Mark your calendar: Five back-to-school events you don’t want to miss

Just in time for class, Atlanta welcomes you back to Georgia State with an overflowing calendar of events.

Shake off that summer daze and reacquaint yourself with Atlanta’s music and art culture with these five happenings throughout the city:

Music Midtown
Matching its diverse audience, the lineup for this year’s Music Midtown includes the talents of Lana Del Rey, Run DMC and John Mayer. Set on the green of Piedmont Park, this two-day music festival brings together Atlantians from all ends of the city.

With over 22 acts, this year will not disappoint. The experience of dancing to an artist’s live music as the sun goes down over the midtown skyline is dreamlike. Don’t be afraid to go solo because attending this festival means you’ll be making friends at every stage. If you’re dying to bust out your fancy moves with Iggy Azalea or sway to Lana’s haunting croon, check out the Music Midtown website ( for more information and mark Sept. 19 – 20 on your calendar. Don’t forget to pick up The Signal’s Music Midtown issue on Sept. 16!

First Thursday Downtown Art Walk
Weave in and out of downtown’s innovative art galleries during the first Thursday of the month. From 5 – 8 p.m. a select group of galleries, including The Rialto Center for the Arts and Georgia State’s Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design Gallery, host a free and easy-going way to engage our local art community. This event is a self-guided tour with locations all along the route of downtown.

To a first-timer I would suggest briefly checking out all of the open spaces and taking note of which galleries seem most intriguing to you. Next time you go, spend more time in those locations. Stop at any of the participating galleries to check out the contemporary art, chat with local artists and consume complimentary beverages. For a complete list of galleries, like the event’s Facebook page ( and stay up to date.

Sounds from the Underground
Jamming at the Elliott Street Deli & Pub the second Monday of the month are the jazz musicians of Sounds from the Underground. Throughout the semester, this neighborhood favorite provides listeners with hours of improvisation and solace.

The event starts at 9 p.m. with no cover charge. So show up early, buy a drink and settle in. Afterwards, hang out and mingle with Atlanta’s jazz pioneers and lovers. Check out the event’s Facebook page ( to see which local musicians will be playing this month.

College Night
Once a semester, The High Museum of Art throws a night of interactive art and music for college students. For a small charge, this event has a lot of different facets. From live performances throughout the galleries to salsa dancing lessons to a DIY DJ Station, The High throws a good party.

However, the aesthetic pleasure of hanging out in the galleries is not limited to the paintings on the wall–students from different colleges throughout Atlanta dress the part and wear wickedly interesting attires. This is a great opportunity to try out those fashion choices that have otherwise occupied the back of your closet.

The date has not yet been released for this semester’s College Night, but I highly encourage you to check their website ( and keep an eye out for it.

This is the inaugural year for the Parklife music festival which will be held on Sunday, Sept. 7. Advanced tickets start at $25.

I’m looking forward to sneaking in this extra festival before I dish out for Music Midtown. Presented by Eddie’s Attic (my favorite Atlanta venue) and Bowe Inc., this new addition to the music scene will be held in Central Park at Atlantic Station.

Musicians include Jake Bugg, LP and The Lone Bellow. When else will the opportunity arise to attend the first year of a promisingly legendary festival? If you would like to be a part as well, check out their website ( and grab a ticket.