FreakNik Festival will become a series of 10 ‘drive-in theater’ concerts for 2020

Jgenisius Harris dances to the music in her 1995 Freaknik shirt during the FreakNik 2019 concert at the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood Saturday, June 22, 2019. Harris said her family went to the 1995 Freaknik and she got the tee shirt. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

FreakNik is receiving a makeover for 2020.

The music and cultural festival, which would have returned for its second year, is unable to take place in planned form at Morris Brown College.

The event was already moved from June to Sept. 18-20 with an optimistic outlook about the effects of COVID-19.

But, as the pandemic continues to rage, organizer Carlos Neal of After 9 Partners decided to break the event into 10 smaller “FreakNik Drive-In Theater Concerts.”

The location and exact dates are still being planned, but the target is to launch the shows over Labor Day weekend and continue through November. Fans will be able to either attend a socially distanced show in their cars or watch at home via livestream.

According to Neal, refunds are currently unavailable because “artists we paid to perform are unwilling to return our deposits.”

The 2020 lineup included Jermaine Dupri, Too Short, Plies, Juvenile, 2 Live Crew (sans Uncle Luke), 8 Ball & MJG, Young Dro, Trick Daddy, Trina, Bun B, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Field Mob, the Dungeon Family All Stars featuring Cool Breeze, Slimm Calhoun and others.

In lieu of a refund, After 9 Partners are offering a trio of options:

  • Tickets will be automatically transferred to the 2021 festival and patrons will also receive complimentary viewing of the 2020 livestream.
  • Elect for a prorated 60 percent refund of the 2020 ticket, which will discount the ticket fees, administrative fees, and other investments we are unable to recoup back from our vendors, until 2021. Those refunds will be processed at the conclusion of the 10 drive-in concerts. Complimentary livestream access and a 30 percent discount on 2021 festival tickets will also be included (current ticketholders will receive an email with more information in the next few weeks).
  • Attend the FreakNik Festival parking lot concert series and organizers will provide a credit to offset the cost of admission, as well as a 15 percent discount for a 2021 ticket.

Last month, After 9 Partners received a commemoration from the State of Georgia (House Bill 1691) for contributing to economic growth with the 2019 FreakNik Festival by providing opportunities for veterans and community-owned businesses at the event, which attracted about 18,000 people to Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood. The group was also recognized for their health fair effort with American Kinetics, which provided free health screening opportunities for attendees.

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