One Music Fest is Black Excellence

As a long time festival goer that took a hiatus from the outdoor music spectacle scene, One Music Fest was my first time back at the rodeo, so to speak. One Music Fest reminded me of the reasons why I fell in love with music festivals so many years ago, and even gave me a greater appreciation for the level of coordination that goes into creating upper echelon experiences. From the diversity in the crowd, to the excellence on stage and assortment of food trucks and vendors, festival grounds are a place unlike any other! Once you walk through the admission gates you enter a world where the music reigns supreme and good vibes trump all.

The energy inside any music festivals is electric and palpable, but One Music Fest truly brought that feeling to life. Perhaps it was the thousands of black people out in love, enjoying each other as well as the music, games and activities on at the park. The rainbow spectrum of black that was represented at OMF was beautiful and breathtaking. From the old school aunts and uncles out with their Greek paraphernalia clamoring for the Parliament Funk, to millennials dashing from stage to stage to catch their favorite MC or DJ, there was never a moment like the one before. Anyone walking through OMF was instantly reminded that “being black is not a monolith”.

No friends? No problem! One thing you can always count on at large festivals like OMF is running into someone you know, for better or worse. And if reconnecting with old associates isn’t your jam, OMF reminded me that festivals are one of the few crowded places you can go to alone and leave with new lifelong friends. There is something about sweating under a hundred plus degree sun and dancing to the point of exhaustion that helps you make those deep bonds with people.

One Music Fest is the premier urban progressive music festival in the Southeast and features artists primarily from the hip hop and r&b culture. This year the theme was “Greater Than One” an ode to the many individuals who have played an integral part in the advancement of not only the city of Atlanta and the south, but black hip hop culture as a whole. From legendary artists that laid the foundation for hip hop culture, to sultry singers and international megastars, the eclectic roster of artists represented at OMF shows that the collective influence of black culture across the globe truly is “greater than one”

One Music Fest truly is an experience in black excellence for us by us. OMF founder Jason Carter told me that he wished to represent another side of the city of Atlanta not commonly seen on reality TV and in the news. The side that represents the creativity, soul and authenticity of the city. I am certain that everyone who attended OMF 2018 left with more than their share of the southern hospitality and culture that Atlanta has to offer.

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Dr. Kevin Kinney