Happy birthday to R.E.M. who started out thirty years ago to the day on April 5th, 1980. To commemorate the milestone, we’ve posted a photo essay including shots by a few of the essential photographers who have chronicled R.E.M.’s past in pictures. Also be sure to look at Bertis’ awesome list of 30 places meaningful to the band over the years.

The REM 30 celebration at the Melting Point Friday night was a big success, selling out early and raising much needed dollars for the Athens Area Homeless Shelter and The Athens Area Emergency Food Bank. Sterling sets by Mitch Easter, John Keane, Cindy Wilson, Dana Downs and the Debauchelors, Supercluster, VieTnam, The Heap, and Casper and the Cookies…with backup help from event organizer Kathy Edmonds. Hands down a great event. Here’s a video of Mitch Easter playing “Moral Kiosk” from Murmur at R.E.M. 30:

More videos from the show are posted at Athensmusicjunkie’s youtube channel.

Don’t forget to stop by Cine tonight for the last screening of R.E.M. @ 30: A Retrospective. The 90-minute screening highlights the entirety of the band’s career with rare footage and clips from performances, videos, interviews, and much more. Show starts at 7:30 and admission is $5. And finally, be sure to tune into WUOG, 90.5 FM today between Noon and 5:00 PM as they will be playing five straight hours of R.E.M.

Check out these articles in Rolling Stone and USA Today about the anniversary.