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Shaky Knees to mark start of musical May across Atlanta

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Aural offerings include EDM, Mozart, and loads of free jazz throughout this month

Displaced from its Centennial Olympic Park home of two years by expansion construction, the sixth incarnation of Shaky Knees Music Festival this weekend will kick off a spring month packed with eclectic live tunes across Atlanta and beyond.

Huey Lewis performs downtown at Shaky Knees two years ago.
Curbed Atlanta

Expect everything from Mozart to Marshmello—and Tenacious D to Ludarcris.


Shaky Season

This year, Shaky Knees and its EDM counterpart, Shaky Beats, will migrate back to the festivals’ short-lived home of Central Park on the western edge of Old Fourth Ward.

Reps tell Curbed Atlanta the four-stage arrangement will be similar to the prior layout (including a stage in a Civic Center parking lot) with the exception of a stage placed in Renaissance Park off Piedmont Avenue and Pine Street.

Shaky Knees’ 60 perfomances kick off Friday, with headliners including Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, The National, Fleet Foxes, David Byrne, and Atlanta’s own Manchester Orchestra. Tickets cost $99 (single day) or $189 (three days).

Shaky Beats ($95 single-day; $179 three-day) commences in the same place the following weekend.


West End Jamboree

Photo: Atlanta Beltline

For the fourth year running, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership will put on the totally free and family-friendly Washington Park Jamboree and Play Day this month.

But this year, the Westside fiesta is stepping up its musical game.

Come May 12, The Atlanta Opera (TAO) kicks off the festival at 2 p.m. with a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute as part of an initiative called “Belting on the BeltLine,” which aims to provide free operatic performances at locations along the trail.

Later, from 4 to 8 p.m., the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s Neighborhood Jazz Series will host a free live jazz performance in Washington Park.

Beyond the music, the Washington Park Jamboree will feature free live fitness and sports demonstrations and a marketplace of local food, businesses, and nonprofits.

“This year’s event has special meaning as the park sits at the northern end of the three-mile Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail, which opened to the public last year,” officials recently noted in a release.

Attendees are encouraged to take the Beltline or MARTA, as the Ashby station is a short walk away.


All About That Jazz

The Washington Park event is but one installment of a monthlong series called 31 Days of Jazz that will culminate with the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park—one of the country’s largest free jazz bonanzas—on Memorial Day Weekend.

Other May concerts, dotted in parks throughout the city, are equally free and family-friendly.

See a calendar with performers and locations here.


Serenbe Shindig

Southwest of Atlanta, Serenbe’s marquee festival happens Sunday afternoon.

Day-trippers from Atlanta might want to aim for Serenbe this Sunday (May 6) for live music in a more pastoral setting.

From noon to 5 p.m., the sustainably planned community’s annual May Day Festival will feature live music alongside the traditional Maypole Dance, whatever that is.

Elsewhere, expect booths from regional artisans, strolling performers, nine food trucks, mini petting zoos, and horse rides.

Tickets to this 13th annual Serenbe celebration of spring are $5.