City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

POLL: Do you want Freaknik back in Atlanta?

20-FREAK PARTY_50668 (Small)

Freaknikers from Southern Illinois University danced around Five Points in downtown Atlanta in 1996. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he doesn't expect the party to return to Atlanta.

That illustrious, verifiable source we know as The Internet says that Freaknic (sic) is coming back. “The Official Atlanta Freaknic Site” says it’ll be April 16-18 in Washington Park. It also says that the 2010 theme is “Super Freak,” and that “Freaknic is a private event for members only. You must register on this site and pledge to not break the law.” It adds, “There are no nude pictures on this Web site.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says no way. Or rather, “I don’t believe it will materialize and it’s not my intention for the city to be supportive of it.” He points out that nobody has filed for a permit. It’s not clear who the organizers of the Web site are.

Do you want Freaknik to return to Atlanta?

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Freaknik started in the 1980s as a picnic for college kids who couldn’t travel during spring break, but by the mid-1990s, it was a street party that drew about 200,000 students, mostly from historically black college and universities. It was notorious for gridlock caused by cruising and wretched treatment of women. It ended in 1999 when the city imposed hard-core restrictions.

And yet, there are always rumbles of it coming back, and plenty who had great experiences at Freaknik over the years.

An AJC story quoted Councilman Ivory Young as saying “Freaknik as it was previously defined can’t work for Atlanta,” but he made the point, too, that the city should be prepared for “any crowd of folks,” who want to stay in town and spend some money.

What do you think? Would you welcome Freaknik back? Should the city? Can Freaknik make a comeback as a safe party for all, and without traffic mayhem, or should it stay a thing of the past?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments, but before you type, remember that this is not a place for stereotypes, race-baiting or epithets. Keep the conversation respectful, or your comments will be removed.

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85 comments Add your comment

Let it go...

February 25th, 2010
5:09 pm

FreakNik was fun in ‘94 and ‘95.
Been there, done that.
Let it go and move on.
Do something different, go somewhere else but if a city can’t and won’t help with your safety, why would you want to go?

Grad Student

February 25th, 2010
3:57 pm

SO MUCH HATRED… I cannot wait until 10 years from now when some of you rocket scientist have passed on. David Duke / yomama / and all the overt racists are a dying breed!!

The only reason why Freaknic is not supported is because of the audience.

Atlanta supports everything besides the HBCU’s……

If they did not spend money when they came here then how did they eat? Did they bring food with them?

Where did they sleep? Did they sleep in the cars?

I know how to use proper english and fortunately I am at a position in life where my kids will not be miseducated with yours. Public or Private school. Beatnic or Freaknic.


February 25th, 2010
3:35 pm

Whoever said crime has increased since the original Freaknic days either doesnt know what crime is, isnt really from Atlanta, or is just dumb!!!! Crime will probably never be like it was in the 90’s so you can rule that problem out.

Freaknik Veteran

February 25th, 2010
9:39 am

Freaknik is like Woodstock…’s over and done with, so either enjoy or hate the memories!!

BTW – Freaknik was really over by 1994/1995.


February 25th, 2010
9:38 am

Let’s set aside PC nonsense and tell the truth. “Thug culture” is the fashion in the young black community; regardless of class or income. It is worshipped in style, music, and attitudes. This is much more so than when Freaknik orginially operated. To turn loose a few hundred thousand visitors on our streets with no intent but to shed responsibile behave and act out their gangsta fantasies, is courting pandemonium. Neo-Freaknik would be far more chaotic, far more violent—and deep down in your honest gut…YOU KNOW IT. Freaknik ran out a number of prestigious conventions, as well as small business owners that couldn’t bear the damage and looting each year. Freaknik tarnished the image of Atlanta, proclaiming it as an “anything goes” open city akin to the wild west’s Deadwood. There is no upside to Freaknik; it is simply license for youth’s to roll and and trash our city; and the strain on over-taxed resources doesn’t warrant any local benefit. If you want Freaknik back, then you’re just thinking like a fool with your pants on the ground!

Livin' Learn

February 25th, 2010
9:37 am

How soon we forget. What a terrible out of control mess FreakNik was. There are many horror stories from past FreakNiks and I would strongly oppose bringing it back. A high school teacher friend of mine told me one of the worse several years ago. His family, including two small children were in Atlanta for a night out. They got caught in a traffic gridlock during FreakNik and were unable to move. As music was blarring, the Freaknik revelers jumped on his car and started dancing and then jumping up and down on the hood, top and trunk of their car causing major damage. His children were horrified and screaming and the revelers were cursing and daring him to get out and do something about it. At least two of the out of control gang urinated on his car while others exposed themselves to the children. This is not the type people we need to encourage to come to Atlanta. It is obvious A.P.D. cannot handle such lawlessness and debauchery.


February 25th, 2010
9:36 am

Heck to the No


February 25th, 2010
9:36 am

Enter your comments here


February 25th, 2010
9:36 am

I think its a good idea. There should be no free driving around downtown unless you have a motorcycle or some type of bike. It should be a walk around event. The city will definitely benefit from that. With all of the parking meters and garages. MARTA also will profit from this as well. Hotels will benefit because people would rather stay in a hotel instead of walking all the way back to their car or getting back on a but and train late at night. The people that plan this event should really take their time and sit down with the city of Atlanta to discuss things. Parents need to take responsibilities during this time also and keep their kids home as they are supposed to do. Young kids usually are those that start all of the trouble. The final thing would be no bottle drinking. I live in Savannah and there are two events that brings thousands of people into the city and are controlled almost perfectly each year. You have the St. Patrick’s Day celebration for an entire week with well over 200,000 visitors and Orange Crush which is held around April and May (the county really had that event under control).

Black And The White People

February 25th, 2010
9:34 am

If you had GOD in your life you would not have all the hate toward one another… God would put you at peace with anything that happen around you….. Have a blessed day!!!!!!!