Panic to celebrate 25th anniversary in the Classic City

2011 marks the 25th Anniversary for Widespread Panic, who, among many things, has become legendary for their live performances and loyal fanbase. To kick off what will be a year of joyous celebration, Widespread Panic has announced two shows on the original site where they first performed as Widespread Panic 25 years ago. The band will perform at the Classic Center in their hometown of Athens, GA on February 10th & 11th, plus a special February 14th Valentine’s Day show at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA.

In 1995, The Classic Center opened on the same spot where the Mad Hatter Ballroom originally stood in Athens. In 1986, drummer Todd Nance joined the group, and after toying around with potential new monikers, they decided on Widespread Panic. The name was inspired by the nickname of late founding member and lead guitarist Michael Houser, who they called Panic. Their debut performance took place on February 6, 1986, with a line up that consisted of Houser, Nance, John Bell (guitar/vocals) and Dave Schools (bass).

That core nucleus, with the addition of percussionist Domingo Ortiz later that year and keyboardist/vocalist John Hermann in 1992, stayed together until Houser succumbed to cancer in 2002. The group welcomed guitar virtuoso Jimmy Herring in 2006 and have remained an unstoppable force, breaking attendance records in major venues throughout the U.S.

Tickets for the Athens shows will go on sale on January 8th at 9am EST at the Classic Center box office, via phone at 706.357.4444 or www.classiccenter.com. Tickets for the Atlanta Valentine’s Day show will go on sale on January 8th at 10am EST at Ticketmaster and www.ticketmaster.com.

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