Exclusive Interview with Netherworld Haunted House Co-Founder

Netherworld’s Co-Founder tells us about this year’s haunted house and more…

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Netherworld’s new Stone Mountain location.

Last week, I visited Netherworld Atlanta, one of the most popular and top rated  haunted houses in the nation. During the visit, I went through both attractions “The Awakened” and “Subject:Unknown.” Each were entertaining in their own way; the attention to detail of each haunt was impressive, and the monsters are realistic and lifelike, whether in the haunted house or roaming the grounds.

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Citizens residing in “The Awakened”

Once you descend into the pitch black hallways, you’ll find creepy, old authentic furniture, “jail cells” where monsters hide in the shadows and jump at you, and visual illusions like the vortex tunnel. Netherworld is pulling out all the stops this year and it shows.

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I got a chance to sit down with the co-founder of Netherworld, Ben Armstrong, to find out what it has to offer at their new Stone Mountain location.

ABD: How are you enjoying the new location? Is there anything you can accomplish here that you couldn’t at the old one?

BA: First off, we own the building now and 9.5 acres of land. So, we’re able to do what we need to with the structure to fit our needs. It’s been good so far; we have offices now, we have room to do escape games, for our monster museum and we have a ton more backstage space allowing the haunts to expand. All very important things!

ABD: How long have you been in the haunting business? How’d you get started?

BA: I’ve been haunting since I was a little kid. My background actually is in television, I worked in TV in Tallahassee, Florida for 18 years. I hosted a late night horror show, and produced segments of the Jerry Lewis telethon. When I moved to Atlanta, I realized there were professional haunted houses, like it was a business. That’s also when I met my business partner Billy Messina. One year, the guy who did the haunts we both worked on said “he was done with them.” And that’s where the first Netherworld started.

ABD: What does Halloween mean to you?

BA: It’s a unique holiday and one of fun. With haunted houses, it becomes a tradition and groups of people get together, go, scream, have a good time. I love when I see people on social media like “We’re going to Netherworld!” and see them getting scared as they’re on the way.

ABD: How many people does it take to keep Netherworld going?

BA: This year it took a big staff because we moved and had to recreate something we’ve been doing for over 20 years. Now that we’re open, we have an even larger staff, about 400 people. Around 100 to 150 people will work on any given evening.

ABD: What have you learned from all the years of doing this? Have you stuck to the same plan or do you often change it up?

BA: If you ever stop learning, you stagnate. If you think you know it all about any subject, that’s a sign that you don’t. I learn new things every year, really every day.  Some little shadow in the corner you didn’t think twice about scares people a lot, or fascinates them. It’s like a movie where some little character that doesn’t seem important ends up becoming the most popular character to fans.

ABD: Tell us more about your haunts.

BA: We have two new haunts this year, “The Awakened” and “Subject: Unknown.” Conceptually “The Awakened” encompasses all the things Netherworld is about. You’ve got supernatural, monsters, mythology, ancient cities; the traditional things you’d expect to see in a haunted house. “Subject: Unknown” is more the science fiction end of the scale. There’s aliens, robots, dinosaurs.

ABD: What can returning fans look forward to in 2018?

BA: We have 3 escape games we’ll be doing year-round. We have a large “midway” area where you gather after exiting the haunts. There’s a gift shop, food, games, TONS of photo ops. People love to take pictures and our live monsters running around will pose or maybe just “show up” in your pics!

We’re going to be doing additional shows that we will announce soon like a glow-stick very dark version of the haunted house, the weekend after we close, November 4th. We’ll also be doing a Christmas and Valentine’s show.

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Be sure to check out the Netherworld Haunted House in Stone Mountain! It’s $23 on weekdays and $25 weekends and Halloween for “The Awakened.” For an extra $5 on weekdays, and $8 on weekends you can experience “Subject: Unknown” as well. For $55 on any night you will get a VIP Fast Pass which puts you to the front of line once you arrive.

For escape games book on the Netherworld site.

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During escape games you’ll have to work together.

 

Improve Your Dating Odds By Not Dating

Hi, Atlanta. Katie O’Hara here.

I have some advice for all you who are looking to add someone special to your lives and have found it rather daunting in the dating world lately. Let’s face it: online dating is akin to a dumpster fire at times and no one does speed dating anymore. Finding your next date at a dance club? No. The nearest hookah bar that hires models as servers? Good luck with that. What about the people you work with? Better talk with HR first.

My advice? Don’t date. Just have fun and make more friends. I know, that doesn’t make sense. Not dating is the opposite of actually dating. Or IS it?

