“This is one of the best times I’ve ever had in my life!” I yell out into the booming wave of music.
My words are tangled among the electrifying beats that are raging from Marshmello’s set. You can hardly hear a word over the ocean of sound, but my festie-bestie smiles and shouts, “I know, this is unreal!”
Imagine Music Festival (IMF) 2019 was one of the most magical festivals I’ve ever experienced. This deep-sea adventure pulled me out of the hustle and bustle of my regular life and plunged me headfirst into a weekend of magic, mystic and (of course) a tidal wave of wicked music.
Imagine is held in the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia. I live all the way up in the Great White North (Canada), but I had heard so many amazing things about this festival that I knew this was one trip I absolutely had to take. Let me tell you, I could not be happier with my decision.
On the first day, walking through the venue gates of the Atlanta Motor Speedway, I immediately felt a rush of magic floating through the air. As I looked out from the stands of the raceway, I could see a fairytale world that was created with one purpose in mind: to bring people together through a love of music.
(Photo Credit: @dvphotovideo // Photo provided by Imagine Music Festival)
From the glowing lights of the Ferris wheel to the four (and later, five) raging stages, to the food trucks, art pieces, pool parties, performers, vendors, lasers and everything in between, the vibe was perfect at IMF and I could not have been more impressed with the entire production.
Pulling into the parking lot of this underwater fantasy, I could see an entire village of vehicles and tents filling in the campground area. Known as the "Captain's Quarters," and sponsored by iHeartRaves, what was once an open field was now a community of peace, love, unity and respect as it became a home-away-from-home for many Imagineers. There was no shortage of adventure in this mini-makeshift town — ever been to a silent disco afterparty? Picture the perfect amount of party rage without waking up your neighbors. From workshops and yoga classes to craft and food areas, the party-energy gushed from the campground and flooded the fest (in a completely magical, not a plumbing issue type of way).
As I walked through the gates and my black combat boots clanked down the steel steps, I could feel the anticipation flowing through my veins. Stepping onto the pavement, I could see the smiles from a wave of ravers light up as bursts of fire shot into the sky from the Disco Inferno stage. It was go time.
First things first, let’s talk festival fashion. I fell madly in love with all of the bold and beautiful outfits I saw at Imagine. The amount of self-expression and individuality the crowd had to offer was captivating. From colorful wigs to neon leg wraps and everything in between, everyone looked like they were one of the glorious art pieces scattered throughout the venue.
I rocked iHeartRaves for my looks for all three nights, and I have to admit I felt fierce as hell with my maxi skirts and fringe dress flowing in the wind. Check out my fits here:
Speaking of the crowd, the vibe at IMF could not have been more spectacular. Everyone had a mountain of energy and was filled with loving good vibes in the form of smiles and smudging glitter across my cheekbones in the bathroom line (Thank you to the sweet beauty queen who helped bring out my inner mermaid!).
From the rad new pals we made at our hotel to the lovely souls we sat beside during our bike-taxi adventures, the IMF crowd was filled with love all around.
As I said, I live in Canada which is quite far from Southern California, so it was also great to finally meet the Director of Marketing of iHeartRaves, Amanda! I was so pumped to meet this beautiful rave babe, so of course, we had to snap a picture to save the memory! Check us out:
By Saturday, Imagine had five stages open and ready to rage: Oceania (the main stage), Disco Inferno, Amazonia, Six Feathers, and Techyes.
Each stage brought its own unique element to life. Although, I will admit the flaming art at Disco Inferno was by far one of my favorite aspects of the entire event, shooting rivers of fire into the sky from giant metal art structures.
The artists at IMF were truly outstanding. No matter which stage I was at, I felt a level of energy and hype flowing from the speakers and enchanting every twisting, turning and shuffling body in the crowd.
I have to give a special shoutout to Alison Wonderland, Zeds Dead and Marshmello. After my soul was brought to church by A.Wonderland, Zeds Dead followed her killer performance with another raging set. I danced my heart out in the grass field of the Oceania stage, living my best life as my goldskirt danced around my legs like diamonds in the water.
Photo Credit: @dvphotovideo // Photo provided by Imagine Music Festival
Marshmello closed the Oceania stage on Sunday night in the most memorable way possible. Now I don’t mean this lightly when I say his performance was one of (if not the) very best sets I’ve ever seen. The amount of energy pumping through the crowd could be felt for miles (or kilometers, if you’re Canadian like me). A sea of oversized glow sticks flooded through the hands of crowd, splashing rhythmic waves of color like a neon hurricane. Mixed with endless streams of lasers, fire and fireworks, the black Georgia sky was brought to life. Overlooking the crowd from the tops of bopping shoulders, I felt a true sense of happiness that can only be described with two words: truly magical. Just when I thought my heart couldn’t get any fuller, the words of the BeatlesImagineflooded my eardrums and tears welled up in my eyes. Pure happiness.
Of course, no mystic adventure would be complete without filling your stomach with tasty bites of heaven. The smell of delicious temptation twisted through Imagine’s main street with a glorious line of food trucks ready to make your tastebud’s wildest dreams come true. In my case, this meant taking down the most delicious basket of chicken strips I have ever tasted for three nights straight. No shame. Shout out to the food truck, Pie Daddy, for being my personal superheroes for the weekend and hooking me up with golden crunchy goodness.
On Sunday night, my Unity Travel shuttle bus pulled out of the event parking lot for the last time and I felt my wave of enchantment slowly transform into picture-perfect memories. I could still hear the explosion of Marshmello’s set mixed with the laughter of my festie-bestie dancing through my ears, and in that moment I couldn’t help but let a smile spread across my cheeks.
Imagine, you were one for the record books. I finally found what lies deep at the bottom of the ocean. What is it? You’ll just have to meet me at Imagine 2020 to find out. Check out the offical day 3 recap video here:
TAGS: mariann roberts,