Book Looks Back at Panic’s Street Party

Flagpole magazine columnist Gordon Lamb has written a book chronicling Widespread Panic’s notorious free outdoor show in downtown Athens back in April 1998, during which the city’s streets were deluged with upwards of 100,000 SpreadHeads. It’s a terrifying scenario that sounds better suited for a Rob Zombie post-apocalyptic horror movie, but it actually happened, as organizers were caught by surprise when five times their projected number of attendees showed up for the show promoting the release of Panic’s first live album, Light Fuse Get Away.

For the 128-page Widespread Panic in the Streets of Athens, Georgia, due out in time for the 20th anniversary of the event, Lamb spoke with band members, Athens city officials and fans, giving the story of the show and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering to pull it off. It’s currently available for pre-order here.