Surely there are some single people in this picture

The top two issues of trying to find a person to date are “Where do I meet such a person?” and “How do I meet them?”  The answer to both questions are found by asking yourself, “What do I like to do for fun?” (Surprisingly, that can be a deeply profound question for some of us, so take your time!) The surefire way to meet someone is to join a sports or social club geared towards your interests and happiness. But where are these mythical organizations and how do we join them?

An afternoon game of ultimate frisbee

Atlanta Sports and Social Club is the largest provider of adult recreational leagues, teams, social events, and adult sports tournaments in town. ASSC is a year-round operation, specializing in “traditional sports like soccer and softball, as well as fun social sports like kickball and cornhole.” Schedules of events and teams are easy to navigate and there activities beyond sports, such as wine and beer festivals or crawls.

Zog Sports is another intramural social sports community in the Atlanta area. Zog Sports offers traditional sports like softball, dodgeball, and basketball, but offers corporate team options–maybe that’s a good way to chat up Kevin from the accounting department. Zog has  easy-to-access drop down menus to find a team or league near you OR your job.

Not into the straight crowd? Don’t worry, LGBTQ fam. The National Flag Football Association is a gay-friendly league. There is also Hotlanta Volleyball Association, Front Runners Atlanta, Atlanta Bucks Rugby, and Hotlanta Softball League.

Atlanta Botanical Garden

If you are not an exercise enthusiast or a gamer and want to find a more sophisticated crowd, perhaps you should try out Lunchtime Culture at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Lunchtime Culture is a free, monthly event curated by the ABG and other organizations, like The Bremen Museum and the Center For Puppetry Arts, to highlight performances, conversations, and tours in various Midtown venues, giving attendants “a fresh perspective” of Atlanta. November’s meetup is at the Alliance Theater for “Puppetry & Acting: Bringing Characters to Life.”

Fernbank Museum of Natural Sciences

If you can’t make the midday event at ABG, take a look at Fernbank After Dark’s recurring monthly lineup of fabulous live music, tapas, full bars, live science demonstrations and hands-on activities. Each month, Fernbank rolls out a themed event night that highlights the science of the season and the beautiful Georgian landscape. November’s event is “Science of Our Senses.”

Hiking with the Atlanta Outdoor Club

Combine both nature, sports and exercise by checking out Atlanta Outdoor Club. This organization has DAILY meetups for hiking around the metro area’s parks and landscapes. Membership is FREE, too!

Plant some trees, meet some peeps

Besides sports and nature, where else could you go to meet your next date? Volunteerism is another way to meet people. Hands on Atlanta, Trees Atlanta, and PAWS Atlanta are always in need of help! Do you like classical music? The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has volunteers act as ushers, ticket handlers and answer general questions–the payoff is free entrance to the symphony! The High Museum of Art is now accepting volunteers to help with upcoming exhibits, as well.

My point is: Happiness and joy start with you! Find out what activities fulfill you with joy and start looking when you’re in that environment. It’s the perfect strategy for when you don’t want to waste your time and you can meet other people on a platonic level with your shared interests, as well.

Keep dating, Atlanta!

 

 

 

A Quick Guide to Atlanta’s Haunted Houses

A Quick Guide to Atlanta’s Haunted Houses

What frightens you the most? Is it phantoms draped in blood-soaked clothing, clamoring for your life juices and organs? Is it gruesome gargoyles, zombies and demonic figures jumping out from the shadows to greet you? Is it the buzz of chainsaws, rusty mill equipment and screams of ghouls in the night?

The season of frights and freaky sights is upon us, and people seeking the thrill of a good scare will surely be able to get their fill this month.

Numerous haunted houses are up and running all around the Atlanta area, and the rest of Georgia. Take a look below for the low down on some of what Atlanta has to offer this year.

Netherworld Haunted House

Netherworld is Atlanta’s premiere haunted house. This year, it’s pulled up stakes to a new location in Stone Mountain, under new management. Netherworld promises uniquely frightening experiences for Atlantans and those in the city during October and early November.

Netherworld Atlanta

Attendees will scream in fright while being ambushed in close corridors by the likes of mummified corpses and extraterrestrial beings. Expect to be confronted by residents looking like they belong to an insane asylum, ghouls and giant robots wielding buzz saws.

The chamber of failed alien experiments at Netherworld.

Featuring two unique haunted houses with over 100 trained actors as zombies, ghouls and more otherworldly creatures, Netherworld is back and bigger than ever!

