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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for the ‘Crazy Stunts’ Category

PHOTOS: 5 things to love about Le Flash in Castleberry Hill

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Melanie Turner dances a sequence in "Dollhouse" inside the Dance Truck at Le Flash 2009. The truck served as the stage, with CNN Center and the rest of downtown as the backdrop. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht.

I didn’t see the inaugural Le Flash event last year, and arrived in Castleberry Hill last night expecting something like a raucous gallery walk.

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Gyun Hur created a piece on Walker Street with a headlamp as guide.

Organizers call Le Flash “a yearly ephemeral arts celebration that would deepen the significance of contemporary art Atlanta,” which can meananything. Some key characteristics drew me to it: art, performances, outdoors, all-night and free.

The only thing it had in common with a gallery walk, though, was that my feet hurt after wandering the neighborhood so long. A gallery walk usually requires active participation — the decision to walk in, look around, have a cookie, maybe buy something. For an organized event, Le Flash looked and felt like something …

Continue reading PHOTOS: 5 things to love about Le Flash in Castleberry Hill »

Weekend zombie, cemetery celebrations around Atlanta

Update 10/5: Check out the AJC’s photos from the zombie walk! Photographer Josh D. Weiss got some great shots, too — before you click, be aware that some are not at all family friendly.
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Zombie Walk 2008. It's gory, but also hilarious. AJC file photo

Maybe it’s because it’s October and Halloween is ever-closer, or it’s that the weather broke, and it’s a much better time for the undead to rise up from the ground.

Whatever it is, there’s an awful lot of zombie-horror-cemetery celebrating going on this weekend. Here’s a look at some special events, other than the usual haunted houses and ghost tours:

  • Atlanta Horrorfest IV includes live music, an art show, film festival and Zombie Walk, at venues like Lenny’s Bar, 486 Decatur Street S.E., Atlanta and The Highlander, 938 Monroe Dr., Atlanta

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Eyedrum revitalized: new leadership, more community support, planned capital campaign, maybe a new space

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A dance-a-thon at Eyedrum on Saturday night drew the late-night crowd. Things are looking up for the non-profit arts space. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Less than three months since Eyedrum put out the message that financial trouble could force it to close, the non-profit gallery and community arts center is safe through the end of the year  — and making major changes to the organization. There’s a new director, new board members and they’ll vote next week whether to move to a new space. Board chairman Allen Welty-Green said they expect to launch a capital campaign in coming weeks, too.

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Cindy Brannon and Sara Nesselbush checked out the artwork at the Eyedrum Dance-a-thon. AJC

July was a dark time for the 11-year-old organization. It remained debt-free and volunteer-run, but booking and donations were down and utility and rent costs were adding up. Board members were exhausted, the 6-000 square foot space too expensive, and alternative spaces too much work to fix. “The stress of …

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‘Thriller’ dance record goes to Mexico, not Dragon*Con

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Dragon*Con's Sept. 6 "Thriller" dance didn't get the world record designation. Photo by Brenda Smith

Word is spreading, and Dragon*Con-goers are not happy: the Guinness World Record for the largest “Thriller” dance went to Mexico, where 13,597 danced to the Michael Jackson song on Aug. 29.

Dragon*Con dancers hoped to break the record on Sept. 6, when they gathered 903 dancers  here in Atlanta. Organizers say they followed Guinness rules meticulously — selecting the correct version of the song, collecting participants’ info and recording the dance. They’ve praised the Mexico dance, but still say it didn’t follow the Guinness rules and shouldn’t be considered for the record. They’re working through a lawyer to make their case to Guinness, suggesting perhaps two separate records.

The previous record was held by 242 students at William & Mary, but Jackson’s death in June and his birthday in August spurred more to dance.

“While we may be discouraged for just a moment by Guinness’ …

Continue reading ‘Thriller’ dance record goes to Mexico, not Dragon*Con »

Official Dragon*Con ‘Thriller’ dance video released

Here’s yet another view of the “Thriller” dance at Dragon*Con in Atlanta on Sept. 6. It might have drawn enough dancers to break the world record for dancing to Michael Jackson’s classic scare song.

For those left wondering, the videos in last week’s post, “Dragon*Con ‘Thriller’ dancers might break world record,” were shot by the AJC during the performance and participants during rehearsal.

Keep in mind, this is not the video sent to Guinness World Records, but rather, the public video released by the organizers. Here’s their explanation:

The video for Guinness is in a single shot from an elevated point and that video can not be used for anything other than Guinness. The same goes for pictures. We had separate cameramen for that and all of the documentation has been sent off. We are now awaiting word.

