Location: Atlanta, GA
Venues: The Earl, Joe’s Coffee, ESL, 529
Booking Contact: Randy Garcia
According to Nophi Records founder Randy Garcia, “Nophest is a non-corporate, no-bullshit music festival thrown every year in Atlanta.” Garcia and Nophi partner Matt Simpson started Nophest in 2007 as a birthday party, pulling it together out of their desire to bring local musicians and fans together and “the need to find a socially acceptable way to binge-drink after 30.”
Garcia and Simpson threw their first festival at a now-defunct teahouse. They would go on to host Nophest at a coffee shop, and last year they set up at an art gallery – the first venue with its own sound equipment.
When asked how their “Little Music Festival That Could” went from such humble beginnings to taking over four venues in East Atlanta Village, Garcia shrugs. “Everything just fell into place this time. Drew at East Side Lounge, Patrick at The EARL, Randy at 529 and Puma at Joe’s Coffee have been super welcoming. Also, Atlanta bands kick ass over every other city in the world.”
In its short lifespan, Nophest has become synonymous with Atlanta’s independent music. For veteran members of the city’s music scene, Nophest is a kind of family reunion. For newcomers, it’s a welcoming party, a housewarming of sorts. The bands and artists range from electropop to metal to Appalachian punk to grinding, ambient noise; all are welcome, and almost all stay to experience each other’s work. In short, Nophest not only showcases this fine city’s burgeoning music scene, but also its sense of community within that scene.
In keeping with that feeling, Garcia has kept the process of becoming part of Nophest simple. A few months in advance, Garcia puts the word out, and a link goes up on www.nophest.com. Time slots appear, and as bands get in contact, those slots fill. Booking ends when all the slots are full. Like the man said at the out-start, “No bullshit.”