CLARKSTON, Ga. – Sept. 20, 2011 – It may not feel like beach weather, but don’t tell your ears that, because surf rock is coming back to Clarkston.
Surf Fest – an annual outdoor concert serving up food, beer and a whole slate of surf bands from across the Southeast – begins at noon on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Clarkston Community Center Field, 307 College Ave., Clarkston, Ga.
Back after a year-long hiatus for what will be its fifth outing, Surf Fest was both founded and revived by Wayne Foster of Foster Sound – a company that specializes in live concert audio for small to medium venues. Foster got the idea for the event about seven years ago after his friend, Randy Duke, introduced him to surf rock.
“We went to see an Atlanta-based group called The Penetrators, and after that my friends and I started talking about how cool it would be to get a bunch of surf bands together and put on a show,” Foster said, “so that’s exactly what we did.”
Billy Mitchell, president and creative director of MLT Creative – one of the event’s sponsors – is excited to see the event’s return. “We definitely felt Surf Fest’s absence last year,” he said. “It’s an event we’ve always attended and really looked forward to, so we’re thrilled to see it come back to Clarkston.”
In addition to MLT Creative – which also designed all the promotional materials for Surf Fest, including its website – other sponsors include Tamale Queen, Kona Brewing Company, WREK 91.1 FM and, of course, Foster Sound.
Popularized in the ‘60s by legendary artists like Dick Dale, surf music combines traditional rock, rockabilly, country and blues, along with influences from Mexico and the Middle East. The mellow, often purely instrumental sound is commonly characterized by double-picked, staccato guitar notes distorted by the distinctive crunch of heavy reverb.
But Foster sums the genre up much more simply.
"It's just happy music," he said.
Surf Fest's line-up this year includes Daikaiju, Stratogeezer, Aqualads, El Fossil, The Necronomikids, The Monterreys, The Mystery Men?, The Surge! and more.
All proceeds from beverage sales at Surf Fest go to benefit the Clarkston Community Center. Gates open Saturday at 11 a.m., and the show begins at noon. For more about Clarkston Surf Fest, visit www.clarkstonsurffest.com.