The Awakened, Netherworld Atlanta

The first haunted house, The Awakened, will have you traveling through the town of Whyshburg and the haunted Colber Mansion. Prepare to make your way past “The Awakened’s” residents, three-eyed once dead citizens, feral “Bone-Gnawers,” and more creatures of the undead. As you trek through cemeteries and the Forbidden City, you will confront and discover the origins of The Awakened, if you have the guts!

Subject: Unknown, Netherworld Atlanta

Netherworld’s second haunted house, Subject: Unknown, takes place in a research facility known as the BOX, where experiments on extraterrestrial and virus infected beings have gone awry, and they have broken free and roam about. You will witness alien autopsies, cloned prehistoric beasts and even take a ride in “The Elevator of Doom” as this horror science-fiction attraction gnaws away at your sanity!
This week, leading up to November 4th, Netherworld will have extended hours to accommodate the large crowds that are expected. You can pay extra to get a “fast pass” and jump to the front of the line.

Price: $23 for The Awakened | $28 to visit Awakened + Subject Unknown | $55 for a Speed Pass

Hours of Operation: Sunday – Thursday: 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. | Friday – Saturday: 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Dates: October 5th until November 4th.

ATL Dead
The ATL Dead attraction has been a staple in the DC area and in Oklahoma City. This year, it also comes to Atlanta.

“The undead have taken over the “A” and only one outpost remains, “ from the ATL Dead website. “Teams of up to 6, armed with foam dart guns, will fight their way through an abandoned storefront in search of a vaccine that could rid humanity from the infection. Will you survive long enough to save the city? One part haunted house, one part immersive theatre, and one part live action video game, this 45 minute adventure is recommended for brave souls 10 years of age and up. Flat closed toe shoes are recommended.”
Described in reviews as “a realistic Resident Evil,” or like being in “an episode of The Walking Dead,” ATL Dead brings a more interactive experience to the haunted house arena.
This haunted house will have attendees climbing ladders, firing Nerf and other foam guns for zombie tagging, cooperation and team involvement. Flat closed-toed shoes are recommended. This is a cooperative experience that the whole family can enjoy.

Price: $30 – 35

Hours of Operation: 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. / Sundays 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Dates: October 11th – November 3rd.
*Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.

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The Haunted Pink Trap House. Credit Haunted Pink Trap House & Atlanta Magazine.

The legendary 13 Stories is one of the few haunted houses in Georgia where, each year, it is required for patrons to sign a “waiver” upon entry. Monsters and creatures are allowed to “torment you mentally and physically” describes the 13 Stories’ website. The often talked about haunted house on social media is teaming up with rapper 2 Chainz’ “Pink Trap House” to bring you “The Haunted Pink Trap House.13 Stories will feature 3 haunted houses this year. To complete all three takes about an hour.

The Haunt – The traditional 13 Stories haunted house returns this year with a hip-hop themed vibe that will emulate scenes from 80s and 90s urban classic films. Expect horror meets retro film entertainment.

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Apocalypse Zombie Kill Experience – This attraction is an interactive zombie killing experience. Becoming increasingly popular across the nation, in this type of experience, you will be given a gun (in this case, an M4 rifle with 150 rounds), and will be tasked with eliminating the zombies populating a deserted wasteland. Think you, inside The Walking Dead with elements of first-person shooter video games.

The Sacrifice (Waiver required) – Unlike other haunted houses, this house requires signature of a waiver to accentuate the level of terror 13 Stories promises to bring. Creatures and denizens of the undead world will scare you, touch you and torment you from start to finish. Certain sections of the house must be completed alone. Strobe lights, smoke, loud noises and alarms, electric shock, water and animals are all potential methods of freaking you out. Gory scenes and lifelike violence may be portrayed. (Adults and children have been known to not make it through the entirety of the event!)

Price: Tickets range from $15 to $51, depending on how many houses you want to go in | $77 for VIP Access Fast Pass.

Hours of Operation: Weekdays 7:00 pm – 11:00 p.m. | Weekends 7:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.

Dates: Sept. 21st through Nov. 11th

Other Georgia Haunted Houses that are a small drive outside of metro area:
Folklore Atlanta in Acworth, Escape Woods in Powder Springs, Buford Corn Maze in Buford, and Camp Blood in Carrollton.
Are you brave enough to make it through one of Atlanta’s haunted houses this year, Atlanta?

