Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Third annual Slingshot festival brings music, art, tech, comedy to Athens

James Murphy DJ Slingshot
James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

Athens, Ga. – The third annual Slingshot festival, which brings world-class innovators in music, electronic art, technology and comedy to more than a dozen venues throughout downtown Athens, will take place March 26-28.

The festival will include a tech conference in the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries and is supported by the 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.

“Welcome to ATH 2015,” said legendary Athens musician Michael Stipe of R.E.M., a fan of the festival. “The curve just changed again with Slingshot.”

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

In addition to attracting national and international talent, the organizers of the festival take pride in its ability to serve as a showcase for Athens itself.

“Over the last 40 years, Athens has been that rare place where musicians can comfortably collaborate with each other and perform for audiences that approach music with open minds and open ears,” Reidl said. “Athens is a creative epicenter, and Slingshot is a natural outgrowth of that.”

Musical highlights of the festival will include DJ sets by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and DJ Windows 98 (Win Butler of Arcade Fire) as well as performances by Jamie XX, Nosaj Thing and Reptar. Comedy Night headliners include Kyle Kinane, Ron Funches and Kurt Braunohler. The festival will screen “Salad Days,” a documentary about the Washington, D.C., punk scene.

Electronic art offerings include new work by designer Kyle McDonald, video artist Andy Thomas and filmmaker and artist Keith Willson as well as exhibits including a walk-in interactive synthesizer and a performance by Mikromedas using live astrophysical satellite data.

The tech conference, “Sensory Overload,” will feature JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, inventor of the AlloSphere, a “three-story immersive scientific visualization and sonification environment.”

A Slingshot smartphone app will be available to help visitors navigate the schedule and the physical layout of Athens.

In addition to the Willson Center, this year’s Slingshot sponsors and partners include MailChimp, Dust To Digital, Uberprints and Urban Outfitters.

For a full festival schedule and details, see Festival passes and tickets to individual events are available at

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