A sad day for Athens, Georgia, is a say day for the world of live music. This morning, the historic Georgia Theatre burned down. Host to countless memorable shows by HeadCount affiliated artists, the Georgia Theatre has long been a staple for touring bands.
The Athens-Clarke County Fire Chief called the venue, which opened in 1978 with a performance by Sea Level, an “iconic landmark.”
Details are still coming in, but the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the fire broke out around 7 a.m. this morning and the roof of the building collapsed. There were heavy flames when firefighters arrived and it took 50 firefighters about one hour to contain them. One eyewitness said the theater was “fully engulfed” in flames when firefighters arrived.
No one is believed to have been inside the building.
A converted movie theater, the venue has played host to local acts Widespread Panic, R.E.M., and the B-52’s. Phish played there five times between Feb. 1 1990 and November 11th 1991, according to Phantasy Tour. It was the “home venue” for Perpetual Groove, which was scheduled to play tonight and tomorrow. The Theatre’s website was still up as of this morning, listing a full slate of upcoming shows including Jenny Lewis with Heartless Bastards (July 1) and You Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band (July 16).