by Patch Staff
CANDLER PARK — The SweetWater 420 Festival, one of Atlanta’s most eclectic events, returns to the neighborhood's namesake park from April 19th through 21st and will roll out with a fresh lineup of new offerings for 2013 in addition to its fan favorites.
Here's the rundown on what's new for this year:
Get in the know on all of the new additions to expect this year:
VIP Tickets: For the first time in its history, 420 Fest will offer VIP tickets to festival patrons. Tickets will be valid for three-day festival admission into the VIP area with prices ranging from $120 pre-sale which will be held from Feb. 7th through the 28th, to $150 running March 1st throgh April 18th. VIP tickets will include a premier viewing area of the main stage; access to a furnished VIP lounge; a hammock hideaway; flushable climate-controlled restrooms; one meal per day; premium bar including discounted drinks; limited edition screen-printed poster for first 250 ticket purchasers; and drink tickets for a few free samples at The SweetWater Experience tent. You may purchase VIP tickets here. A portion of ticket proceeds will be donated to Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
The SweetWater Experience: SweetWater invites festival goers to step out of the sun and into The SweetWater Experience, a weekend-long craft beer centric event where patrons can taste their way through more than 20 unique styles of SweetWater beers and enjoy presentations on topics as wide as their brewer’s bellies. The experience will offer guest tastings of SweetWater’s year-round brews and select seasonal offerings, plus a plethora of new beauties that will only be available at 420 Fest including: experimental IPA’s, barrel-aged stouts, Dank Tanks galore, a bevy of cask ale creations – all tapped and together within The SweetWater Experience tent.
The experience also will feature great knowledge to pair with its tasty beers, highlighting SweetWater’s brewers, partners and industry friends lending their insight on a presenter’s stage – hosted by Draft Magazine. Throughout the weekend, guests will have the opportunity to sit in on free sessions featuring a variety of topics to learn more about craft beer, beyond what is in the glass. SweetWater, alongside a number of well-known craft beer experts, will share personal stories and dig deep into industry topics such as the craft beer scene in the South, the art of cask ale, how best to pair beer with food, home brewing, and more. A portion of proceeds from The SweetWater Experience will go back to Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Band Competition: Rolling out in 2013, Chipotle will host Cultivate Beats – a battle of the bands style competition giving rising talent a chance to compete for stage time at this year's festival. The challenge will kick off Feb. 15. Bands will be judged by an internal panel, and the Top 10 will move forward to online voting in early March, allowing viewers one vote per day. SweetWater will host the top four acts at the brewery on March 28 to compete in a final battle open to the public. The winning act will perform live on Saturday at 420 Fest and receive VIP credentials for the band, green room accommodations and a one night hotel stay. To access the submission form or for contest rules, please visit www.sweetwater420fest.com/cultivatebeats.
Silent Disco: Also fresh in the lineup for 2013, dance fiends can join in on a funky and free silent disco, equipment provided by Area 51 out of Roswell. Patrons will receive their very own set of headphones to get down to “music in their ears” as live DJ's spin for the crowd. Kids can even rock out during a special children’s session on Sunday featuring youth DJ’s on the turntable.
SweetWater 420 Fest is a Happy Ending Productions event. For more information on the festival or the 2013 lineup, please visit www.sweetwater420fest.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram @420fest, or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/420fest.