The ninth annual event, coordinated by the Brookhaven Arts Alliance, will run Saturday and Sunday.
Organizers are expecting a crowd of around 6,000 to converge on the festival’s usual digs on Apple Valley Road — directly behind the Brookhaven MARTA station — throughout the weekend.
“We get very strong participation and support from Brookhaven and the surrounding areas,” said festival co-coordinator Chuck Daunch. “When you come here you can expect a well-managed, crowd-pleasing, family-friendly two-day event.”
While its juried 100-plus artists rightfully serve as the festival’s collective centerpiece, this year’s music lineup will likely demand a fair share of the spotlight.
Daunch, head of music programming there the past eight years, echoed those sentiments.
“We’re community-minded … a lot of [acts] want to play here,” said Daunch.
Ed Roland of the popular rock band Collective Soul will headline this incarnation of Brookhaven Arts Festival with side group, The Sweet Tea Project. Roland and the latter’s set will feature Americana renditions of his previous hits and original songs.
“[Roland] likes what Brookhaven Arts Festival offers to the community … and we’re very happy to have him,” said Daunch.
The weekend will also see a bevy of local acts, including the likes of pop funk group Cat Daddies, rock band Imagination Head and Daunch’s own outfit Old Men in the Basement.
Not to be outdone, the 150 artists — photographers, painters and jewelry makers among them — selected to participate in the fest will be offering up their wares to patrons.
The entire weekend is volunteer-powered, insiders said.
“We’ve had the same small army of volunteers year after year … whether it’s the arts festival, Taste of Brookhaven or our [the upcoming] inaugural Blues and Barbecue event,” said Brookhaven Arts Alliance director Gretchen Roberts. “From the artsy people to the foodies … I’m excited about pulling the community full circle.”
The Alliance’s stated mission is to provide art education and promote cultural awareness to the Brookhaven community and its visitors.
Brookhaven’s recent incorporation leaves the non-profit group — and its annual festival — with an uncertain future.
“I don’t know exactly what [Brookhaven cityhood] means for us … except the services we get from the county eventually ceasing to exist,” Roberts said. “We rely on the county for electricity, sanitation and security.
“I would love to be a part of the city … I’m hoping that it supports us the same way the county [currently] does.”