Jason Carter is the proud founder of ONE Music Fest. While it is not brand new, it has had a recent spike in popularity as people recognize that it is the only of its kind. “The concept of the festival started back in 2008 exploring various festivals around the nation and not being able to find a progressive urban outdoor music festival,” said Carter. By progressive, he means one that comprises of hip-hop, reggae, R&B and Afrobeats. “Instead of looking for it I decided it is something we needed to create and what better city than Atlanta,” said Carter. In 2010 there were over 2,000 people at the kickoff and the rest is history.
This year over 50,000 are expected to attend and Carter’s vision continues to become a reality. He was always hosting events in college but never imagined it would turn into a career. He had a corporate job but longed for the nightlife and social scene that did not exist. All of that quickly changed. “This year’s festival will be some of the best new age hip-hop, old school hip-hop, R&B, international music, reggae, alternative and a collective of all different types of people,” said Carter. “There are visual artists doing live art and food trucks and vendors with everything from vegan Caribbean options to crab legs and Asian noodles,” said Carter.
“One of the staples of urban music in Atlanta is a collective called the Dungeon Family which consists of Outkast, Goodie Mob and a host of other amazing acts and for the first time ever they had a reunion on our stage in 2016 that brought grown people to tears,” said Carter.
This year there will be 3 stages and the biggest lineup to date including DMX, Wu Tang Clan, Pharrell, Usher and Raphael Saadiq. “I am giving the community an experience they would not be able to have anywhere that will stay with them for a lifetime,” said Carter.
ONE Music Fest has a broad agenda. “People use our platform for activism, displays of love and cultural homecomings,” said Carter. Atlanta is such a thriving city in which Carter feels blessed to play a big part. “It presents opportunities for people who have positioned themselves correctly to take advantage of its growth and its new energy is booming throughout the city,” said Carter. Carter appreciates that there is something unique about Atlanta that will appeal to every person. “I like the people, connections and relationships that are formed around business and culture but I think the amazing, thriving creative scene is overlooked,” said Carter.
As for ONE Music Fest’s potential, it has no bounds. “We are looking to expand to one other city domestically and to make an international play as well,” said Carter. Within the next 2 years they expect to be in 2 other locations. Carter is involved in various programs throughout the year in addition to the festival as well as nonprofit work, leadership events and panels. “It is bigger than music and our motto is to continuously feed the culture and push it forward using music as a hub,” said Carter.
Ambitious readers looking to make a difference in our prosperous city just need to get started. “I think the keys to being successful are the brave are always rewarded so do not be scared to make moves,” said Carter.