Atlanta’s Imagine Music Festival has proven it has more longevity than anyone ever believed!
The electronic scene in Atlanta has seen the beginning and end of a beloved CounterPoint Music Festival, the mammoth TomorrowWorld, and even Diplo’s Mad Decent Block Party. Each of those events had huge backing, on the national level, but weren’t able to withstand the test of time and changing tastes. IMF was essentially the runt of the litter. It was and has been put on by a small promotional company, IRIS Presents, which is accustomed to throwing weekly raves on the north side of the city. Maybe its consistency with those weekly raves is something that gave IMF an edge over other festivals and promoters.
The 2017 edition of Imagine was an important year in proving the festival is here to stay. There were massive headliners, promises of improvement on mistakes of years’ past, and of course the IRIS girls and theatrics that the promotional company loves to include! Here’s a few of the promises that the festival was successful in improving:
- Abundance of Water – this was a HUGE issue last year (exacerbated by the extremely high temperatures, typical of late August in Georgia). However, festival organizers definitely improved water stations and the number of them. There were longer lines near the main stages, but as always, I recommend being mindful of where the less populated water stations are and taking advantage when you’re near one!
- Camping Areas – this may have also seemed better than last year because of the date change and lower temperatures. Additional amenities were brought in, which made the general quality of all way better (more potties = nicer potties).
- Music Lineup – Imagine has always had quality lineups with seemingly impossible headliners, new genres represented, and inclusion of local talent. This year was no departure from that formula!
- Production was HUGE – it was evident a serious production company was hired for this years’ event! Both the sound and visuals were operating on a professional level on every stage. My favorite stage of the weekend was the Disco Inferno stage. It housed much of the house music for the weekend but also had some local fire-freaks (the Incendia crew) keeping it hot!
- Food Vendors – this was a big issue in 2016, when there were only vendors that the speedway typically uses (some issue with permits permitted any other food from being served). Pretty much everything was fried and there weren’t hardly any vegetarian/vegan options, despite being advertised as provided. The improvement here was a full 360. Both inside and outside the fest grounds, there were many food and beverage options that you would normally see at a large-scale music festival.
Here’s a list of some stand-out performances for the weekend:
- Friday: The Funk Hunters, Datsik, and Minnesota
- Saturday: Chris Lake, Nora En Pure, Claptone, Pretty Lights, and Deadmau5
- Sunday: Boogie T, Illenium, Seven Lions, Will Clake, Shiba San, Claude Von Stroke….ok, so I spent a lot of time at the Disco Inferno stage!
While Imagine Music Festival continues to grow, the electronic music fans of Atlanta and surrounding areas have no choice but to cheer it on! One thing we will all be praying for will be an improved entry process. This needs to be addressed at almost every entry point (and lack there of). From the first entrance to the camp grounds to the entrance from camp to the venue. Horror stories came out of the weekend, as people passed out on Friday waiting in 100 yard lines to get wristbands and people missed hours of live music having to wait 2+ hours to get into the venue. Organizers attempted to alleviate some of these issues, but it seemed too little too late and a sign of poor planning. However, I have faith that this will be another bullet in the list of improvements for next years’ fest!