May Festivals in Atlanta

May, quite clearly, is festival month in Atlanta.
  • The Candler Park Music & Food Festival is full of fun, food and music.
    The Candler Park Music & Food Festival is full of fun, food and music.
  • The Decatur Arts Festivals features works by a curated selection of artists.
    The Decatur Arts Festivals features works by a curated selection of artists.
  • Momocon is an amazing festival for fans of anime and more.
    Momocon is an amazing festival for fans of anime and more.
  • Come to Piedmont Park and test your fitness in the KidsFitStrong Fitness Challenge.
    Come to Piedmont Park and test your fitness in the KidsFitStrong Fitness Challenge.
  • The Atlanta Jazz Festival attracts some of the best talent in the world -- and it's free!
    The Atlanta Jazz Festival attracts some of the best talent in the world -- and it's free!

As we all know, May is a merry month, but it's nowhere merrier than right here in Atlanta where May festivals offer fun and entertainment for everyone.

  • Shaky Knees Music Festival, May 3-5
    With more than 60 bands, Shaky Knees is a rock-lover’s dream and one of the city’s favorite festivals. In addition to the music there is lots of food-everything from southern BBQ to vegetarian-friendly corn dogs. Among the headliners are: Beck, Tears for Fears, Maggie Rogers, Cage the Elephant and Tame Impala.

  • WHOlanta, May 3-5
    WHOlanta is Atlanta’s Who & British Media Convention that celebrates "Doctor Who" and all things British. There are several hours of programming in the Gallifrey Track (all things "Doctor Who"); the British Pub (all things British) and Costuming Track (learn about costuming and cosplay). This year’s guests include Jon Davey, who portrayed a number of characters on "Doctor Who."

  • Atlanta Margarita + Taco Festival, May 4
    What can we add? The name says it all. 

  • Renaissance Festival, weekends, May 4-June 2
    Travel (way) back in time with music, food and feats of bravery and skill.

  • KidFitStrong Fitness Challenge, May 5
    Kids and parents alike will enjoy the KidFitStrong Fitness Challenge, which includes 10 fitness stations including wall crawls, jumping jacks, sit-ups and tunnel crawls. 

  • Picnic in the Park, May 5
    Picnic baskets curated by some of the city’s favorite chefs and restaurants are perfect for this favorite festival. The event raises funds for Wholesome Wave Georgia and community awareness about the millions of Georgians who are food-insecure. The event features good food, wine, beer, live music, dancing and lawn games. Among the sponsors are Farm Burger, Muss & Turners, Treehorn Cider, The Little Tart Bakeshop and Chicken+Beer.

  • Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, May 9-12
    The 10th annual Laughing Skull Comedy Festival returns to Atlanta and features 60 comics (out of 1,000 who supplied their videos) who will perform before before packed audiences, as well as the industry’s top bookers, managers and agents. The festival features more than 30 shows in seven venues over four days.

  • Decatur Lantern Parade, May 10
    Bring your lantern (or attend a lantern-making workshop) and light up Decatur as everyone walks to Decatur Square.

  • Shaky Beats Music Festival, May 10 and 11
    Enjoy more than 40 performances of topnotch electronic, indie and hip-hop musicians on four stages over two days at the Shaky Beats Music Festival. There’ll be food from regional and local restaurants including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Among the headliners are Martin Garrix, Rufus du Sol, Big Gigantic and Fisher.

  • The MAD Festival, May 10 and 11
    Prepared to be wowed at the Modern Atlanta Dance Festival.

  • Let Your Light Shine Outdoor Festival, May 11
    There's plenty going on-music, dance, food-and it's all about mental health awareness.

  • Chastain Park Arts Festival, May 11 and 12
    Dubbed one of the country’s top 100 arts festivals by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the festival hosts about 185 artists and artisans displaying fine arts and crafts, a children’s area, and local food and beverage concessions.

  • Sweet Auburn Springfest, May 11 and 12
    Enjoy the largest free outdoor festival in the Southeast in the Historic Auburn Avenue District. Among the entertainers are Soul for Real, Gabe and Symone Plummer. In addition there will be fun zones, a health pavilion, senior pavilion, food court and Room Escape Atlanta.

  • Tiny House Festival, May 11 and 12
    The festival includes tours of more than 20 tiny houses, shipping container homes, school bus homes, a tiny travel area, kid’s interactive area and food trucks. Speakers include Will Johnston, Jewel Pearson and Coles Whalen.

  • Atlanta Cycling Festival, May 11-17
    It’s a week of biking all around Atlanta as well as bicycle classes and bicycle parties. Each ride has various skill level options.

  • Uncorked Atlanta Wine Festival, May 18
    Enjoy complimentary wine and craft beer tastings-more than 75 options-as well as music and fun wine-themed activities. A portion of the proceeds benefit Releash Atlanta, which saves dogs from high kill shelters in Georgia.

  • Malcolm X Festival, May 18 and 19
    Come celebrate the life and legacy of Malcolm X. Activities will include speeches, solidarity statements, spiritual affirmations and musical performances relating to his message of human rights and self-determination. In addition, there will be cultural artifacts, paintings, sculpture, carvings, jewelry, literature, clothing, crafts and food.

  • Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes, May 18 and 19
    Browse an open-air artist market, enjoy live music, run a 5K and shop food vendors at the Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes. All proceeds benefit the Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization. The 5K race starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at 11 Kirkwood Road. The tour of homes is available both days from noon until 5 p.m.

  • East Atlanta Craft Beer Festival, May 19
    Sample more than 150 craft beers, and enjoy music, food vendors and relaxing at Brownwood Park.

  • MomoCon, May 23-26
    Fans of Japanese anime, American animation, comics, video games and tabletop games gather to celebrate their passion for costuming/cosplay and to meet celebrity voice talent, designers and the writers behind their favorite shows, games and comics.

  • Atlanta Caribbean Carnival, May 24 and 25
    Come celebrate the best of the Caribbean with bands, fantastic food, a parade and shopping.

  • Treklanta, May 24-26
    Treklanta is the annual Star Trek convention and features a variety of fan-based activities including meet and greets with stars such as Aron Eisenberg, Bill Blair, Nichole McAuley and Autumn Skye-Boothe. Among the activities are a Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant and the BJO Fan Film Awards.

  • Atlanta Jazz Festival, May 25 and 26
    Come and listen to some of the best jazz at one of the country’s largest free jazz festivals. Among the artists are Kandace Springs, Richard Bona, Alicia Olatuja, and Stefon Harris & Blackout. In addition, there will be some of the city’s finest arts and crafts, food and drink.

  • Decatur Arts Festival, May 25 and 26
    The festival features more than 150 artists selected through a competitive jury process. In addition there will be live musical performances, improvisational and stand-up comedy, children’s festival, literary events, dance performances and lots of great food.

  • Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, May 30-June 2
    The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is designed to shine an international spotlight on the food and beverage traditions of the Southern United States. There is a lot to do, see and taste, including learning experiences, dinners, special events and a master studio series. There will be more than 150 chefs, sommeliers and mixologists from locations ranging from Texas to Washington, D.C.

  • Candler Park Music & Food Festival, May 31 and June 1
    There’s an all-star lineup at the 11th annual Candler Park Music & Food Festival including Dispatch, Greensky Bluegrass and Dr. Dog. Sponsored by Athens-based Terrapin Beer Co., this family-friendly festival will feature local food vendors, an artist market, adult field games, food trucks and the Terrapin Brew Lounge.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications.


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