The Need to Know for Taste of Atlanta 2018

Celebrating greater Atlanta’s culinary cuisine and southern flair, Taste of Atlanta 2018 is a can’t miss event this October. Over 40k attendees throughout the weekend will be tasting their way at the 17th annual event at Historic Fourth Ward Park on October 19th-21st. Patrons will be able to enjoy 90 plus restaurants, chef exhibitions, and cooking classes! Getting there, what to look for, and picking your tasting spoon strategy can be overwhelming, even for you vets. We here at ATLByDAY want to give you some tips and a little strategy in our Need to Know for Taste of Atlanta 2018.

Getting There / Parking

Public transportation and rideshare we feel is the best option. For rideshare, choose LYFT. During the event they are running a promotional discount code: TASTEATL for existing Lyft users and TASTEATLNEW for new users. For public transit use the Civic center station, as they will have a free complimentary shuttle outside on W. Peachtree Street. If you must bring your gas guzzler don’t expect to find much parking near the venue There is PCM, but parking there will be limited and pricey. The official spot for Taste of Atlanta is the Atlanta Medical Center parking deck B. Expect about a mile walk from the parking deck.

How Ticketing works

Setting itself apart from other festivals we have been to in the A, Taste of Atlanta fully integrates technology and convenience. You don’t have to fret about keeping up with multiple tickets or a punch card; you can conveniently scan your wristband at the event. General admission wrist bands hold  10 points while VIP carries 20. Restaurants charge 1-3 taste points, however if you are running low or need a second helping you can put more points on your wristband at the event. Additionally, with your wristband you can send recipes of some of those delicious dishes to yourself by scanning them at the Chef’s Table demonstrations!

Taste of ATL Hacks

Most people target going Saturday and Sunday which is fine, but our take is Friday is the best day to go. Unlike Saturday and Sunday, on Friday the tastes and drinks are unlimited! Not only will you be able to get your fill, but the kickoff party is loads of fun. Also bring your dancing shoes as there will be two live acts on stage. Bumpin’ the Mango and The Cordon Blues bands will kick off the weekend festivities. Taste of Atlanta is a great way to try out new restaurants before they open or get a taste of Atlanta’s culinary staples. These restaurants want to turn tasters into diners and some will be offering coupons to come have a full meal at their restaurant.

We can’t wait to see the winners for best taste, best selling taste, best presentation and most unique! In closing we look forward to seeing you all there. Taste of Atlanta also supports the non-profits of Open Hand, Second Helping Atlanta, and the Giving kitchen.

For Tickets click here

Location: Historic Fourth Ward Park | 680 Dallas Street (Corner of North Ave & Dallas St.) Atlanta, GA 30308

Dates and Times

Friday Oct. 9th Kick-Off Party: 6:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday Oct. 10th: 12pm – 6:00pm
Sunday October 11th: 12pm – 6:00pm
VIP, Saturday and Sunday: 12:30pm – 5:00pm

For more and current info visit Taste of Atlanta

 

ATL by Night Highlights October 12 – 14

My goodness, another exciting weekend in Atlanta! The fall cotillions aside, the city is a vibrant hub of events every day. In this article, I’m shining my light on events that are happening the weekend of Friday, October 12th to Sunday, October 14th. If you’re looking for events this weekend, check out my article I put out last week.

First off is Atlanta Pride Weekend! A celebration of Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ community begins with Femme, a celebration of women in music and art. Guests will be entertained with music, visual and performance artists by the likes of Amber Monson, Melissa Coffey, Bella Dorado, JayBella Banks, and XT Venus Valentine. That is going on at The Deep End on Friday, October 12th starting at 8pm.

You can also party down at the Georgia Aquarium at the with the official Kickoff Party. DJ Kevin Durard and VJ Mark Gordon will be your entertainment, along with aquatic residents. Someone please pet a turtle or stingray for me!

Drag yourself back to The Deep End Saturday morning for 2nd Annual BOTTOMS UP Drag Brunch + Social, featuring Brigitte Bidet, Taejah Thomas, and Molly Rimswell. Other fabulous things about Drag Brunch besides the performances: brunch buffet, bottomless Bloody Mary’s courtesy of Tito’s Vodka, the Lewks Photobooth, there will be gift bag giveaways and boys, boys, BOYS!

After you’ve recovered at brunch, get ready for the Peep Show starring Alaska Thunderfuck, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars Season 2. This a “titillating cabaret” of performers trained in the art of seduction –featuring acts from Alaska Thunderfuck, Brigitte Bidet, LaLa Ri, John James, Molly Rimswell, Melissa Coffey,  Michael Robinson, Diego Serna, and PhaeMonae. Doors open at 9pm.

