Atlanta Music Scene

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Your guide to SweetWater 420 Fest 2016

With a lineup hopscotching from Bastille to The Roots to Kid Rock to Ludacris, it’s a fair assessment that the SweetWater 420 Fest is one of the most eclectic Atlanta offerings.

The event spawned from the local brewing company of the same name returns to Centennial Olympic Park Friday through Sunday with an itinerary featuring more than 50 acts.

“Our festival has a mix of everything — jam, indie, a little EDM, a little rock — while some of the other (area festivals) are pegged to one specific style of music. We try to represent all genres,” said Jennifer Bensch, president of Happy Ending Productions, which produces the event.

Last year, about 75,000 people attended the gathering during its three-day run, injecting about $4.97 million into the local economy, according to festival research. The eventual goal is to attract up to 30,000 fans per day.

The size of the festival will remain the same, with four stages — a main stage that operates like a turntable and provides two stages on rotation, the Planet 420 stage and the Lyrics and Laughter stage, which will feature local music and comedians, including Judah Friedlander and Wrenn.

A SweetWater Experience tent will offer practical tutorials on topics such as home brewing, and beer and cheese pairings.

Of course, one of the main attractions at this particular festival is the title product — SweetWater beer. While the fest is an all-ages gathering, those 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult 25 and older.

If you plan to head downtown this weekend, here is your guide to navigate the 2016 SweetWater 420 Fest and the daily schedule of performances.

Bastille will bring listeners to 'Pompeii" with their Saturday night set. Photo: Getty Images


Three-day general admission pass (one exit with re-entry per day) — $138

Single-day general admission pass (no daily re-entry) — $62 (Friday and Sunday only; Saturday is sold out)

Big Fish VIP three-day pass (unlimited re-entry) — $378

Big Fish VIP Single-day pass (unlimited re-entry) — $150

VIP passes include five complimentary drinks (beer or wine), access to food, air-conditioned bathrooms, a gaming area and a special viewing area of the main and Planet 420 stages.

All attendees 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult 25 or older. Children 10 and under are free with a wristbanded adult (note: there is no KidZone this year). Anyone 10 years of age and older must have a wristband.

Check out Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals on Sunday night. Photo: Getty Images

Where you need to go:

The festival takes place at Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. West N.W., Atlanta

Friday: Gates open at 3 p.m., music runs 4:20-11 p.m.

Saturday: Gates open at 11:30 a.m., music runs noon-11 p.m.

Sunday: Gates open at 11 a.m., music runs noon-10 p.m. (alcohol served after 12:30 p.m. due to state and local regulations)

Where to find the box office:

Gate E at the Georgia Dome noon-8 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday (free 30-minute parking is available Thursday in the Gold Deck).

10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday at the corner of Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Marietta Street at Centennial Olympic Park.


Georgia World Congress Center Red Deck. Parking is $12 per day advance purchase or $20 per day on event day. A three-day parking pass is $34 for three days; advance purchase is required. To purchase in advance, visit


Use the Peachtree Center station (red/gold line) or Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center station (blue/green line).

The Roots will bring their funk-rock-soul-hip-hop to the stage Saturday night. Photo: Jonathan Phillips.

Storage lockers:

Lockers (11 inches wide, 13½ inches high and 18 inches deep) can be rented for $40 for the weekend with unlimited charging capabilities ($50) or no charging ($40). Single-day rentals are $20 (charging) and $15 (no charging). Visit for advance rental information.

Check out the daily schedules for the three music stages. For the daily lineups for the Lyrics and Laughter stage and SweetWater Experience Tent, visit


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SweetWater 420 Fest performance schedule


Main Stage

4 p.m. Big Sam’s Funky Nation

5:15 p.m. Lucero

6:45 p.m. Cypress Hill

8:10 p.m. the Disco Biscuits

9:45 p.m. Kid Rock


Planet 420 Stage

4 p.m. Talent Tap Winner

5:15 p.m. Hi Lo Ha

6:30 p.m. Zoogma

8:15 p.m. Pepper


420 Disco Stage

4 p.m. Lucidea

5 p.m. Ployd

6:30 p.m. Illenium

8 p.m. Paper Diamond



Main Stage

Noon Robert Randolph & the Family Band

1:15 p.m. North Mississippi AllStars

2:45 p.m. Maceo Parker

4:25 p.m. Dawes

6 p.m. Rebelution

7:45 p.m. the Roots

9:30 p.m. Bastille


Planet 420 Stage

4 p.m. Talent Tap Winner

1:15 p.m. Chrome Pony

3 p.m. Tokyo Police Club

5:30 p.m. the Word

8 p.m. Awolnation


420 Disco Stage

Noon Monday/Friday

1 p.m. Bells & Robes

2:15 p.m. Thrice Groove

3:30 p.m. Daily Bread

5 p.m. Dabin

6:30 p.m. Jacklndn

8 p.m. Minnesota



Main Stage

Noon the Mantras

1:15 p.m. Leftover Salmon

2:45 p.m. Manchester Orchestra

4:15 p.m. Atmosphere

5:30 p.m. Michael Franti & Spearhead

7 p.m. Ludacris

8:15 p.m. Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals


Planet 420 Stage

Noon Talent Tap Winner

1:45 p.m. People’s Blues of Richmond

4 p.m. Mahko and Medicine for the People

6 p.m. the Bright Light Social Hour

8 p.m. Robert Delong


420 Disco Stage

Noon Marble Mansion

1 p.m. Panther God

2 p.m. Waking Astronomer

3 p.m. Higher Learning

4 p.m. Duelle

5:30 p.m. Son of Kick

7 p.m. Emancipator

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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on

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