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Atlanta in September  - Essential Trip Planning Guide

Coming to Atlanta in September? You're in luck - September might just be the most perfect month in The ATL. 

Biking on the BeltLineBiking on the BeltLine.

Sure, there will still be some blazing hot days, but some days will have just enough coolness – and lack of humidity – to remind you of the glorious Fall weather that is right around the corner. 

Atlanta in September - Everything You Need to Know

September is one of the busiest months for events in Atlanta. From Labor Day and throughout the month, it’s full of football, festivals, concerts and even concert festivals. It’s one of the best and busiest months and there’s something for everyone. 

On this page you'll find:

Labor Day 

Labor Day may signal the end of summer in some cities, but in Atlanta, Labor Day kicks off a season of incredible weather, events, and activities. 

Labor Day weekend, from Friday, September 3 to Monday, September, hosts some of the biggest and busiest events in the country, from the official kickoff of college football to Dragon Con. 

The MOST important thing to know about Atlanta in September and specifically Labor Day weekend is there will be numerous, very popular and packed events, particularly Downtown. Downtown will be overrun – between two major college football games and the world’s largest pop culture convention (Dragon Con), hundreds of thousands of people will be staying in and traveling around Downtown. Add in a couple of big-name concerts and music festivals and the city will be teeming with activity this weekend. 

Atlanta in September is full of great events and it’s a great way to experience everything Atlanta has to offer!

Atlanta in September - Sporting Events

Atlanta in September is full of sports, from professional to collegiate. To say that Atlanta is a sports-crazed city is quite the understatement. What we lack in championships, we make up for in fervor!

Football in the South – particularly college football – is not a sport. It’s a religion. Atlanta is home to several Division I teams, the most exciting college games of the weekend will take place in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff series, which will host TWO games at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Georgia Tech Yellow JacketsGeorgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Historic Bobby Dodd Stadium.

These games always feature an SEC team versus an ACC team – guaranteeing bragging rights through the entire season. 

Sept. 4 pits National Champions the University of Alabama vs. the University of Miami

Sept. 6 Louisville vs. Ole Miss. 

Georgia Tech will be at home on Sept. 4, too, and a night game at Bobby Dodd Stadium is one of my favorite things to do in Atlanta, and I’m not even a Tech fan. It’s also probably easier to get a ticket to that than to an Alabama game. Georgia Tech will be home two more times in September, too – including a game on Sept. 25 at Mercedes-Benz against the University of North Carolina, a first for Tech! 

Atlanta is home to other college football, including two HBCU teams (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The Morehouse College Maroon Tigers will be home on Sept. 18 and the Clark Atlanta University Panthers will be home on Sept. 11 and Sept. 18. Both schools also feature two of the best, most exciting HBCU marching bands in the country. 

At a Georgia Tech GameMy husband and I at a Georgia Tech game.

The Georgia State University Panthers play in the former Turner Field baseball stadium, renamed Center Parc Stadium. It is spectacular and is also surrounded by a fun and lively neighborhood.  The team is home against Army Labor Day weekend, and against Charlotte on Sept. 18. 

The Atlanta Falcons, the NFL team, don’t kick off their regular season until after Labor Day and will be home Sept. 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Mercedes-Benz StadiumThe Falcons and Atlanta United play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Benz, as it’s affectionately called, also hosts the Atlanta United MLS team. The team has been struggling, but the games are always fun and the United will be home a lot during September! 

The Atlanta Braves play in nearby Cobb County at Truist Field at The Battery Atlanta – a fun area filled with bars and restaurants. Full disclosure – while I love baseball, I am not a Braves fan. However, it is a fun experience and if you’re a baseball fan at all, the stadium is fantastic.

Of course, September baseball is some of the most exciting if teams are chasing the pennant. Which usually the Braves are – even though they usually collapse in the end. 

The Braves start a home stand Sept. 7 versus the Nationals, Marlins and Rockies, then close out the month against the Phillies. 

Atlanta in September - Music

The thing Atlantans love almost as much as sports is concerts. There are so many venues – from tiny coffee houses to outdoor amphitheaters to massive arenas – that Atlanta is blessed to get virtually every act on tour. There really are too many to list so check out Atlanta in September concerts what’s available here.

Here are some of my personal highlights:

  • John Legend  9/1 – Cadence Bank Amphiteatre (known to locals as Castain Amphitheatre) 
  • Marc Antony 9/5 – State Farm Arena
  • Elton John 9/22 – His Farewell Yellowbrick Road Tour will stop – again – in his adopted hometown of Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Wellred (AKA Liberal Rednecks) 9/17 – Variety Playhouse

An offshoot of concerts are two HUGE music festivals in Atlanta in September. 

Atlanta Jazz Festival 9/5-9/6 – The Atlanta Jazz Festival is considered one of the top free jazz festivals in the country. Did I mention it’s FREE? Held in Piedmont Park over Labor Day, the festival showcases both up-and-coming artists and legends. 

Candler Park Music Festival 9/10-9/11 – This is one of Atlanta’s most loved and local festivals, featuring funk, blues, blue grass and other music genres. Food trucks and an artist market round out the weekend fun. VIP tickets give you early access, enhanced seating and private restrooms. 