Don’t forget the parades happening in conjunction with Pride Weekend: the Trans March is Saturday at 1:45pm, the Dyke March is Saturday at 6pm, and the Pride Parade is Sunday at 12pm sharp.

Atlanta Pride is putting on a free concert at Piedmont Park, too! Headliners are Bebe Rexha, Mike Posner, CeCe Peniston, Michele Malone, and Starlight Cabaret. That’s Saturday and Sunday, start times vary.

Paul Oakenfold is headlining Believe Music Hall on Friday, October 12th. The 2004 Grammy nominated DJ and world renowned entertainer is making a stop in Atlanta that night to promote his latest album “Pop Killer.” In addition, Ryan Michael, Founder of Unity Events, is doing support for Oakenfold on the main stage.

Don’t want to hang out in town for Pride Weekend but still looking for something unique? Think about heading up to Alpharetta for the Inner Quest Fest! The Inner Quest Church in Roswell/Alpharetta is holding a one-day festival that offers activities and gifts for the body and soul. Schedule of activities include: Reiki, reflexology, chair massage, color therapy and Sedona Release Method. Readings and healing are $15 each, or you can get a reading and a healing for $25. It’s been real crazy in the world, so you may catch me up there get some bad energy cut out of my auric fields.

Chalktoberfest is happening all weekend in Marietta. You can catch an array of talented artists creating chalk masterpieces on the streets of Marietta Square. It is an award-winning festival sponsored by the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art.

Keep celebrating, Atlanta!

 

 

 

 

ATL by Night Highlights for Oct 5th – 7th

I feel like you should start thinking ahead to October, because the spring and the fall is when this city goes INSANE with things to do at all times of the day and night.

The weekend of October 5th-7th kicks off a wonderful, event-filled month in Atlanta. First off is the A3C Festival, a hip hop music and culture event that is both a conference and a music festival. Most of the conference panels, meet and greets, and networking activities are scheduled October 3-5, leaving Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th dedicated to musical acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Lil Wayne, Talib Kweli and Young M.A.

Also happening but a separate event: the 8th annual Atlanta Hip Hop Day. This free, two-day music festival will be happening downtown at Woodruff Park. It will feature artists such as Skooly, Kwony Cash, and Lil Zane. Hosted by DJ Scream of 96.7 The Beat, this Saturday-Sunday outdoor get together will definitely make heads bounce, if not break some backs with sick beats.

Steve Aoki is playing at Ravine on Saturday, October 6th. Aoki hasn’t played in Atlanta for two years, and it feels like FOREVER since Midtown got that lit on a Saturday. This time, Aoki will be taking the EDM fire inside Ravine–no outside block party! It is going to be air conditioned for your sexy good times. Will there be cake thrown? Will this party be as crazy as I think it will be? I hope the answer to both questions is “YES!”  UPDATE: Beware Presents says there will definitely be cake thrown!

529 in EAV is throwing a great hip hop concert on Friday, October 5th titled We Are The Gard featuring Bumpy Knuckles, Breakbeat Lou and Opio. This is an official A3C Festival showcase, so you are guaranteed to hear something exquisite from the lineup. Free admission with A3C festival 5-day pass or tickets at the door

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The Sweet Auburn Music Fest is happening over Irwin Street this weekend as well. The two-day, FREE and family friendly music, food and arts gathering has a lot to offer: “From upcoming hip hop acts, to timeless R&B & Gospel stars, to Rap veterans, to Alternative Greats, the Sweet Auburn Music Fest has it all.”

What about the games and watch parties?? Sidebar is hosting UFC viewing party on Saturday afternoon and a Falcons-Steelers watch party on Sunday.

Looks like the start of a jam-packed October in the A–keep having fun, Atlanta!

 

 

 

 

Life Pro Hacks and Tips for the 2018 Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade

Started in 2010 the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade is a glowing celebration of the art along the Eastside Trail. This year they expect more than 70,000 patrons to partake in the illuminating event! Getting there can be tricky; and knowing where to post up, or just what to expect can be a hassle. We here at ATLByDay want to pass along some tips that could be useful for first timers or vets. So here are our life pro hacks and tips for the 2018 Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade.

You can Participate

Unlike most parades where you need to register, this parade requires no registration or fee to be in the event. You do need some sort of glow to be in the event. Whether its leftover light up bracelets from the Moon Ride or your own lantern, find something that makes you fit in with the parade goers. If you don’t bring your own lantern, you will likely be able to purchase one at the start of the event. Kroger has sold lanterns in past years, as well as Richard’s Variety Store.

