By now, most dance enthusiasts are aware that Labor Day in Atlanta means it’s time for another installment of House in the Park. This annual outdoor celebration of music and fellowship (which we'll be bringing you more of later this week) — featuring the turntable powers of Ramon Rawsoul, DJ Kemit, Kai Alce and Salah Ananse — has become a destination for house heads from all over the world for almost a decade.
But for one HITP DJ — Ananse — one day of partying just wasn’t enough. So he decided to create the Atlanta Weekender.
What is the Atlanta Weekender, you might be asking? Well, to get all the details about this new endeavor, we recently chatted with Ananse — and here’s what he had to say:
First off, explain the concept of the Atlanta Weekender.
Salah Ananse: The Atlanta Weekender is a four-day festival dedicated to soul dance, house, Afrobeat, Latin and more. These genres have recently fallen under the moniker “global soul.” But they are truly the extension of the house and disco movements of Chicago, Detroit & NYC. Each of the House In The Park DJs created special editions of their own events for this special event. So, the Atlanta Weekender not only brings national names to town, it celebrates Atlanta's house/soul dance tradition and highlights the talent living here. This is our festival!
So, what was the catalyst for launching the event?
This will be my eighth year as one of the resident DJs at House in the Park. Each year there have been more and more people from out of town crashing at my house. I realized that we had made Atlanta a destination for soul dance lovers across the country every Labor Day Sunday. Why not make a whole weekend out of it? I patterned the weekend after the Southport Weekender in England that deals with the same genres and has been going for over 20 years. A whole weekend dedicated to soul music! The hardest part has been getting people to understand that this is a four-day party and not a bunch of DJs on one night.
What events fall under the umbrella of the Atlanta Weekender?
My yearly LoveSexy Prince Tribute Party will kick it off this year on Thursday, August 30.
On Friday, August 31, we’ll bring you Afrique Electrique with guests Ian Friday, Roland Clark, Stephanie Cooke, Miranda Nicole and yours truly Salah Ananse. We’ll also have Distinctive with Karizma Kaytronik (first time in Atlanta) and Kai Alce. [All three events are at the Sound Table, 483 Edgewood Ave.]
On Saturday, September 1, we’ve partnered with Jay Carter to offer access to ONE MusicFest for Atlanta Weekender Full Pass holders. [ONE Musicfest is taking place Masquerade Music Park, 695 North Ave, NE.]
Saturday night, we have a special edition of Spread Love, celebrating the release of DJ Kemit’s album Everlasting ... featuring Chicago favorite Sadar Bahar. [Spread Love is at the Sound Table, Space 2.]
On Sunday, September 2, we’ll kick it off with the 8th Annual House In The Park with Ramon Rawsoul, Kai Alce, DJ Kemit and Salah Ananse [at Grant Park]. That night we’ll have the House In The Park Afterparty with Chicago DJ Jamie 3:26 [at the Sound Table].
What is the pricing structure like for The Atlanta Weekender? What do folks get for their money?
The basic Night Life Pass is $35. That will get you into all the evening events for four nights (excludes One Music Fest). The Night Life Premium Pass is $50 — that will get you into all the evening events for four nights, Weekender T-Shirt and drink tickets for Weekender concessions at House In The Park.
Are you hoping this will become an annual happening?
We are definitely planning to do this annually. We want Atlanta to be the nation’s premier Labor Day destination.
For more information about the Atlanta Weekender, visit www.atlantaweekender.com.
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