Highlander Hosting Marred Up Fest

Shortly after opening, for a few years in the mid-1990s the Highlander played a substantial role in Atlanta’s live music scene after taking over the space next door and operating it as a rock club called the Midtown Music Hall. Scores of local bands stomped that stage, and Epic Soundtracks, AntiSEEN and Polvo are a few of the touring acts I remember seeing there.

That adjacent space long ago transformed into the well-established midtown dive bar/eatery’s game room, stocked with pinball, pool tables and the like. But the Highlander has continued to book occasional local band shows, and with longtime scene supporter Kelly Hall currently booking it, the Highlander regularly offers multi-band bills (often of the punk and metal varieties) and rock ‘n’ roll DJs several nights each month.

In addition to their other scheduled shows, this month the Highlander hosts the second Marred Up Fest, a throwdown that Hall hopes catches on and becomes a yearly event at the venue. Never heard of it? Well, the first Marred Up Fest took place in Albany, Georgia last spring, so you’re forgiven. A get together lorded over by hammy Southern rock shitkickers Dale Jepson and the Night Hawks (who may or may not be nonconsensual kissing cousins of the Casket Creatures), this year’s main event on Saturday, August 25th also stars Atlanta troublemakers Degradations, The Sideburners, DDC, Die 985 and Buck Swiftly; sideshow shenanigans include but are not limited to Jell-O wrestling, wampus cats, dreamcatchers and a wet T-shirt contest. There’s also a pre-show the night before (also doubling as a birthday party for longtime Highlander bartender Amy Preston) featuring Rotten Stitches, Casket Creatures and ELZIG. Better cover everything with plastic…