When you Participate

The parade starts at the beginning of the Eastside Trail in Inman Park, at the intersection of Krog St. and Irwin St, and is usually very crowded and congested. At times you’ll feel like a salmon trying to swim upstream. You don’t have to be at the start of the parade to be in the parade.  I see many people bail out halfway through the parade. One way to avoid the congestion at the start is to join halfway through the parade at the Ralph McGill bridge close to the location of New Realm and Two Urban licks. Also to have even more fun, target getting behind one of the many bands who participate in the parade. We’ve had a blast getting behind the Seed and Feed band, dancing our way through the parade.

What to Bring

You are absolutely going to need to bring a small soft cooler that you can carry with refreshments, and a towel to sit on is a nice bonus. You won’t have easy access to beverages; and if the weather this week is any indication, the beginning of the parade will be very hot. Be sure to bring some water! Bring good walking shoes, especially if you plan to be in the parade. Without a doubt you will be walking a bit, whether you are in the parade or not. Do not bring your bike. It is impossible to navigate the Beltline in the hours leading up to the parade. You will be walking that thing with tens’ of thousands of people expecting to be at the parade.

Where to Post

There are all kinds of bars now on the Beltline to enjoy the parade. Ladybird is a great spot, and so is New Realm; but as you would expect those places will be jam packed. If you don’t get there early you might not get a great spot. When we have watched the parade our favorite spot is under the Freedom Park bridge. Under the bridge offers sloped seating that allows an elevated view and you don’t have to worry about being in the front. Additionally under the bridge offers great acoustics for the bands. You’ll notice under the bridge, the bands sound a lot louder than when in the open on the Beltine.

Parking / Getting there

The best solution is always taking a taxi. There will likely be surge pricing around the event; but if you are splitting the fare with your friends, trust us, it is worth it. After the event, there is plenty of nightlife entertainment; so if you want to avoid the surge, wait it out. If you are just viewing the event, the major pay parking spots are going to be Ponce City Market or Inman Quarter. Don’t count on it though, as I can easily foresee those decks filling up fast. At the start of the parade, near Krog Street Market, is going to be real tough to find parking. Again, if you don’t want to find yourself up-creek without a paddle, take a taxi.

The Art

Each lantern parade brings new art installations along this glorified sidewalk. Some of the art is more permanent, while some is removed very shortly. You can go the day after to enjoy some of the temporary installations, or go well before the parade starts the day of. We were walking the trail today and saw many artists putting finishing touches on their work. There is sure to be some some impressive artwork, so keep your eyes peeled for them along the path.

We hope to see your glow at the parade. If we missed something or you have a tip yourself please share!

2018 Lantern Parade Details:

Saturday, September 22, 2018:
7:00 p.m. line-up
8:00 p.m. parade steps off

ICON A Celebration of Rihanna + Sia

Brigitte Bidet

This Saturday evening at The Deep End, ICON a Celebration of Rihanna + Sia will put on one of the best recurring entertainment shows in all of Atlanta. If you haven’t heard, this is a dance party and features performances to celebrity and music inspirations such as Lady Gaga, Janet + Michael Jackson, Madonna, Beyonce, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, to name a few.

Brandon Brandon, host of ICON a Celebration of, greeting the crowd at a past performance

Each month, The Deep End hosts the show and a rotating cast of performers put on a dazzling display of lip-syncing, dancing, aerial arts, burlesque, and sickening fashion to capture the essence of their inspirations as the music plays.  This September, the show is paying homage to Rihanna and Sia–two of the fiercest ladies in the music scene today! Last month was a celebration of Disco and it was AMAZING!

Diego Serna

If that’s not reason enough to come to The Deep End and see ICON then let me tell you the other reason to pull the drapes off the windows and sew yourself a cocktail dress: Shea Coulee of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10! That’s right, Shea Couleé will be a featured performer in Saturday night’s event. If you haven’t been keeping tabs on Shea, she has skyrocketed on both social media and live performances  worldwide since her appearance on RPDR. Shea is one of a few RDPD former contestants that have and will be appearing in WUSSY Magazine events around town.