Continue reading Official Dragon*Con ‘Thriller’ dance video released »

Dragon*Con ‘Thriller’ dancers might break world record

"Thriller" dancers at Dragon*Con 2009. Photo by Brenda Smith.

Now that we’re all back to work and school, let’s check in on one of the great moments in Labor Day fun, shall we?

I mentioned last week that a group of Dragon*Con attendees in Atlanta would try to break the world record for the number of people dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The standing record is at College of William & Mary, where 242 people danced (and recorded it to Guinness’ specifications) in April 2009.

Well, 903 danced to the ghoulish theme at Dragon*Con on Sunday, down slightly from an earlier count of 905. (In costume! That doesn’t do anything for the record, but it does make for solid entertainment.)

Here’s a video, shot by the AJC’s Elissa Eubanks. Note the giant Michael Jackson glove around 3:13.

Here’s some rehearsal video. I’ll post the official view when organizers are done editing, hopefully later today!

Of course, 903 is impressive, but it doesn’t mean the Dragon*Con dancers broke the …

Continue reading Dragon*Con ‘Thriller’ dancers might break world record »

PHOTOS: Dragon*Con Parade takes over Peachtree Street

Cinderella's wicked step-sisters sing to the crowd during the Dragon*Con parade on Saturday. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

Here’s what I saw this morning at the Dragon*Con parade up Peachtree Street in Atlanta:

  • Dozens of gleeful children dressed as Stormtroopers, shooting at their enemies.
  • More Ghostbusters than I realize pop culture allowed.
  • Faeries offering starry-pointed wands to little boys, who seemed happy to have them.

Puss in Boots! AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

  • A sword fight in front of Brooks Brothers.
  • A serious pirate ship, towed by a truck, but plenty large enough to float on the Chattahoochee…
  • An all-female Quidditch team chanting, “We are the Harpies, mighty, mighty Harpies!”
  • A bunch of Spartans, and not in an athletic-team kinda way.
  • Confused Virginia Tech and Alabama fans.

Stylish. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

  • Hotter boots than I ever see on Peachtree Street when everybody is dressed normally.
  • Frankenstein and his bride, in a convertible decked out with a “Just Married” sign.
  • The …

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What to know before you go: Dragon*Con

Dragon*Con Parade, 2008. AJC file photo

Dragon*Con is just amazing — it’s a pop culture convention where Star Trek and Star Wars get along, where pirates, Spidermen, goth kids, comic book readers, artists, filmmakers, costumers, families and singles and everyone you think you know gets together to hang out and explore the sci-fi side of themselves. It started in 1987 with 1,400 people at the Piedmont Plaza Hotel, and this Sept. 4-7, it welcomes more than 30,000 people to four downtown Atlanta hotels.

The conference includes some 35 topics fleshed out enough enough to be a sub-conference, more than 500 featured guests, contests, shopping, a film festival, a blood drive. But for such a large, boisterous event, it doesn’t get in the way of normal operations. You’ll be able to tell the office workers from the conference-goers, but downtown Atlanta certainly won’t shut down to those not wearing pirate hats.

Here’s a guide to help you through the weekend, but Dragon*Con regulars: …

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Overheard: Red Bull Soapbox Race on August 29

Joel Darby runs for the finish after his vehicle crashed. AJC/Brant Sanderlin

The Red Bull Soapbox Race near Piedmont Park was just as ridiculous as you think it should be: huge crowds of some 40,000 people, last I heard, costumed people completely dedicated to the cause of crossing the finish line and sunshine trying to cook us all.

Indeed, 10th Street was closed, lined with hay bales and thousands of onlookers waving fans and ringing cowbells. (As noisemakers go, the cowbells were effective, but not obnoxious. Good job, Red Bull!)

To get a true taste of what it was like, I highly recommend photographer Brant Sanderlin’s photo gallery of soapbox race oddities. I’ll try to post more photos and video later, too.

Meanwhile, a sampling of what you would’ve heard, had you been there. Other than cowbell, of course.

Announcer: “You injured Chuck Norris!”
Team member: “You can’t injure Chuck Norris.”
— Announcer to team member, after a Chuck Norris-themed car killed Chuck Norris.

“It …

Continue reading Overheard: Red Bull Soapbox Race on August 29 »

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 …

Continue reading What to know before you go: Red Bull Soapbox Race »