Summer’s best bets: Things to do in August

Big-name concerts, a sci-fi invasion, and art festivals

Gwinnett Center International Film Festival
Mingle with filmmakers at various workshops, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions. August 1–3.

Get ready to noodle as the ultimate jam band returns to Atlanta. August 3.

James Taylor
The five-time Grammy Award winner plays at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park. August 5.

Downtown Restaurant Week
Try restaurants in this underrated culinary area at prix-fixe prices. August 9–17.

Decatur Barbeque, Blues & Bluegrass Festival
Finger-licking-good eats, cold brews, and live music all in one place. August 16.

Piedmont Park Arts Festival
A diverse display of painting, sculpture, photography, and crafts from more than 250 artists, held in one of our city’s most beloved outdoor spaces. August 16–17.

Tori Amos
The singer stops at the Cobb Energy Centre to promote her new album, Unrepentant Geraldines. August 19.

Boyz II Men and En Vogue
Two R&B superstar acts come together for a night of music (and nineties memories). August 22.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival
This annual neighborhood event kicks off with a 5K race and features performers, artists, and musicians for the whole family. August 23–24.

Jeffrey Fashion Cares
Retailer Jeffrey Kalinsky’s annual fashion show raises money for AIDS and breast cancer charities. August 25.

The rock veterans stop at Philips as part of their Let Rock Rule tour—featuring Slash. August 28.

AJC Decatur Book Festival
The largest independent book festival in the country, with readings, signings, music, poetry, and more. August 29–31.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Night Racing
Five hundred miles of racing on a lighted track at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. August 29–31.

Dragon Con
The Southeast’s largest gathering of fans of fiction, fantasy, gaming, and more descends on the city once again. August 29–September 1.

Marietta Art in the Park
Painting, photography, sculpture, woodworking, and jewelry from 175 artists around Glover Park and Marietta Square. Plus, a walking tour for history buffs. August 30–September 1.