A decade ago, 99X and Star 94 went mano a mano with free concerts in downtown Atlanta right next door to each other.
This Saturday, we'll have a throwback in one sense with a free concert featuring Sheryl Crow and Uncle Kracker at Centennial Olympic Park for the Chick Fil A kickoff college football game party sponsored by 680/The Fan. Concert will run from 2:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The game itself - Alabama vs. Virginia Tech - starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. (Details here.)
But there's an even bigger concert that day in Marietta: Celebrate Freedom, with a line up of Christian acts that concludes with the one-two punch of rock band Switchfoot and Atlanta's own Emmy-winning group Third Day, courtesy of Fish 104.7. It's held all day at the Jim R. Miller Park. Attendance is expected to pass 50,000. Last year was closer to 60,000.
This is the sixth Celebrate Freedom, the fourth at Jim R. Miller. Switchfoot, who have fan bases in alternative rock and Christian circles, has headlined before. Third Day, a steady hitmaker in the Christian pop world for 17 years, has done an acoustic set before at Celebrate Freedom but will do a full-on set this time around. Each act will get an hour in the evening.
Promotions director Chad Davis considers them co-headliners.
Fish staff throughout the year works on this event with sister station in Dallas KLTY, which holds a similar concert. It is not a money maker ttough they try to break even via sponsorships. "It's basically our way of saying thank you to the listeners who have been there for the year," Davis said. "That's why we put it on."
If Switchfoot and Third Day were holding a concert at the Fox Theatre, they could easily charge $35 to $50. A big family wouldn't necessarily be able to afford that. "This gives them an opportunity to see 14 artists, many which they've heard on the Fish or other areas," he said.
Davis enoted that five or six of them are local, including Laura Story and Montell Jordan.
Sponsors - including Serv International and Family Christian - help defray the costs.
8 a.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 31. Free, but tickets are required and can be picked up at Goodwill of North Georgia and Family Christian stores. Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road S.W., Marietta. 770-528-8875.