On April 15th, a new Widespread Panic book will be released about the band’s legendary April 18th, 1998 concert, during which 100,000 fans took over the streets of Athens. Titled Widespread Panic In The Streets Of Athens, Georgia, author Gordon Lamb details the southern jam band’s free, outdoor album release party for their debut live album, Light Fuse Get Away. Originally predicted to pull a crowd of 20,000 people, the show blew up, with fans flocking to Athens, Georgia, at rates five-times bigger than initially expected. The April 18th, 1998 concert still holds the record for the world’s largest record release party to this day.
Widespread Panic in the Streets of Athens, Georgia places readers at the historic event, using in-depth investigation and interviews with the band, city officials, and “Spread Heads” who were there. Told as much as possible in real time, music journalist Gordon Lamb’s narrative takes the reader from conception to aftermath and uncovers the local controversies and efforts that nearly stopped the show from happening altogether.
This deeply researched and richly sourced book follows every stage of the concert’s development from the spark of an idea to approximately one hundred thousand people from all over the world packing the streets of a legendary music town. Taking us back to 1990s Athens through vibrant, on-the-scene writing, Lamb gives us the story of a band on the verge of greatness and a town reckoning with its significant place in music history.
Gordon Lamb’s new book reflecting on the iconic moment in Widespread Panic history will be released a few days ahead of the show’s 20th anniversary, on April 15th, 2018. You can pre-order the Widespread Panic book on University of Georgia Press’s website here.
[H/T – JamBase]