Plan to bring back Freaknik hits roadblock

- The push to bring Freaknik back to Atlanta next month has hit a roadblock.

The street party popularized in the 90's was known for traffic jams and controversy.

Promoter Davinci Barcelo wants to turn the party into a marketplace-style event this time, but community members say they can't support the event because there are too many unknowns. 

They say what he's presenting to them is very different from what's being promoted on the event's website.

Barcelo says his plan would to be to make the event a social marketplace on Walker Street in downtown Atlanta with the area between Peters Street and Lankin Street blocked off.

"A gathering of artists and models – it'll look like a gathering of small businesses and entrepreneurs," Barcelo described. "Vending, merchandise, getting together and having a good time."

He has a problem though.

The neighborhood planning unit voted Monday not to support the event.

Right now, Barcelo wants to have it Friday, April 20 through Saturday, April 21.

But community members say an Eventbrite listing for the event lists food trucks and other activities.

"The information that we had received even with the numbers of food trucks on Eventbrite, is inconsistent with what he had said tonight," said Gay Lemmerhirt, a resident of the Castleberry Hill community. "It doesn't make sense."

Lemmerhirt said that the event would cause too much congestion and public safety issues and was worried about how residents would have access to their own homes.

Barcelo said that he still plans to move forward with trying to get a permit for the event. With that, he says he will be able to provide the security needed.

"It's not just a situation where there are a bunch of people acting crazy. That's not what it is," he said. "This is one of the only times of the year where you can get together and experience Atlanta for what it is."

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