Catch a vibe of sun and sand at the 7th annual Southern Surf Stomp Fest

Los Tiki Phantoms pictured from their 2018 performance at Southern Surf StompFest. (Courtesy of Chad Shivers)

The mostly instrumental genre of surf music, created in California by teenagers in the 1960s, has the power to transport us to lands of sun and sand. This Saturday, Oct. 8, in a land just east of Atlanta, you can catch the vibe at the Southern Surf Stomp Fest. Now in its seventh year of existence, the free music festival takes place at Little Tree Art Studios in Avondale Estates. The creators of the Southern Surf Stomp, Chad and Jessica Shivers, joined “City Lights” senior producer Kim Drobes along with Jamie Galatas of the Mystery Men?, one of the eight bands performing on Saturday. 

Interview highlights:

On the little-known treasure of Avondale Estates, Little Tree Studios:

“It is an artist community within Avondale Estates. It’s pretty centrally located right outside of Atlanta. It’s between Stone Mountain and Atlanta; it has this nice little Germanic look to the town, very homey. It has a large appeal to the artist community – very family-friendly, also very diverse-friendly as well. So there’s a pretty diverse group of people that live within that community, and they’re really supportive,” said Jessica Shivers.

She went on, “We find ourselves enjoying the festival while we’re there because we see so many families, so many different types of people come through the festival, and they share their stories with us; why they were drawn to the festival, why they come back every year. And it really is just a very nice home space for us. We have really never really looked for another place outside of Avondale Estates for the festival for that reason.”

How Jamie Galatas became a surf music savant:

“I was a young heavy metal fan. I was a big fan of Anthrax, and Anthrax did a cover of ‘Pipeline,’ a rather good cover of ‘Pipeline,’ from the old Chantays song, and I just happened to have in my dad’s record collection, ‘Learn How to Play Guitar with the Ventures,’ which had ‘Pipeline’ on it. So it helped me learn how to play guitar, and that’s kind of stuck in the back of my head, and then I found it through rockabilly years later,” said Galatas.

Assorted Southern Surf Stomp highlights:

“Surfer Joe is the international ambassador of surf music. He has his own surf music festival. I think it’s dormant right now since COVID, but he’s also partial owner of Surf Industries, which makes reverb pedals and other effects that us surf-nuts love. And he’s a great musician – plays drums, guitar and tirelessly working to promote surf music – and knows his stuff, knows his history. It’s really incredible,” said Chad Shivers.

“We tend to have a kids’ area blocked off in the festival area… We’ll bring chalk and bubbles, and other activities for the kids to play, and then we also have 21 artists and vendors in our artist market that you can peruse and check out while the music’s playing in the background. We have food trucks. We will have Sistahritas. They’re right out of Decatur. We have Sweet Sensations, which is soft-serve ice cream. He’s out of Smyrna and Kennesaw area. And then Bartender On Board, who is out of Avondale Estates herself,” Jessica Shivers explained. “Grab yourself a drink. Get yourself a taco. Let the kids play around. Listen to some surf music.”

The 2022 Southern Surf Stomp takes place Oct. 8 at Little Tree Studios in Avondale Estates, with free entry to the public. More information is available at