The Death Of FREAKNIK – 10 Years Later

For many years, especially during the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Freaknik was considered THE hot spot that many either heard about or was frequently visited to by the hundreds of thousands of black college students (and others) every April.

For many of those years, it lived up to it’s name. It was Freak-Nik!!! There were the wild parties on the street, the dancing, the picture taking and of course the freaking. In fact so many came in 1992, Atlanta was almost shut down. It became an event that heard about through out the world as it was the home of CNN news.

In an effort to tone down some of Freaknik ways, there were numerous attempts to change the nature of the event. They tried to change the name(Black Cultural Something or Freedom Festival…and a few others that didn’t quite work out). There were even city sponsored job fairs and event organized block parties. It was a good effort…..


What the city organizers and others failed to realize was that people didn’t come to Freaknik to look for jobs or even take on a political agenda. They came for a wild party. It was as simple as that. Much like the New Orleans Mardi-Gras ( an event that celebrates getting wild every year) People came to get away from school or work and have a great time.

But things changed… drastically. Soon after the Olympics in Atlanta….the event went down hill. The political figures in Atlanta wanted to call a halt to Freaknik. So they established ways to make the event frustrating. Road blocks through out the city made traffic a huge mess. You could not do anything or go anywhere without staying in traffic for hours.

Then other events started to pop up. The Black College Reunion in Daytona and the Kappa Beach party in Galveston, Texas were now grabbing many of the Atlanta Freaknik participants. The 1999 Freaknik was considered the worst of all and put the final nail in the coffin.

Although Freaknik has been long gone, there are other events that have even surpassed the 250,000 plus numbers that participated in this one spring break event each year. In the 90,s there were only 3 or 4 events which flourished during this period. However, today we have close to 50 events which brings that same party atmosphere.

Even with that said, if you ask anyone 30 years or older what event was always the hottest event you had to attend during your college years, FREAKNIK will always remain #1.

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