Ari's Battle of the Bands event flyer

Pi Beta Phi Hosts Ari’s Battle of the Bands

The first annual Ari’s Battle of the Bands was a major success with 830 tickets sold and a total of $13,500.71 raised. Although this was the first year of the event, this success shows how well Ariana Zarse was known in the Athens community.

In the Fall of 2021, Pi Beta Phi lost one of their sisters, Ariana Zarse, in a hit-and-run accident in downtown Athens. Better known as Ari to the chapter and her close friends, she was a light in Pi Phi and loved by everyone. From her involvement in the chapter as Director of Social Events to participating in on-campus philanthropy events and working at Saucehouse and Boar’s Head Lounge, Ari was well-known among the UGA community. Pi Beta Phi dedicated this event to Ari and was originally inspired by her love of music and social events.

All proceeds from Ari’s Battle of the Bands will be donated to a memorial fund set up with the University of Georgia’s Greek Life Office. This memorial fund sponsors a scholarship given to a member of UGA Greek Life in either the Panhellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Multicultural Greek Council or the National Pan-Hellenic Council to help pay for their chapter dues or to be donated to the chapter’s philanthropy. Ari meant so much to so many people, and this event will help her memory live on.

This year the event had five local bands playing at Paloma Park. The Battle of the Bands started with Penelope Road, followed by Cam and his Dam Jam Band, The Asymptomatics and Recess Party. The headliner of the event was Red Mile Road.

The event was more than raising money, but rather about bringing awareness to increasing safety and security in the Athens community. Pi Beta Phi loves Athens and wants it to be as safe as possible for everyone to enjoy.

If you would like to read more about Ari’s Story, click on SafeD Athens’ website linked below, and click on Dawg Stories. Here you will find Ari’s story written by her father, Jeff Zarse. SafeD Athens is a nonprofit dedicated to improving safety and security infrastructure for the University of Georgia’s campus and the city of Athens, Georgia.