I was reminded of another 90’s oddity this week. The 90’s was a strange social experiment, exemplified in Atlanta by an annual event called Freaknik. Atlanta was held hostage each spring break during the 90’s by a giant street party. The streets were clogged with cars but ran with naked or near naked people dancing on, in and around their cars where-ever they felt like. In the interest of Santino’s company web blocker I opted not to use naked pics. This was not an organized event, people just showed up and the city cleaned up afterwards. Until they shut it down. At one point 200,000+ people from all over the country ran Atlanta’s streets. If you forgot and went downtown, it might be hours before anyone heard from you again given that car phones were a luxury back then.
Why think about Freaknik? Well, I have to do a paper on special event security and I dedicated a small piece to this amazing, spectacular annual security fail. No one was in charge of anything and it went on for years. It was a joke for a while and people just avoided downtown during spring break but eventually businesses trying to operate tried to sue the city. The city also didn’t want to foot the million-dollar after party cleanup once the crowds swelled to 200,000. When the cops started “crowd control” it became lame and people quit coming. People try to resurrect it but can’t get permits. Honestly, they should let it die. It will never be what it was because no one will let folks run around like that with no one in charge and no one will pick up the trash when the party animals feel like going home. Permits! It sounds stupid just typing it.
Atlantans and former Atlantans please share your Freaknik experiences! I personally never participated so I have no real stories. I generally had no problem with partying but I was not fond of 1) traffic jams and 2) rap music 3) college kids. I was in my 30’s by then and I preferred outdoor festivals with a set list of rock bands where I could walk around shit-faced without risking arrest. I moved downtown in 1999 after Freaknik became a joke so I didn’t even get to experience it from the safety of my rat-infested tenement. Some beer was stolen from my car that week, that’s it.
- Atlanta Used to be Cool – Well some people thought so and some people didn’t. Play songs by Atlanta musicians or about Atlanta.
- Cops Ruin Everything – No offense to Rich Taylor 🙂 . Cops are party poopers, especially when they literally have to clean up your shit and gaze upon your erection. Play songs about cops and other party poopers.
- Your Daddy’s Rap – The Gansta shit. Freaknik was black college spring break and they partied to rap music. Judge Dredd, it is time for you to shine here!
Brawling Bonus – Yea, of course there were fights. This was a giant unorganized party with all the substance abuse and short tempers that went with it. Play songs about fighting and brawling.
Here is your playlist:
The intro video is pretty long but it does a good job of documenting it. Everyone didn’t have a camera all the time so there aren’t as many videos as I had hoped.
Here are this week’s dedications.
Santino – Oh, Atlanta
Lurking – Good Cop Bad Cop
Zurvan – Street Fighting Man
WVR – Fuck the Police
Grendel – Just Dropped In
Spootyjim – Bombs Over Baghdad
Ilovecress – Cop Killer