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Elite Eight: The Great Atlanta Festival Face-Off

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Atlanta is loaded with great gatherings — new and old, large and mega-huge — but which is best?

Atlanta's social scene is exploding, and the growing lineup of festivals, perennial mega-events, and wondrous gatherings is getting crowded. To help set the record straight, and determine which events are never to be missed, The Great Atlanta Festival Face-Off is marching on!

ATL, meet your Elite Eight competitors in this friendly showdown.

A quick review: We selected 16 options unique to Atlanta — both stalwarts and upstarts, musical and not, representing an eclectic mix of neighborhoods — and alphabetized them to determine 1-16 seeding.

Place a vote for your Elite Eight faves below, and by Friday we'll have a glorious Final Four. The finals will commence next week.

Elite Eight voting is open for 24 hours, beginning right now!



Atlanta Street Alive: This periodic street-closure bonanza — attracting as many as 106,000 people at once — has done wonders for the pedestrian and bike cultures of Atlanta. Voters apparently recognized that in Round 1, advancing ASA past a venerable heavyweight like the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.


Chomp and Stomp, Cabbagetown: November's Chomp and Stomp is a showcase of killer chili and bluegrass befitting the neighborhood's blue-collar roots. Like all things C-town, this get-together is scrappy and proud, enough so to oust Chastain's signature festival earlier this week.


Fall Festival in Candler Park: Celebrating 16 years of shindigs come October, this community lynchpin usually features impressive music and a "Totally '80s" 5K. It felled Decatur's artsy downtown fest in Round 1.


Grant Park Summer Shade Festival: This weekend of sultry, shaded hoopla occupies Atlanta's oldest park, and it's a showcase of great tunes and cool local art that's lasted more than a decade. Earlier, it advanced past O4W's new fiery fiesta.


Inman Park Festival: This quirky, well-attended jamboree of good vibes in late April has consumed the gorgeous lanes of Inman Park for 45 straight years. Fans of its whacky parade, impressive home tour, and smorgasbord of live music outvoted the younger Kirkwood Spring Fling in Round 1.


Lantern Parade (Atlanta Beltline): The Lantern Parade (the Beltline version, that is, and not Decatur's or Sandy Springs') has burgeoned from a smattering of LED-lamp carrying marchers to a major September event with 60,000 estimated attendees and spectators. It slipped by L5P's awesome Halloween festivities to advance.


Oakhurst Porchfest: Atlanta, meet David. This grassroots shindig that turned dozens of porches around Oakhurst into makeshift stages one Sunday last year toppled the Goliath that is Music Midtown in Round 1. Its second incarnation happens this October, this time on a Saturday.


Shaky Knees Festival: This rock 'n' roll blowout could be on a roll, following its successful five-stage debut in downtown last weekend, which likely established it as one of America’s premier multi-day, urban-setting musical bonanzas. With 61 percent of votes, Shaky danced by Sweet Auburn Springfest.