New Book Tells Story Of Widespread Panic’s 1998 Hometown Concert In Athens

 Photo via Widespread Panic Archives

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In 1998 Widespread Panic planned to celebrate the release of their first live album, Light Fuse Get Away by performing a free concert outdoors in their hometown of Athens, Georgia. The plan was to set up a stage in front of the famed 40 Watt venue and host what was expected to be 20,000 Panic fans. Well, the band severely underestimated the turnout, as some reports claim 100,000 witnessed Widespread Panic’s April 18, 1998 concert in the streets of Athens. A new book, set for release in time for the 20th anniversary of the famed show, has been written by Gordon Lamb.

Widespread Panic In The Streets Of Athens, Georgia is said to tell “the untold story of the world’s largest record release party.” The book spans 128 pages and includes 10 black-and-white photos. Lamb spoke with the band, city officials and fans for the new tome, which is “told as much as possible in real time, [as 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.” The book is due on April 15 and is currently available for pre-order via UGA Press’s website.

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For more on the concert, check out this post from 2010 on the This Day In Athens blog. Widespread Panic filmed the concert for release on CD and DVD as Panic In The Streets.

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[Widespread Panic – Interview > Love Tractor – April 18, 1998]

[Widespread Panic – Interview > Aunt Avis – April 18, 1998]

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[Hat Tip – @Panicstream]

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