3-day FreakNik festival gets a new home but it’s not the same…

FreakNik has a new home for its upcoming three-day music festival.

What organizers are hailing as a music and culture event, dubbed “Freak World,” will now be held at Morris Brown College, according to the event’s website.

The festival is scheduled to run June 19-21.

FreakNik is Atlanta’s Black History & we’re Bringing it back to the AUC at Morris Brown College as we both Unite in our Restoration Efforts!” it says on the main page of the website.

Just last week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the music festival was looking for a new venue after plans for the original location of the Cascade Driving Range fell through because of an invalid contract.

Last summer, Carlos Neal of Atlanta-based promotion company After 9 resurrected the infamous Atlanta event with a daylong concert at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood. A lineup featuring Project Pat, Uncle Luke, Da Brat, Foxy Brown and many more nearly sold out the venue. It attracted an adult audience old enough to remember the rambunctious Freakniks of the past, but young enough to still party responsibly.

This year’s festival has been expanded to three days. Neal, who is also working with Atlanta festival promoter Eric Barnes, plans to enlist more than 100 vendors and schedule about 40-50 acts during the three-day event, which he will cap at about 10,000 fans per day (the event is 18 and older).

“I wanted to do it in a community where people embraced this event. I chose the community where I grew up because I wanted the dollars to impact that community,” he said, adding that last year’s crowd was about 94% African American. “So I wanted to do it in a predominantly African American neighborhood.”

Neal said the roads around the college will be closed to traffic as the acts perform in the Greek Plaza, which holds about 15,000 people – and the renovated gym across the street from the plaza.

Freaknik started back in 1983. It was a small gathering then, but over the years and into the ’90s, hundreds of thousands of people came from all over the country to the big event.

The community became outraged over huge parties, chaos in the streets and crime.

In the ’90s, then-Mayor Bill Campbell’s staff made a big decision to stop Freaknik.

By 2010, then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed banned any Freaknik-related activities from being staged within the city, and a hallmark of Atlanta revelry disappeared.

The festival returned last year in a more family-friendly form, endorsing inclusiveness and a safe environment.

Neal is pleased that Freaknik will benefit Morris Brown College and has classified the collaboration as a restoration effort for both entities – “Freaknik to a better reputation and Morris Brown to getting their accreditation back,” Neal said.

Neal said the only minor changes that will accompany the new location are a slight increase in parking fees and ticket prices (tickets are currently on sale for $49.99 for a three-day general admission pass and $164.99 for three-day VIP via www.freaknikfest.com).

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