Michael Robinson

Amongst the talented cast of local performers featured this month are Michael Robinson, Brigitte Bidet, Diego Serna, Dotte Com, T-Rex, Bella Dorado, PhaeMonae, and Porter Grubbs.  But wait there’s more! DJ La Superior of La Choloteca will be spinning uplifting tunes for the crowd and there’s even a photo booth by Savana Ogburn. Every ICON performance is an amazing journey in expression and creativity that captures the BEST of Atlanta and the wonderful LGBTQIA community it possesses.To say “it gave/gives me life” would be understatement–I hope you can make it out Saturday night to celebrate the city and its people that inspire us to come together. Incredibly straight people-friendly and diversity is highly encouraged at ICON.

Melissa Coffey

Tickets are still on sale for only $10 for general admission and $20 for the Meet & Greet with Shea Couleé.

Top Things To Do in Atlanta

Labor Day is a celebration of the American workforce and what better way to celebrate all of your hard work than to have one last hurrah for summer complete with good food, drink, and maybe even some music? Lucky for you, Atlanta has a lot of great options for you to enjoy your extended weekend. College football kicks off, Dragon Con is in town, and lots lots more. Read below for our top picks broken down by activity type:

Sports:

  • Chick-fil-a Kickoff game: Washington vs. Auburn- Saturday, Sept. 1st at 3:30pm at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • College Colors Kickoff Block Party: Celebrate the start to college football with the college colors bar crawl this Friday, August 31st. To find out more about tickets and participating bars and restaurants read our post.
  • Georgia Tech vs. Alcorn State: Georgia Tech football kicks off its 2018 season at Bobby Dodd Stadium this Saturday, September 1st at 12:30pm.
  • Atlanta Braves Games: The Braves will be hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates all weekend long at SunTrust Park. There will even be a Zedd concert after the game Friday night!
  • Soul Rise Classic 5K: Will take place Saturday, September 1st beginning across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Registration is $30 and proceeds will benefit early childhood development at the YMCA and other local community non-profits.
  • Big Peach Sizzler 10K/5K: Will take place Monday September 3rd with the 10K starting at the Chamblee MARTA Station and the 5K beginning at the Brookhaven MARTA Station. Registration is $45 for the 5K and $55 for the 10K. All proceeds will support Miles for Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Hike and Hops at Stone Mountain: Explore Stone Mountain on a 5-6 mile hike ending with a German beer tasting at the Village Corner German Restaurant. Tickets include one beer and a giant pretzel. Hike takes place Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 10:45am. Click here for more info. P.S- Stone Mountain will be hosting extended light shows all Labor Day Weekend. Find out more here.

Music:

  • Zedd concert: At SunTrust Park after the Braves vs. Pirates game Friday, August 31st. Find tickets here.
  • Taste of Soul Atlanta- Food & Music Festival: A free festival taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To find out more about the music, food, and activities check out their site.
  • Lynard Skynard- Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour: Saturday, September 1st at the Lakewood Amphitheatre.
  • Michael Jackson vs. Prince Silent Disco: Saturday, September 1st at 830pm at the Buckhead Theatre. Tickets start at $13.
  • House in the Park at Grant Park: Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 12pm. Tickets are $10.
  • Local Brews Local Grooves at the Tabernacle: Come to the Tabernacle Sunday, September 4th beginning at 4pm for a craft beer and music festival. Free pizza from Outsiders pizza will be provided as well as a selection of local craft breweries and live music. To find out more info such as a list of breweries, bands, and ticket prices click here.

Food:

  • Taste of Soul Atlanta- Food & Music Festival: A free festival taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd across from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To find out more about the music, food, and activities check out their site.
  • Luau at Victory Sandwich Bar: Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 2pm Victory Sandwich Bar in Decatur will be hosting a luau complete with live music, a tiki bar, and an all you can eat buffet. And tickets are only $15!
  • 4th Annual Labor Day Pig Out at Avalon’s Oak Steakhouse: Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for kids. Tickets include delicious food, and activities such as face painting, a photo booth, and lawn games. Beer, wine, and batch cocktails will also be available for purchase.
  • 33rd Annual Labor Day Blues & BBQ: Park Tavern will be hosting WRFG 89.3 FM’s annual BBQ Monday, September 3rd beginning at 1pm. Tickets are $15, for more info click here.
  • Local Brews Local Grooves at the Tabernacle: Come to the Tabernacle Sunday, September 4th beginning at 4pm for a craft beer and music festival. Free pizza from Outsiders pizza will be provided as well as a selection of local craft breweries and live music. To find out more info such as a list of breweries, bands, and ticket prices click here.

