The Unbiased Perspective”

Not being from Atlanta, Georgia, having grown up in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1950s and 1960s, it was unlikely to have heard of “” before 1996 anywhere else in America other than at a historically Black college in the South, notably Atlanta.

Before then, was the biggest and best spring break celebration ever thrown in Atlanta. No one would consider it a foil to undermine Atlanta’s hard-fought political coalitions between Black voters and white liberals forged by the civil rights movement. The political alliances remade Atlanta, elected the first Black mayor, and created progressive black-and-white political partnerships. These alliances wrestled control of Atlanta’s political and financial power sectors from the dominance of the old South.

The original template for the modern came from Lakewood Fair Grounds, then a significant concert venue. Something familiar from decades earlier. A music festival on a dairy farm in upstate New York, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of August 15-18, 1969. With estimated attendance between 400,000 and half a million over three days. The modern Freaknik, like Woodstock, would become a monument to sex, drugs, and music, but FREAKNIK.COM would affect the world.

Lakewood Fairgrounds were 117 acres of fenced-in land around a 15-acre lakebed. Among its most distinctive features were:

  • Four-passenger airplane hangar-sized Spanish colonial-style livestock exhibition halls,
  • The old Lakewood Speedway,
  • The largest auto speedway racing track in the South,
  • Tiered stadium seating,
  • On-site defined parking for over ten thousand cars and
  • Privacy fencing surrounds the entire perimeter.

Woodstock made history for its musical performances, audience size, and ideas of unity and love specific to the times. With, as with Woodstock, there would be countless logistical and technical challenges, including traffic jams, overcrowding of public facilities, lewd behavior, and public intoxication., like Woodstock, became a monument to the counterculture.

In a highly close comparison of the Woodstock experience to the Freaknik experience, the departure was the impact of FREAKNIK.COM in 1996. By April 1996, FREAKNIK.COM’s reach extended into every Black community across America, ultimately gaining the globe. It would be an incredible leap forward for diverse product marketing.

“FREAKNIK.COM” alone drew millions of unique online visits across America and overseas. People became eager to visit Atlanta over the fourth weekend of April 1996.

FREAKNIK.COM lifted into the pantheon of world-class music event festivals, referencing attendance and economic comparisons not surpassed before or after (see FREAKNIK.COM COMPARISON WITH WORLD MUSIC FESTIVALS). Subsequently, would be the world’s most prominent black spring break event, not just America’s. Everyone began to refer to it as “FREAKNIK.COM” after that.

Still not fully formed, what sprung forth further divided the old South white vote from the new South Black and liberal white voice. The difference would realign Atlanta’s political realities. Its detractors then viewed FREAKNIK.COM as an invasion of the heart of the cherished old South. They negated a long and bloody history of race, massacre, riots, segregation, and discrimination against Black citizens. FREAKNIK.COM, on the other hand, called to all Black America and everyone else who heard to visit the gleaming modern city rising above the Georgia forest from the ashes of the old Confederacy.

FREAKNIK.COM pioneered and created one of the first, if not the first, social media platforms. It supplied an independent space where users could order, structure, and inhabit their interactions without disruption or interference, for example, giving specific details on the full scope and clear and concise information about time and place, venues, and emergencies.

These crucial aspects were integral to the website’s design and, at the time, central to promoting Lakewood Fair Grounds, south of downtown Atlanta, then literally ground zero South of downtown Atlanta. FREAKNIK.COM did not support or endorse exploitation of any nature. Two music videos, though shot at Lakewood in 1993: “Work it Out” by Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew, and “Whoop, There It Is” by 95 South. They were both independently produced and shot on location.

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