Community | Spotlight September 2023

The Sweet Auburn Music Festival

The 2023 Sweet Auburn Music Festival (SAMF) takes place September 30th-October 1 this year.  This downtown Atlanta happening is one of the Southeast’s oldest, most beloved, and historic events. And Bounce is inviting you to join us. From upcoming acts to timeless R&B and gospel stars, the Sweet Auburn Music Festival is two days of free, non-stop entertainment on the streets of Atlanta’s historic Sweet Auburn Historic District.

The rise of Auburn Avenue as the primary black business district in Atlanta was, to a great extent, an outcome of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riots. After the riots, black businesses moved away from mixed communities into black enclaves such as Auburn Avenue. Banks and insurance firms sprung up along the street. Churches like Ebenezer and Big Bethel were beacons. Black newspapers settled there, as did a Black YMCA. Night clubs in the district provided platforms for newcomers like James Brown and Gladys Knight to become legends.

But the most famous person from Auburn Avenue was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was born there in 1929 and lived on the avenue through his days as a student at Morehouse College. When Dr. King returned to Atlanta as an adult, he didn’t move back to Auburn Avenue to live, but understanding the importance of the area, opened the national office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference there.

The area is so connected to the civil rights movement and Black history, that in 1976 it was named a National Historic Landmark District. Adjacent to that, is the King National Historic Park – which includes Dr. King’s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, the King Center, and a national park.

The Sweet Auburn Music Festival grew from this culturally rich environment and hosts a diverse crowd throughout the weekend featuring Live Music, Great Food, and chances to mix and mingle with Local and National Celebrities – ALL FOR FREE.

Bounce is proud to support this important community event and invites like-minded business and organizations to get involved as well!

Sources/Image Credit:

Sweet Auburn Music Festival, Atlanta Daily World, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, New Georgia Encyclopedia, Bounce TV