More than 200 influential speakers will share their stories and secrets to success at the Atlanta Convention Center. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A3C festival and conference return to Atlanta for its 15th year

The A3C festival and conference return to Atlanta for its 15th year on Oct. 8-13.

The massive six-day event, A3C, highlights the creative culture of Atlanta, combining performances by rising hip-hop artists with presentations from the biggest innovators in the music, tech, film and other major industries into one engaging experience. More than 500 artists and DJs are set to perform including E-40, Burna Boy, Big Daddy Kane, Lil Keed, Mo’nique, YG, Lil Gotit, singer-songwriter Pink Sweat$, Yasiin Bey (celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut album), “Black on Both Sides,” and legendary producer-rapper Jermaine Dupri.

MORE MUSIC ON AJC.COM: Michael Stipe releases solo debut, ‘Your Capricious Soul’

Blanketing the city, shows will be held across multiple different venues, including the Masquerade, Variety Playhouse, Smith’s Olde Bar, 529, the Basement, Loft and Vinyl at Center Stage, Tabernacle and the Gathering Spot.

Ryan Wilson is the CEO and co-founder of the Gathering Spot, a private club established in 2016 focused on community building, and this year he has become a co-owner of A3C.

The A3C team from left: Ryan Wilson, Mike Walbert and Paul Judge. Credit: Melissa Ruggieri
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“I’m really excited for this merging of communities,” said Wilson. “This is one of the few opportunities to be able to hear from some of the biggest innovators of our time.”

The conference takes place inside the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart, where many speakers will share how they became successful in their careers here in what one speaker, producer — and guest speaker — Drumma Boy calls the melting pot of the South.

Other anticipated speakers include college park-born rap star, 2 Chainz, who will be discussing fashion history with high-fashion celebrity designer Dapper Dan, who has outfitted numerous celebrities, and even has his work displayed in the Smithsonian and other prominent art museums.

Major producers, such as Mike Will Made It from Marietta, will be sharing their insights on the music industry and how they create the beats and sounds behind popular hip-hop tracks such as “Mercy,” “Turn on the Lights” and “Pour It Up.”

A 2018 A3C panel featuring Ryan Wilson and Paul Judge. Photo: DV Photography

“Music impacts a lot of different industries and professions, and it’s important to bring that community in contact with entrepreneurs that are building different types of businesses,” said Wilson.

One of the most influential of these entrepreneurs and owner of the Vayner X communications company, Gary Vaynerchuk, will be joining the conference to share his business expertise and elucidate how Atlanta is booming with opportunity.

Rising hip-hop artists such, as Megan Thee Stallion, will be performing at different venues across Atlanta. Credit: Noam Galai (Getty Images for MTV)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With the film industry growing and flourishing in Georgia, notable movie producers will be on hand. Among them is Will Packer, who produced “Girl’s Trip,” “Ride Along 2,” “No Good Deed” and other box office hits.

Many of the speakers will even talk about their career’s influence on social advocacy and helping the local community.

Artist, actor, producer and entrepreneur Clifford “T.I.” Harris, an Atlanta native, has transformed his success into activism throughout the city community with two non-profit organizations. Harris Community Works provides opportunities for disadvantaged children, while For the Love of Our Fathers fights to end Alzheimer’s Disease.

His most recent efforts include working with Reimaging Atlanta Task Force to reform the criminal justice system, which he’ll discuss during his presentation at the conference.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams will discuss her organization, Fair Fight, which advocates for voting rights and encourages voter participation.

The full A3C lineup, event schedule and tickets are at a3cconference.com. There are discounts available for groups of three or more.

To get the full experience and more, a VIP option is available that includes a shirt, meet and greets, complimentary drinks, private lines and exclusive viewing areas.

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