Social:

  • Dragon Con: Takes place August 30-September 3rd. Check out our guides to Dragon Con 2018.
  • Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival: Head to Callaway gardens from August 31st-September 2nd to witness the beautiful hot air balloons illuminate the night! The weekend event will include tethered balloon rides, live music, food and drink specials, a kids zone, beach activities, a classic car show, disc dog demonstrations, and a photography class. To see the schedule of events click here. Adult ticket prices start at $24.95 and children’s prices begin at $14.95.
  • Pure Heat Community Festival: Celebrate Atlanta’s Black Pride this Sunday, September 2nd beginning at 12pm in Piedmont Park! The celebration will include market and food vendors, live music, and educational forums. The festival strives to bring awareness to the issues currently facing the LGBTQ community.

The Arts:

  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Is offering a Labor Day special of 15% off memberships! Use the code “LABOR 2018” at the checkout here.
  • Cirque du Soleil Corteo: Will be performing multiple shows over Labor Day weekend at the Infinite Energy Center. To find showtimes and tickets follow this link.
  • AJC Decatur Book Festival: Will take place August 31st-September 2nd in downtown Decatur. For more information and a schedule follow the link here.

Ravine Is The Newest Venue On The Midtown Scene

Friday, 17 August, marked the grand opening of Ravine, an entertainment venue that occupies the space of what used to be called Reign. I am not allowed to call Ravine a “club” because, to be fair, it is not. When I write my neighborhood nightlife scene guide, I will have to categorize places into venues, clubs, bar & food with live music, and pop ups

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Before I go into the music headliner of the inaugural evening, I need to talk about the venue. First off, parking is $20–that is decided by the parking company who watches over the lot, just fyi. VIP parking is available, too. The staff are all very nice and congenial–even the huge, imposing dudes hired for security and VIP area management. Bathrooms were spacious and had friendly attendants. Ravine is not just about music and DJs, but more about hosting private and sponsored events. Want to host DJ Snake here? Awesome. Want to have a bar mitzvah in a sick venue? Affirmative. Does your company want to have a lit end of year party/meeting with a live band? You’re covered.

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Ravine has two levels. The right side of the main floor is dedicated VIP seating areas, with a bar in the back right. The left side is a long, well-staffed bar that didn’t bleed too bad into the main floor. Upstairs is the main VIP seating area that houses up to five parties (it started getting difficult to do math with the strong drinks being poured, so pardon me if I get that wrong). Shout-out to Ed, who was doing a fantastic job of overseeing the entry area of the lower left VIP stairs next to the stage.

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Beware Presents brought us two acts that evening: SixSixMusic as the opener and Loud Luxury as the headliner. Loud Luxury is a Canadian production and DJ duo Andrew Fedyk and Joe Depace, based in Los Angeles. The two met while going to school, and collaborated on songs together. After seeing a Porter Robinson show in 2016, they were inspired to create the song “See It Again.” In 2017, they remixed Martin Garrix‘s song “Scared to Be Lonely”–which brought them to the spotlight and enabled them to do further remixes that propelled them to touring and playing festivals.

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The floor finally got packed around 1 a.m., and I found that I still had a little more personal space than usual–so that was good. I have read Reddit and Facebook Atlanta EDM-based group posts debating the dress code at Ravine: I would say I saw patrons dressing slightly nicer than Opera and IRIS, but not all dripping bling and stiletto heels. Also, and this is important to me, it wasn’t hot inside the venue. If anything, I was cold–which is oh so important when dancing for your life and keeping your makeup looking sickening.

Friday evening was magical, indeed. Not only did I get free Krispy Kreme donuts on the way home, some guy in upstairs VIP started throwing money down on the dance floor making it rain a shower of one dollar bills! Shout-outs to Rachel behind the bar and Stephanie in the women’s bathroom: it was my pleasure shoving some people out of the way in order to collect some free money and tip y’all in cash.

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Okay, so here it is: Did I enjoy my time there? Yes. Was the sound great? Yes. Ravine has invested in a British-designed Funktion-One sound system and the depth was just right for the size of the venue. Lights and lasers? Yes, Ravine uses ROBE lighting systems. It’s not a huge setup, but it enhances the DJ(s) just fine. The large LED screen in the back is really the main draw for your eyes.

I would definitely go back for a music artist I really like. Ravine says it will soon announce other non-music acts and events, so stay tuned! I’m excited to see who else Beware Presents will book, as well. I’m going to recommend Steve Aoki for those of you who are looking for a WILD party; he’ll be there on Saturday, 6 October. You may even get famously caked!

Keep dancing, Atlanta!