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What to know before you go: Red Bull Soapbox Race

Red Bull soapbox race in Turkey. Quite a crowd! Photo courtesy of Red Bull.

The Red Bull Soapbox Race will take over Piedmont Park on Saturday, and organizers are expecting a crowd not unlike that for Paul McCartney — about 50,000 people.

Of course, this crowd gets in free. (Free!) Not that Sir Paul didn’t haul a big production into town, but he didn’t need space to race 50 gravity-powered vehicles, either.

Here’s what you need to know before the show gets on the road on Aug. 29.

Rain? What rain?
At last year’s race in Philadelphia, a hurricane remnant came through — poured rain, but skipped the lightning or tornadoes. The race went on. The same rules apply here. As of Friday morning, Saturday’s forecast calls for lows in the 60s, highs in the mid-80s and showers likely in the afternoon.

What to bring, what not to bring.
On the list of no-nos: pets, tents, glass containers, food to be sold, alcoholic beverages, weapons. But, you can bring your own food and drinks, or buy them on-site. Free water stations will be set up, too. Chairs and blankets are OK, too, although they won’t necessarily help you get a good view of the race.

How to get there…by MARTA.
As always, MARTA is the easier option to get to Piedmont Park when there’s a big event. Here’s a map from the Green Concert that described how to walk from the MARTA stations to the park. (Just ignore those special entrances and such; seems most did during the Green Concert, anyway.)

How to get there…by bike.
This will probably be my mode of transportation to the races. (Wave if you see me there!) Volunteers from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition will be on hand to valet park bikes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How to get there…by car.
Don’t. OK, this isn’t a no-car event like the Green Concert, but there are even more street closings to get in the way, and another huge crowd to fight for parking. Cars and Piedmont Park don’t mix.
Here are the streets you won’t be able to get to with a car. The time and day of closing is listed:
9:30 a.m. Friday: 10th Street from Argonne to Charles Allen.
7:30 p.m. Friday: 10th Street from Piedmont to Monroe; Charles Allen from 9th Street to 10th Street.
All day Saturday: 10th Street from Piedmont to Monroe, Charles Allen from 9th Street to 10th Street; Argonne between 9th Street and 10th Street.
Resident traffic only, Friday and Saturday:
Argonne, Myrtle, Taft and Charles Allen between 8th and 9th.

Send us your photos!
If you’re heading to the races on Saturday,  check here after for photos and videos. Better yet, send us your Red Bull Soapbox Race photos! They’ll be included in an gallery for all to see.

Want to go? The Red Bull Soapbox Race, pits open at 11 a.m., races begin at 1 p.m. Aug. 29. Piedmont Park, Atlanta. Free.

17 comments Add your comment


August 28th, 2009
3:42 pm

Under what authority are weapons banned?

Jamie Gumbrecht

August 28th, 2009
3:47 pm

I’ve got no specific information on that; race organizers say they’re following Piedmont Park rules, and weapons are on their list of items not to bring. That seems to be the typical list of banned items for events there.


August 28th, 2009
4:25 pm

I don’t think that’s a Piedmont Park rule (as long as one has a GFL).

[...] always, for more to see and do this weekend, go to the Inside Access blog, where Jamie Gumbrecht’s got you [...]

Why would need weapons for this?

August 28th, 2009
8:39 pm

Name says it all, weapons, beer, never go good together. And before you go off spouting I am some left wing liberal gun hating nut..
I am a NRA member, have a conceal carry permit, and own more than a few myself.

Leave em at home, stay out of trouble.

Have fun.


August 28th, 2009
10:21 pm

Aren’t CCWs invalid at a public gathering anyways?


August 28th, 2009
11:56 pm

Nobody needs weapons for this. Leave them at home. Makes pickin’s easy for me!


August 29th, 2009
1:20 am

OMG! This is about good clean or fairly clean fun and the first thing out of somebody’s mouth is some gun gripe. Ridiculous! Please stay out of my neighborhood and spend your day defending your second amendment right at home! Geez. Get a friggin grip people!


August 29th, 2009
9:03 am

“Why would need weapons for this?” You may not be a liberal gun hating nut but you don’t read very well. Alcohol is on the no-no list. GA does not issue a conceal carry permit. Not carrying means staying out of trouble to you???


August 29th, 2009
10:00 am

Yes you can carry at a public gathering, store, just about anywhere now. But if you are asked not to bring one you cant. That is part of the law now alos, If you are are asked to take to our vehicel and you refuse you get a new pair of shiny braclets.


August 29th, 2009
10:49 am

I’m 21 so I’m allowed to drink, but I still can’t bring alcoholic beverages to Piedmont. Same with guns, idiot. Get a life


August 29th, 2009
11:22 am

Do us all a favor. Don’t come at all.

Jamie Gumbrecht

August 29th, 2009
11:52 am

Before this conversation gets too crazy, just a reminder: please be respectful and keep the conversation moving forward. I hope we all have a wonderful, safe time!

Ka Pow mom

August 29th, 2009
2:08 pm

I was hoping for a live web cast. If so can you direct me to it.

Jamie Gumbrecht

September 1st, 2009
12:42 am

Hi Ka Pow mom! Sorry, no live Webcast, but the winners and the drawings that got their cars started are posted online:

Sorry there isn’t more to share!

Paul Mccartney Piedmont Park

September 1st, 2009
1:57 pm

[...] Mccartney Piedmont Park What to know before you go: Red Bull Soapbox RaceThe Red Bull Soapbox Race will take over Piedmont Park on Saturday, and organizers are expecting a [...]

Sticky icky

September 17th, 2009
11:58 am

I just wanted to see if anybody knows how to sign up for the soapbox race or is it too late for that… Let me know