Atwood businesses look ahead during 2022 AtwoodFest

The 2022 AtwoodFest on Atwood Avenue celebrated 40 years of music festivals.
Updated: Jul. 31, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The 2022 AtwoodFest on Atwood Avenue celebrated 40 years of music festivals, and as the area enjoyed the event’s history, businesses looked ahead to the corridor’s future.

“I think the neighborhood really came together for us,” said Monty’s Blue Plate Diner general manager Eric Heitzinger.

Heitzinger says the diner holds almost as much history as the festival, holding its spot on Atwood Avenue for over 30 years. The past two during the pandemic showed the area’s resilience and the relationship between the neighborhood’s businesses and its residents.

“Lot’s of love and support was shown throughout the two years and people coming in, we had a random customer tip a thousand dollars right away when we shut down, random things like that that have really shown the love of the community and the neighborhood,” said Heitzinger.

Madcity Music owner Dave Zero says without that relationship, local shops might not have been able to carry on.

“They’re always going to go out of their way to shop locally first, and that’s what we appreciate most about this neighborhood; we’ve got great neighbors, is what it comes down to,” said Zero.

Some owners looked to the area’s future as people crowd around three stages Saturday and Sunday, packing a few short blocks with over 25 bands and plenty of tents offering drinks, food, and retail. Zero says the camaraderie of Atwood Avenue is giving him confidence for the coming years.

“We’re thrilled with the prospect of the next 10 to 15 years here; it’s only getting better,” said Zero.

A sentiment shared by Heitzinger.

“Feels awesome that everyone’s out, and we’re happy to donate our parking lot and support the music and the bands and everybody.”

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