Motorsport and music will collide once again Aug. 24-26 at the third annual Gridlife South festival at Road Atlanta in Braselton.
Drawing in thousands of spectators from across the U.S., festival attendees can expect to see many aspects of modern car culture such as full-course drifting, time attack racing and high performance driver’s education sessions.
Off track, visitors can also check out some rare and interesting car builds at the shows, including the Gridlife Showcase presented by Street Circle, and Radwood, a showcase for cars strictly from the ’80s and ’90s.
After the track goes cold, the AfterGrid music festival will heat things up with headlining performances by Joyryde on Friday night and Slander on Saturday night, as well as many other artists.
When: Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26
Where: Road Atlanta, 5300 Winder Highway, Braselton
How much: $85 3-day general admission; $150 3-day VIP; camping passes and single day tickets also available
More info: www.grid.life
Friday AfterGrid concert schedule
6:30-7:40 p.m., DJ Xcape
7:40-8:40 p.m., Dany Neville
8:40-9:20 p.m., SoDown
9:30-10:20 p.m., Tokyo Machine
10:30-11:30 p.m., Joyryde
Saturday AfterGrid concert schedule
6:50-7:50 p.m., Dany Neville
7:50-8:50 p.m., Cofresi
9-9:50 p.m., The Soul Rebels feat. Curren$y
9:50-10:20 p.m., Killer Mike
10:30-11:30 p.m., Slander
11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., RA / Mantis / Drinkurwater
Popular with spectators and drivers alike, Gridlife is one of a few events that allow grassroots drivers to drive on track with some of the best drivers in the world, including many Pro 1 and Pro 2 Formula Drift competitors such as Ryan Tuerck, Chris Forsberg and Vaughn Gittin Jr.
Darrin Ray will be running Gridlife for his second year and described it as an experience like no other.
“As far being a grassroots event, it’s hands down the craziest experience, which is why I keep signing up,” he said. “When I’m not driving on track, I try really hard to drive around and hang out with everyone, check out all the insane cars that show up and meet as many new faces from out of town as possible.
“The distance people travel for this event is amazing. When the sun goes down that doesn’t mean the party’s over. Ludacris played last year and it got rowdy.”
As Road Atlanta has played host to Formula Drift competition since the inaugural season in 2004, several Atlanta-based FD competitors will be on grid and hanging out with fans all weekend for some fun sideways action.
“Drifting Road Atlanta is everyone’s dream after leaving a FD Atlanta event; this is the place it can happen for both competitive drivers that want some extra seat time as well as the average local driver,” said Dustin Miles, Pro 2 competitor. “I’m so thankful that an event like Gridlife is happening. Without it, we would never get a chance to drive the best track in our area and all feel like celebrities for a weekend.”
“Road Atlanta was altered specifically for drifting when FD started, and to get to slide the hill at 100+ mph is a really cool experience,” added Pro 1 driver Taylor Hull. “I wish I could’ve gotten to do it at an event like Gridlife first before going straight into competition in FD.”
For many drivers, Gridlife will serve as a first-time experience driving Road Atlanta.
Richard Hixon, formerly of Texas, moved to Georgia just in time to watch last year’s event and will return this year in the driver’s seat of his BMW e30.
“Spectating was a blast; the concerts and party atmosphere are amazing. But at the same time I felt like a kid that didn't get picked for dodgeball watching the other cars on the track,” he said. “I knew by the end of the weekend that I had to drive it the following year, and here I am.”