The 3rd Annual Art-B-Que was a smashing success. The little festival that was started by Bart Webb Studios in the parking lot of the building his studio is in has grown to a three day event covering three streets, over 100 artists, over 30 bands with two stages, a kid zone for face painting and moon bounce, and performances by Turning Tricks, Hot Toddy's Flaming Cabaret, and Syrens of the South. The event was June 11-13, 2010 in Avondale Estates, GA in the Rail Arts District. For those that are unaware, Avondale Estates is a suburb of Atlanta, inside the perimeter, just past Decatur. The Rail Arts District also hosts the RAD Studio Cruise every year as well, this is truly the up and coming artist community in the Atlanta area.
Friday was spent setting up the hundreds of artist and food vendors. The volunteers did an amazing job keeping everything organized and smooth. Everyone had an easy time finding their spaces and getting checked in. Friday night kicked off at The Alcove Gallery which was a packed house. It was a huge gallery opening with visual artists Leslie Ditto and Ben Williams and the headlining band Snagglepuss to kick off the event.
Saturday was the big day with bands playing all day at both the acoustic stage and the main stage. I think more people hung out at the acoustic stage during the day since it was shady as it was 100 degrees during the day. However, once night fell, everyone headed over to enjoy the amazing main stage performances which was closed out by some amazing baton work by Turning Tricks. They had big hair and mad skills! Afterwards everyone wandered to in front of Bart Webb Studios to see Hot Toddy's Flaming Cabaret! Not only did they have some amazing acts such as fire fans, a bed of nails and some really cool feats they also had a flaming arch with skulls as well as a strong man test that shot flames out of the top if you were able to hit the hammer hard enough to send the ball to the top. Ferris Hilton of Blastoff Burlesque spent a good deal of time making it shoot flames! Then came Syrens of the South at Little Tree Studios. Little'ole me MCed the event while there were performances by Cross Cultural Dance Company, Rosie Palms, Ruby Redmayne (f/k/a Suki Tawdry) and Betsey Stryper. We were very sad to announce that this was Betsey Stryper's last performance with us as she is moving in August. She will always be welcome to come and perform with us and we hope that she keeps performing in whatever city is lucky enough to get her. We do need to give a special thank you to Johnny No Thumbs for running sound for us and Ferris Hilton who did pick-up for us. We couldn't have done it with out either of them!
Sunday was more bands and people picking up the art wok they had been eyeing and spending all weekend talking themselves into buying. The event closed with Van Heineken playing an amazing set of Van Halen covers as well as some other great hits from the 80s. For those that don't know, Van Heineken is fronted by Jon Waterhouse who is also a radio host, writer for the AJC, and MCs the big Blastoff Bulesque shows. There is nothing this man can't do, he never ceases to amaze me with his versatility and mad skills. Everything was broken down, the vendors were all gone, the volunteers were lucky to see an amazing sunset for their trouble of staying late and then everyone headed over to the James Joyce for dinner, drinks and some well deserved air conditioning after a long hot weekend. With the way things are going for this little festival, I think it will just keep growing into bigger and better things each year.