The Masquerade (Atlanta)

Coordinates: 33°45′06″N 84°23′31″W / 33.751539°N 84.3920599°W / 33.751539; -84.3920599
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The Masquerade
The Masq
Exterior of the venue at its former location, DuPre Mill (c. 2006)
Address50 Lower Alabama St SW, Ste. 22
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-7602
LocationUnderground Atlanta
Coordinates33°45′06″N 84°23′31″W / 33.751539°N 84.3920599°W / 33.751539; -84.3920599
Capacity1,000 (Heaven)
650 (Hell)
300 (Purgatory)
250 (Altar)
OpenedSeptember 1989
Venue Website

The Masquerade is a mid-sized concert venue located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is located in Kenny's Alley, the lowest level of Underground Atlanta. The venue first opened in 1989 at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill, a century-old former manufacturing plant. It became known throughout its early history as one of the city's premier alternative music spaces, hosting styles ranging from punk rock to electronic music. Its three stages, named after the destinations of the afterlifeHeaven, Purgatory, and Hell—forge distinct musical identities. After the space was sold in the 2000s, the Masquerade relocated to its current location in Underground Atlanta, where it retained its three concert spaces and added a fourth named Altar (2024).[1]


Its live music mostly consists of alternative music styles, such as indie rock, metal, punk rock, rockabilly, and electronic, ranging from local acts to ones internationally known. The Masquerade's three principal interior stages—Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell—were originally separated on different levels of the mill,[2] though they are now all on the same level with separate entrances. At the mill, Heaven was upstairs above Hell at the right (west) side of the building, with Purgatory as the bar area downstairs to the left, all accessed from a central entryway behind the box office with a stairway to Heaven. The address for the parking deck and entrance is 75 Martin Luther King Jr, DR, SW.


The Masquerade was founded in September 1989[3][4][5] at the historic DuPre Excelsior Mill, a former excelsior mill at 695 North Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. The historic space, which dates back to the 1890s, served as the venue's home for its first twenty-seven years. The Masquerade has its roots in the Excelsior Pub and Cinema, a restaurant which occupied the space in the 1980s, and hosted touring bands on occasion.[6]

The venue was known for its grungy, cavernous feel, variety of genres, as well as its adjacency to the Murder Kroger.[7] The floors in Heaven would regularly shake and bend with the weight of patrons.[8][9] On New Year's Eve 2002, the stairs to Heaven caved in, causing minor injuries.[10] Urban legends suggested the space was haunted by a vampire.[11] The original building was sold in 2006 after it was made part of a new mixed-use development called North + Line.[12] The building was designated as historic by the city and all of the original parts will be saved through adaptive reuse. The space eventually became the Mill, a mixed-use office space. The building partially collapsed during construction in 2019.[13][14]

The venue originally planned to relocate to a warehouse on the city's west side,[15] but when a lawsuit over noise concerns threatened the move,[16] the Masquerade temporarily moved to the former Kenny's Alley space in Underground Atlanta in October 2016.[17] The move was an adjustment for concertgoers; "It took a while for the Masquerade to find its footing at the new location," wrote Sean Keenan of Curbed Atlanta.[13]

In 2024, Masquerade added a fourth, smaller venue named Altar with a capacity of 250.[1]


The original Masquerade location was widely beloved in the Atlanta community and music scene at large. Many rock artists, ranging from indie rock, punk, metal, and more performed at the original location, including many artists who went on to achieve great fame. Ian MacKaye of Fugazi observed its original location was "clearly a unique space," adding, "I'm glad that we had the opportunity to play there."[6] Josh Green at Urbanize Atlanta called the club "iconic and gritty";[8] A writer for Consequence likened its floorboards to a trampoline, calling the original spot a "scary" though "exciting" dilapidated building.[18] Pitchfork called the venue one of "America’s Best Independent Music Venues".[19]

Notable musical performances[edit]

Well-known acts that have performed there include:


  1. ^ a b "The Masquerade Plans to Open New Venue With Kitchen | What Now Atlanta". 2024-02-01. Retrieved 2024-02-01.
  2. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (June 22, 2016). "The Masquerade reveals plans for new home on Atlanta's westside". ajc. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  3. ^ Drennen, Eileen M. (September 1, 1989). "Mill to Masquerade, New Club Unveiled". The Atlanta Constitution. p. E1, E4. Retrieved October 30, 2022 – via
  4. ^ DeVault, Russ (September 5, 1992). "The Masquerade turns 3, and it's one big party". The Atlanta Constitution. p. Leisure 12. Retrieved October 30, 2022 – via
  5. ^ "Images: Legendary Masquerade building has rebounded after structural collapse". Urbanize Atlanta. February 9, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Rose, Sarah (December 31, 2019). "The DuPre Excelsior Mill's Untold Musical History - Before The Masquerade". Georgia Public Broadcasting. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  7. ^ Kahn, Michael (January 10, 2017). "Photos: Masquerade, Murder Kroger sites are rapidly transforming". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Photos: Atlanta's old Masquerade is redone, repaired, and… ready to rock again?". Urbanize Atlanta. September 16, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  9. ^ Bejarano, Santiago (May 11, 2016). "Heaven, Hell And Purgatory: The Final Days Of Masquerade, Atlanta's Music Venture". The Odyssey Online. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  10. ^ "Nightclub where stairway collapsed to reopen". AccessWDUN. Associated Press. June 28, 2023. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  11. ^ "The Masquerade Nightclub, Atlanta, GA". Haunted Rooms America. August 26, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  12. ^ Phil W. Hudson (December 23, 2016). "The Masquerade leaves home in Old Fourth Ward, officially moves to Underground Atlanta". The Business Journals. Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Keenan, Sean Richard (December 30, 2019). "Photos: Part of Atlanta's historic Excelsior Mill crumbled in construction mishap. Now what?". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  14. ^ Kueppers, Courtney (January 14, 2020). "Former Masquerade building partially collapses during construction". ajc. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  15. ^ Green, Josh (June 22, 2016). "Exclusive: Meet the Future Home of The Masquerade". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  16. ^ Kahn, Michael (September 16, 2016). "Exclusive: Masquerade could move to Underground Atlanta". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  17. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (September 20, 2016). "The Masquerade to temporarily relocate to Kenny's Alley in Underground Atlanta". ajc. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  18. ^ Young, Alex (May 7, 2010). "Where We Live: The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA". Consequence. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i "36 of America's Best Independent Music Venues on Surviving and What's Next". Pitchfork. April 5, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj "An Ode To the Masquerade". June 15, 2016. Archived from the original on June 15, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Taft, Nicholas Ryan (August 21, 2016). "5 Local Wrecking Ball Bands Share Their Masquerade Memories - Atlanta Music, Arts and Culture". Immersive Atlanta. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  22. ^ a b c d Green, Josh (June 23, 2016). "It's official: Masquerade will close forever in August". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved June 28, 2023.

External links[edit]