FreakNik Festival 2023

On May 7th, the streets of Atlanta will once again be alive with attendees of the legendary FreakNik Festival. This historic, culturally-rich event will return thanks to the efforts, work, and oversight of Carlos Neal and After 9 Partners.

FreakNik, Atlanta's legendary Spring Break celebration that gained popularity throughout the '80s and '90s, was brought back after 20 years by After 9 Partners in 2019, an Atlanta-based promotional company led by Carlos Neal. Neal, an Atlanta native, remembers the nostalgia and rich past of Freaknik and is putting together what he’s referring to as a micro-event with about two-thousand people expected, rather than the 18,000 that were present in 2019. He is looking forward to an event that will highlight the local Atlanta creative community. Including food, vendors, and live music. He expects this to conjure the original feeling of early Freaknik events that ultimately ended in 1998.

According to Neal, the event morphed into something that deviated from the original way for college students to blow off steam, and had others, who weren’t students attend and they had more nefarious intentions. Eventually, the City of Atlanta wasn’t able to handle the influx of attendees, and Neal is looking to bring back the positivity of FreakNik and eschew any negativity.

Working with partners like Metaworks and MusicFX, which, according to FreakNik promoters “meshes perfectly with the positive works of FreakNik and its fans”. Attendees can expect live music, interactive artist activations, vendors, and more through its event partnerships. An exciting industry buzz is that a FreakNik documentary is in the works. It will feature footage from years past as well as document the Festival’s return this year. Talk is that the documentary is possibly going to be shown in the near future on a major network.

FreakNik Fest is a nonprofit focused on embracing all the positive aspects of the FreakNik of the 90s while eliminating the negative. FreakNik has partnered with community members to do a “Know Your Rights” campaign to discuss dealing with the police effectively, highlighting safe sex practices, sex trafficking, healthy living, domestic violence, and more issues that affect the African American Community disproportionately. Since the inaugural return in 2019, over 30K attendees have attended the Festival in Atlanta.

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