BREAKING: Freaknik party has been canceled

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So much for Freaknik 2016. The owner of the venue where a Freaknik-themed party had been scheduled just contacted the AJC to say that party is now canceled.

“In light of the year that black lives matter, we don’t think Freaknik does,” Terry Brantley, owner of the Atrium events venue, told the AJC.

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Freaknik partygoers in 1996. AJC file photo/W.A. Bridges

Freaknik partygoers in 1996. AJC file photo/W.A. Bridges

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His comment referenced the modern-day civil rights movement Black Lives Matter, and said he wanted the community to focus on serious issues like combating violence and police brutality, not a rehash of a party known for tying up traffic in the 1990s.

Brantley’s Stone Mountain facility has stayed busy for more than two decades hosting a range of cultural events, fashion shows, weddings, family reunions and other events.  Recent offerings there have included a performance by R&B vocal group the Delfonics and reggae artists Richie Spice & The Elements Band.

The so-called “Freaknik” event was booked simply as a party at the facility’s indoor pool – not unlike so many other events the Atrium hosts. Then an energetic promotional blitz, including posters billing the party as “Freaknik,” sent #FreaknikATL soaring to the top of Twitter’s “trending topics” list this week.

“It’s just another pool party at the Atrium,” Brantley said Wednesday of the supposed Freanik 2.0.

And now it’s not.

Party planner Danny Hefner wasn’t at the original Freakniks back in the day – he’s only 20 – but his mom attended and had shared her stories.

“I’m getting calls from people asking if it’s for real,” he told the AJC earlier this week. “It is real. This is going to be wild, fun, just like parties used to be. We’re expecting thousands of people…We’re expecting a lot of people from all over the country.”

Contacted for comment this afternoon, Hefner was surprised at word the party had been canceled.

“Really?” he asked. “Let me call you back.”


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