2017 marked this years second installment of Imagine Music Festival and the event took place at the HUGE Atlanta Motor Speedway. After Tomorroworld’s disaster in 2015 Imagine Music Festival took the place of Tomorrowworld as an “aquatic fairytale” electronic dance music festival. This year many improvements were made to the young festival and a lineup that included heavy hitters Above & Beyond, Deadmau5, Claude VonStroke, Illenium, and Pretty Lights pulled in dance music fans from across the country.
The space the festival covered was MASSIVE. You did not want to opt out of the camping option. Camping/Lodging was offered in many different options including VIP, Glamping, Hotel Packages, and General Camping. Even if you didn’t end up actually camping the camping pass on this year’s scannable entry bracelets allowed you access to yoga & transformational Workshops, breakfast themed food trucks, showers, and the highlight of camping, A SILENT DISCO. The Silent Disco was LIT after the festival ended and allowed festival goers to finish each night with a bang. Although a unique addition to the festival, the silent disco often times had only 1-2 stations therefore lacking in the maximum variety of three stations.
Imagine Music Festival also stood out with the timing of the festival hours. The festival began with sets at 5am and ended at 3am. The unique hours of the festival definitely made attendees have a different sleeping schedule as most people were waking up around 1-3pm. But this was a very positive quality of the festival. The almost “EDC Las Vegas-esque” hours made the festival take place in cooler temperatures and left attendees not feeling as sunburned or drained.
This year the festival had 8 stages, 3 of them being large scale production stages. Oceania served as the mainstage and typical hosted big names after 8pm. Amazonia and Disco Inferno both pleasantly surprised us this year. Amazonia had colorful canopies and Disco Inferno held to its name with flame performers and constant (sometimes a little extreme) emissions of fire. Production definitely has room to grow with this festival. The Aeria stage which hosted some trance artists seemed quickly assembled with only metal poles and a white canopy covering it. The mainstage, Oceania, improved this year and delivered with eye popping lasers that stretched for miles.
Now the performances. Let’s be honest, sometimes a festival doesn’t get crazy till night starts. That held true to Imagine but overall there were some stellar sets you did not want to miss. Leah Culver put on a 42 PERSON production featuring Nitti Gritti playing Guitar, the Atlanta Children’s Choir, and her singing! Seven Lions, Above & Beyond, Marc Kinchen, and Nora en Pure dropped some of the festival’s best sets. Claude VonStroke finished the weekend off with his deep tunes.
The festival also held true to its aquatic theme. A troupe of performers including hoop artists paraded around the festival painted head to toe as mermaid, pirates, fish, and more. A POOL, shallow but at least clean, was placed in the middle of the festival. You could enjoy several activities including beer pong, bumper balls, volleyball, and more at this center piece. Also, be assured it was drained and refiled everyday.
The amount of vendors and food trucks at this festival was ridiculous! It was great having these options as you could get anything from Caribbean style roti dishes to Papa John’s. Every section of the festival (including the camping area and stages) had food trucks and vendors. You literally could buy any kind of rave gear, some with incredible deals as well.
Lets not forget the gimmicks that were positioned around the festival. Circus acts were positioned at most stages and included a Sky Cycle, German Wheel, and Motorcyclists in a Cage.
Overall, Imagine Music Festival was a pleasant surprise. The festival has great potential to expand with the massive size of the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Some cons to be worked on include a long entry wait time and some inconsistencies for procedures and security. A festival is no easy task to undergo and Imagine certainly did a great job this year. Lets see if year 3 continues to electrify Atlanta.
*Images Courtesy of Cox Media, theappetiteofaas, DVPhotoVideo, FestivalDog, and Imagine Music Festival