Atlanta Music Scene

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T.I. and Gina Belafonte discuss Many Rivers to Cross music festival


In a little more than a month, a starry array of names in entertainment – Dave Matthews, Chris Rock, Carlos Santana, John Legend, T.I., Danny Glover, Macklemore, Dianne Reeves, Jesse Williams, Public Enemy and a laundry list of others – will descend on Bouckaert Farm in Chattahoochee Hills.

They’ll be there for the inaugural Many Rivers to Cross music and arts festival , Oct. 1-2, an event produced by Sankofa.org , the social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte.

Belafonte’s daughter, Gina, recently visited Atlanta with festival participant and de facto Atlanta ambassador T.I., to discuss the two-day gathering.

(Scroll down to hear Belafonte and T.I. talk about the festival.)

Atlanta was chosen, she said, because of its rich history with the Civil Rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“It’s a space in the South where there is a lot of ground to cover in terms of the egregious behaviors creeping across this country. Atlanta is also a very diverse city and there’s an opportunity that the audience we’d like to bring in is like a microcosm of the country,” Belafonte said.

T.I. was added to the second round of artists announced last month. He recently reached out to Harry Belafonte (or, as Gina affectionately refers to him, “Mr. B.”) to seek his counsel about being a role model. In the discussion, Belafonte mentioned the festival and, said T.I., “it was a no-brainer to me.”

More artists are still joining the already-impressive parade; Gina Belafonte said a third day is a possibility given the number of artists who are reaching out and asking to become involved.

“This is the first of its kind,” she said, “We’re bringing together the idea of We Are the World and Woodstock and social justice activism and movement…Atlanta is a great space for a lot of cultural opportunity.”

Tickets for Many Rivers to Cross are on sale now for $115-$350 for a two-day pass and can be purchased at www.manyriversfestival.com.

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About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.