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Widespread Panic Welcomes New Guitarist Jimmy Herring For Free Somehow And Upcoming Tour


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Building A Better Ark


Things keep on changing for genre-bending, Athens-based Widespread Panic. But, that doesn’t mean the wheels are ready to fall off the group’s proverbial wagon just yet. Since the passing of founding bandmember and longtime guitarist-songwriter Mikey Houser in 2002, Widespread’s remaining members have had a lot of obligations to satisfy, whether contractual, personal or related to the group’s sizable legion of fans. At the same time, the extended 2004 hiatus taken by bandmembers was likely not near enough time to fully process and put into perspective the loss of dear friend and bandmate Houser.

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Panic in the Streets

Honoring the 10th anniversary of Athens' Infamously Massive Spreadhead Invasion


Jeff Montgomery

The 1998 Panic in the Streets crowd fills West Washington Street and beyond.

Hearing that the city of Athens has a vibrant and integral music scene is not the same as seeing it, hearing it and being overwhelmed by it. That’s what happened to me on Saturday, April 18, 1998.

I was 18 years old and in my first year at the University of Georgia. Having lived in town for only about half a year, I had not yet navigated downtown Athens and its art and live music scene which was known to me more by reputation than through experience. I’d been to a few shows once I’d turned 18, sure, and had spent several nights trying to convince dorm friends to go to the Morton for the fledgling film festival I’d read about in a strange and scrappy paper called Flagpole that I’d found discarded on campus, but for the most part if something was going on somewhere, like many students I had no idea how accessible it was.

Widespread Panic collapsed those misconceptions on that Saturday with what came to be known as Panic in the Streets, a record-shattering outdoor concert held in celebration of the release of the band’s first official live album Light Fuse Get Away.

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