Summer is almost over, but all is not lost. This Saturday, you can forget about the cold weather ahead and relive your sweatiest moments from this dying season while dancing the day away in stonewash cutoffs. Best of all, it’s free.
Since 2013, Under the Couch at Georgia Tech has hosted the eclectic DIY festival JORTSFEST in honor of the summer wardrobe staple. Hardcore, garage rock and indie pop all have a place in this ten-act, one-day fest. This year, Palm Bay post-hardcore stalwarts Gillian Carter are co-headlining alongside Charleston’s dream pop darlings Tape Waves. The radical musical diversity of JORTSFEST was designed by fest founders Maria Sotnikova and Michael Leon to allow conversation and collaboration between bands. In 2013 this conversation resulted in the formation of the Merry Go Rounds. Who knows what it will incite this year?
The diversity goes beyond musical genres, however. The motto of JORTSFEST is “Always free. Always all ages. Always accessible.” This conscious effort to make the festival a safe, welcoming place for everyone has resulted in an age and gender diversity lacking at many Atlanta shows. In addition, Under the Couch is an ADA and transit accessible location, another positive element absent from some Atlanta DIY venues. According to Sotnikova, “the importance of JORTSFEST lies within the fact that it aims to bring together communities in an environment that is intentionally accessible (physically, socially, and financially) to build community under the guise of just having a good time.”
JORTSFEST continues to grow despite being completely volunteer run and funded, but Sotnikova sees this as only the beginning. Eventually, she desires that the event “take more direct action to promote and support the establishment of low cost, all ages, physically accessible performance spaces in Atlanta.” This is a big dream for a DIY festival, but Sotnikova has the ambition to back it up. Who knows what JORTSFEST will look like in 5 years? For now, it is a great way to say goodbye to summer and support local music.
In addition to Gillian Carter and Tape Waves, don’t miss Atlanta favorites Twin Studies performing their brand of poppy shoegaze, Femignome’s lo-fi rock, Sea Ghost’s spectral pop and the Scraps’ dirty garage punk. Check out the full schedule and tentative lineup below.
4:00 p.m. – Doors
4:40 p.m. – 5:10 p.m. – No Clouds
5:25 p.m. – 5:55 p.m. – Femignome
6:10 p.m. – 6:40 p.m. – Antarcticats
6:55 p.m. – 7:25 p.m. – Sea Ghost
7:40 p.m. – 8:10 p.m. – Dakota Floyd
8:25 p.m. – 8:55 p.m. – The Scraps
9:10 p.m. – 9:40 p.m. – Dog Years
9:55 p.m. – 10:25 p.m. – Tape Waves
10:40 p.m. – 11:10 p.m. – Gillian Carter
11:25 p.m. – 11:55 p.m. – Twin Studies