A3C panel

A3C Hip Hop Festival – Concerts, Conference, Connections

Fresh Factor 9Everyone knows that all of my favorite songs are about butts. So for me, getting to see both Juvenile and Mystikal perform was worth the price of admission to A3C a couple of weeks ago. Not to mention having front-row access to 2 Chainz. (See photos and videos below.)

What is A3C?

The A3C Hip Hop Festival is an annual event (now in its 10th year) that takes place in Atlanta in the fall. Part concert, part conference, it packs a whole lotta hip hop into five days.

Who should attend?

Featuring dozens of panel presentations and music showcases, really anybody who has any interest at all in hip hop would be plenty entertained. The event is, however, primarily designed for those interested in being part of the industry – whether it be as an artist, publicist, manager, producer, hip hop blogger, street wear designer, and the list goes on.

How much does it cost to attend?

For just the music showcases, you can score a one-day ticket for around $50, or access to all concerts on all days for about $100. Considering the fact that I saw the above mentioned artists, as well as Nappy Roots, Travis Porter, Kevin Gates and countless new/indie rappers perform, I’d say those prices are fair. And I only went to two music showcases out of the dozens that took place.

If you want to get more up close and personal with the industry tastemakers, however, I would suggest getting an all-access pass for $150. This gives you entry into all of the music showcases, as well as the panel presentations. Having worked in corporate PR for 10 years, I thoroughly enjoyed the panel of seasoned hip hop publicists discussing the highs and lows of their profession. And of course, I also loved the panel of hip hop and entertainment writers from a bunch of different music publications, as well as Creative Loafing. Big ups to those writers for sharing the tricks of the trade with their fellow writers/admirers!

Sounds cool, but $150 is steep! Are there any discounts to be had?

Why yes, yes there are! There are several participating stores in Atlanta that sell discounted all-access passes to A3C (listed on the A3C web site). I scored my ticket for just $90 at Fly Kix in Castleberry Hill.

Is it only Atlanta artists and professionals who participate?

Nope! Despite the title of this blog post, A3C actually stands for “All 3 Coasts.”

The panels seem interesting, but do any of the artists participate in them?

Yup! My husband attended a panel with Juvenile, Mystikal and Mannie Fresh. Unfortunately that one was during the day on Friday when I was working, but I did get to see a panel on Saturday featuring Da Brat and Deb Antney (famed artist manager, mom of Waka Flocka, and cast member on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta). Not to mention media mavens Karen Civil and Janee Bolden (Bossip.com).

Where exactly does A3C occur?

The main location for the panels this year was the Crowne Plaza Midtown, and the main music stage was in the Old Fourth Ward. Other events took place close by in the Midtown and Downtown areas.

So this pretty much seems like the most amazing event ever. Were there any drawbacks?

Just a few. While A3C overall is a pretty professional and put-together event, not everyone got that memo. Expect to have all types of smoke blown in your face during the music showcases (even in “non-smoking” venues). Also, definitely bring earplugs unless you want your ears to ring for a week afterwards.

The food situation was also pretty sad. During the event, I saw just one food truck (selling burgers, fries and the like). While my turkey burger was on point, it would have been good to see a bit more variety. I imagine there are enough attendees at the event to keep at least a few trucks busy. The omnipresent King of Pops was there too though! Good lookin’ out, KoP!

Should I attend next fall?

Yes, yes, 1,000 times yes! If you’re still not convinced, check out these videos and the gallery below.

2 Chainz



Travis Porter

For more information on the A3C Hip Hop Festival, go to http://www.a3cfestival.com/ or follow @A3C on Twitter.

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