Alex Townsend was raised on live music.
As a kid, he’d listen to the greats, bands like the Allman Brothers, alongside his father.
And now two years after his death, the musicians are playing just for him.
For a second year, family and friends are hosting A-Town Get Down, a music festival and art exhibition in honor of Alex.
This year’s festival will feature music by Devon Allman’s Honey Tribe, Passafire and Word of Mouth.
Devon Allman is the son of The Allman Brothers’ Gregg Allman, a favorite of the Townsends.
“I raised Alex to listen to music all the time,” said Tom Townsend, Alex’ father. “He knew the Allman Brothers well, and so it’s a terrific thing to have Devon Allman headline it.”
Friends say Alex, who was often the life of a party, was always talking about music. His love of live music only grew while studying at SCAD.
Alex was a second-year sound design major in February 2010 when he died in a car accident. Regrouping from the shock, friends and family sought to remember Alex in the most appropriate way.
“One of the first things that occurred to me – within 48 hours, really – was that he was really into live music and festivals,” said Townsend.
From there, A-Town Get Down was set into motion. In February 2011, for the one-year anniversary of Alex’ death, the festival celebrated its first year.
The SCAD community rallied in an effort to remember Alex – even people who had never met him.
Fourth-year sound design major Sean Carter from Atlanta, Ga., known by his stage name Unda, is emceeing the event for a second year. He got in contact with Townsend through word of mouth – much like most of those involved.
“My name was passed onto to him throughout the SCAD community for rapping at parties and bringing lots of energy to events,” said Carter. “I was more than happy to be a part of it.”
Carter is not the only SCAD student contributing art to the festival. This year’s event will include live art, including stencil artists who will design during the show.
“You won’t even see the final image until the end of the show,” said Townsend.
There will also be a silk screener making silk screen T-shirts in front of people as they’re ordered.
Family and friends say, they’re trying to capture the same energy and love for art Alex had.
Alex’s friend, fourth-year advertising major Heather Locke from Augusta, Ga., met Alex on their first day at SCAD.
“He was the craziest kid on the bridge,” she said. “It’s that time when everyone is shy and not outgoing and then you see that one person who is super outgoing, and you’re just like whoa – that was him.”
For Locke, the festival is one of the most natural ways to remember Alex, who always talked about traveling to shows. But she can’t remember if they ever actually got the opportunity.
“That’s kind of why I feel this is so special. It’s like a reminder to hang out with your friends,” she said. “Because you never know when they’ll be gone.”Susan Kemp.