Willson Center Faculty Research Cluster co-directed by Jean Kidula and Susan Thomas of the music school. Commercial sponsors include Urban Outfitters, MailChimp and Dos Equis.

Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research at UGA. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. For more information, see