Music Midtown 9/18-9/19 – Music Midtown is one of the country’s largest music festivals, bringing 30 very diverse acts to 4 stages right in the heart of the city at Piedmont Park. Music spans from hip hop to electronic. Headliners include Maroon 5, Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers and Megan Thee Stallion. Consider buying one of the VIP packages – you get dedicated seating and bathrooms! 

Tunes in The Tombs 9/26 – This event is part of Oakland Cemetary’s Sunday in the Park. Bring a blanket, grab some craft brew, enjoy the artist market and listen enjoy the show. While the park is free, tickets to this event are $25. 

Sweet Auburn Music Fest 9/25-26 – The Sweet Auburn Music Fest is another free event bringing a mix of R&B, gospel and even alternative music to the historic Auburn Avenue district. It’s family friendly and features a great array of food and activities. 

Atlanta in September - Festivals & Events

Speaking of festivals, Atlantans LOVE their festivals. Most of them are free and since most are intown, you should take MARTA or an Uber to get there. Parking is always EXTREMELY limited and usually illegal. Atlanta in September features some of the biggest and best festivals around.

Dragon Con 9/2-9/6 – Dragon Con is the largest convention focusing on sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, comics and other pop culture. It’s been in Atlanta since 1987 and it is HUGE – it overwhelms Downtown with everything from live performances to an award ceremony spread across the major Downtown hotels. Tickets are based on either membership, by workshop, by day, or by event. You also can just walk around and you’ll see some great sights. 

Atlanta Black Pride Weekend 9/1-9/7 – Pride is held in Atlanta in October, but the Atlanta Black Pride Weekend kicks off with events all over the city, from Piedmont Park to various bars and even an outing at Lake Lanier.

Yellow Daisy Festival 9/9-9/12 – This annual festival is in Stone Mountain. It is VERY popular, and while it’s not my favorite, if you’re heading to Stone Mountain that weekend, keep in mind that this is considered one of the top arts & crafts shows in the country. So, either plan to go or plan to avoid it! You need a ticket to Stone Mountain Park to attend.

Buckhead Fine Arts Festival 9/18-9/19 – This free festival will bring 100 curated Atlantan and Georgian artists to Buckhead Village. There will be entertainment, food and beverage options, too.

Atlanta in September - Art & Culture

Atlanta in September features a wonderful array of options for art and cultural events, from theatre to museums. 

The smash Broadway musical Hamilton returns to the historic Fabulous Fox Theatre for the entire month of September. 

The Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown features the Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre. It has two stages – the Coca-Cola Main Stage and the Hertz Black Box Stage – and has a full roster of shows scheduled starting in September. 

The Center also houses the High Museum of Art which, besides its wonderful permanent collections, is showing a terrific Calder-Picasso exhibit through mid-September. Also, admission is free the second Sunday of every month! 

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra also is housed here; there are several classical and pop culture shows. Opening Night is Sept. 9. And on September 28, there's a free symphony at Piedmont Park - you can even bring your own picnic! 

Check out some of the other theatres in Atlanta, including Center Stage, 7 Stages, Horizon Theatre and Actors Express for more independent options – some of which are streaming versus in person. 

For some virtual art, check out the Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience at Pullman Yards. Housed in a circa-1900 manufacturing plant and train depot, the exhibit showcases Vincent Van Gogh’s life. But the best part of this exhibit is the 20,000 square foot light and sound display of his amazing work. Buy the extra virtual reality ticket, too. This event is scheduled to be in Atlanta through 2021.

The Illuminarium on the Atlanta BeltLine is a virtual reality safari experience, featuring hi-res images, laser projection, 3D audio and other sensory experiences – including scent. On weekends there’s a bar – unsurprisingly. Tickets start at $35.

Atlanta in September - Eating and Drinking 

There are endless food and drink events all over Atlanta in September.

Pub Crawl on the BeltLine 9/4 – This crawl explores some of the bars on the wildly popular Eastside of the BeltLine. It starts at 12 pm and ends at 4 pm – giving you plenty of time to explore and decide where to go after the festivities end. Tickets are $40.

Taste of Soul 9/4-9/5 – This festival showcases all the best in soul food and music in the soul food capital. There’s something for everyone, from a kids’ zone to a wine festival. While the festival is free, some events require separate, purchased tickets.

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 9/11-9/12 – The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival showcases the rich food and beverage traditions of the South. The event features tasting tents set up in Historic Old Fourth Ward Park as well as intimate dinners. Tickets range from $99 for a single day general admission to $250 for a weekend pass VIP experience and includes food, cocktails and entertainment. 

Grilled Cheese Festival 9/11 – The Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival at Atlantic Station showcases Atlanta restaurants’ take on, well, grilled cheese! It is #NationalGrilledCheeseDay, after all (who knew). Oh, there’s also a Bloody Mary Garden. Tickets are $35.

Beer, Bourban & BBQ Festival 9/18 – This festival at Atlantic Station in Midtown unites Southerners’ favorite foods and libations and adds some music and other activities, such as a cornhole tournament. Tickets start at $29.

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