Looking back on the fourth year of Imagine Music Festival, only good memories and excitement for next year come to mind. Out of all of the festivals on the east coast – Imagine takes the cake. The energy was high all weekend long, both at the event and surrounding the campsites. Every hour of every day you could find live music and great people just waiting to share an experience of a lifetime with you!
Imagine really stepped up their game and delivered a high-quality event for a reasonable cost (not to mention, appreciation tickets for next year have already gone on sale for only $99 + fees). The camping grounds were clean, well organized, and close to the actual venue. Free showers were provided on site (thank you festival gods), and there was a friendly staff member providing free body wash, soap, shampoo, and yes - conditioner at every shower. The people working the event were well aware of their surroundings and extremely informative. Security was nice, and occasionally could be seen busting a move here and there at the various stages. Nothing makes a crowd of ravers happier than seeing the staff working the event actually enjoying themselves while looking out for attendees.
Each stage had a theme, all of which were executed perfectly based on the primary genre of electronic music showcased there. The Disco Inferno stage was nothing short of spectacular. Flames were coming from every direction, there were fire spinners and dancers with every performance, and some of the best house artists like Gorgon City, Shiba San, and Claude Vonstroke. The Oceania stage featured the filthiest dubstep of the weekend. Zomboy, Datsik, Flux Pavilion and of course Black Tiger Sex Machine taking all of Imagine to church. The Amazonia stage, which opened up on night two, was tucked away in the back and complete with hanging vines that whistled in the wind. The Amazonia stage supplied the funk for the weekend with artists like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, and The Floozies. The overall layout of the festival was also well executed, and transition from stage to stage was smooth.
One thing I must give the team at Imagine mad credit for was their ability to listen to the fans and address any issues from previous years. Although there were few to no complaints from those in attendance, every event has something that causes a little commotion (and personally, I’m always eager to see how gracefully it is handled by the event staff, whatever the problem may be). In the case of Imagine, it was entering the festival gates on Day 2. Long wait times, larger crowds, and some impatient festival attendees caused for minor issues with entering the speedway. Personally, the wait never really bothers me because I expect it on the busiest day of a festival (typically the Saturday). My advice to people is to always give yourself a two-hour window before you want to get in for two reasons: (1) you; realistically, will not start making your way there two hours before no matter what you tell yourself and (2) you never know what delays may come before you. Going into Day 3; however, Imagine organizers notified attendees (using the official IMF app) of an additional entrance being opened to help reduce wait times. Not only was it quickly handled, but extremely effective.
Imagine Music Festival embodied the theme of imagination by constantly surrounding attendees with unreal production and live circus acts. Upon entering the festival, you immediately come across artists lining the back of the Disco Inferno stage, creating works of art right before your eyes. I remember at one point while at the Oceania stage I was in awe of the high-quality production, but completely distracted by the two guys flipping around on a giant spinning seesaw. Meanwhile, there are girls doing aerial yoga from silks on the stage! Walking from stage to stage there were motorcyclists doing spins in a large sphere shaped cage. Can you just imagine trying to explain this to people who weren't there to see it? The live acts seemed to draw everyone’s attention and kept your adrenaline pumping. It was hard not to get lost in the magic all weekend long.
The area in which Imagine Music Festival deserves the most credit is the fact that over the course of four years they have always been able to stack the lineup with a wide variety of popular artists and artists on the rise. At the same time, they've expanded and moved to a much larger location, all while keeping to there Atlanta roots. Atlanta is a huge base for the electronic music culture, and high standards are always set for any event that calls ATL its home. Imagine not only sets the bar for future events but continues to exceed fans expectations with each passing year. As a fan and music lover (specifically from the south east area), I feel privileged to see the growth in an event like Imagine Music Festival. What started as a two-day event in the heart of Atlanta has developed into a three-day camping festival overflowing with creativity, thrill, and magic.
Until next year, Imagine!