This past Memorial Day Weekend was one for the books as Counterpoint Music Festival commemorated its 3rd year at its home in the rolling hills of Rome, Georgia. Counterpoint has been my home festival since the very beginning way back in 2012 and over the years, as my tastes have evolved, so has this festival and for that it will always have a special home in my heart. By combining world class musical talents, local artists and those wonderful southern vibes, Counterpoint has the recipe for incredible memories to be made. The weather was a bit warm but the nights were cool and the smiles were plenty as the weekend got underway.
We arrived early on Thursday morning just as gates were opening and were greeted by endless lines of cars full of festival goers excited for the big weekend ahead. After a bit of chaos waiting for wristbands in the will call line, we were shuffled through security somewhat quickly and directed to our camping spots. Getting into any festival on the first day always has its minor frustrations but Counterpoint seemed to have things much more figured out this year and the whole process seemed to run very smooth with minimal wait times. Despite there being a burn ban in Georgia, the Counterpoint crew did their best by offering grills for campers to cook on in the campgrounds and everything seemed to be copasetic. After setting up our tents and settling into what would be our humble abode for the next few days we mingled with our camp neighbors over an ice cold beverage as we prepared for night one to commence. Despite a bit of disappointment throughout the campgrounds as word of Chet Faker’s canceled set spread like wildfire, we chucked it up to the fests gods and forged onward as to not let anything bring down the vibes this weekend.
Since its debut in 2012, Counterpoint has always been a primarily electronic based music festival but this year the lineup was geared a bit more towards the jam side while still showcasing their roots. I am a huge believer in variety being the spice to life and I specifically look for musical variety when choosing a festival to attend. There aren’t many festivals where you can see Reggae legends Rebelution on one stage and tropical house guru Thomas Jack on another and that’s what set Counterpoint above the bar this year. Some noteworthy performances of the weekend include New Orleans based brass band The Soul Rebels, up n coming trap artists G Jones, electro jam band Papadosio, bass music legend Tipper and sax shredden’ Griz. Counterpoint did a great job at giving every kind of music lover something to enjoy and providing a space for others to explore the unknown.
In addition to providing a lineup worth bragging about, Counterpoint also held daily workshops in areas such as yoga, meditation and lucid dreaming. You could wake up and begin your day with a nice stretch and decompress from the night before or wind down your long day with some late night (early morning) lucid dreaming meditation all held at the HQ in center camp. One of my personal favorite additions to Counterpoint was the interactive art they provided to get festival goers involved; large canvases with spray paint and brushes provided to let their imaginations run wild and invite them to help create the magic. There was also a good amount of live art happening as well with several artists such as Atlanta based pop art cartoonist and fan favorite Greg Mike creating his signature masterpieces over the course of the weekend.
We love Counterpoint because they really do strive to provide a top notch experience however we did notice that this year turned out to be a bit smaller than the organizers had anticipated. With only about 8,000-10,000 tickets sold compared to the 15,000+ plus they had hoped for it did feel as if some of the extras at the festival were cut short. Little budget cuts such as not having printed out schedules and having to wait to get your wristband in the will call line did seem to make the weekend a little more difficult but alas we are fest vets and will always manage to persevere. Sharing one of the biggest weekends with some of the biggest festivals of the summer may have slightly hindered Counterpoint’s turnout as well as fest goers had to make the difficult choice between Summer Camp and Mysteryland. To me, less people means more room for dancing and that’s exactly what we did; the smaller crowds made for a very intimate and close knit feel during sets.
While we think Counterpoint still has a few kinks to work out, every year gets better than the next and we are excited to see where the journey takes this wildcard. Counterpoint is the hidden gem of the south and the sky is the limit. If you attended this year we can only hope that you are able to see how much these festival producers have our best interests in heart and how they truly strive to make the best experience possible for their attendees. We also hope that if you’re reading this right now and didn’t get to experience this year’s festivities then you will grab your tickets early so you don’t get left out next time.