Festival season is finally here! With so many choices between experiences and lineups alone, how do you decide? It seems like there’s a music festival for every type of taste and dance style out there. It has become a year long cycle that we can’t get enough of! So do you choose to attend EDM escapes like Electric Daisy Carnival or travel to the mysterious land of TomorrowWorld? It’s time to try something different, but not too far from familiar. In today’s electronic music scene, it is extremely rare to come across a music festival that is able to please a multitude of genres while still holding onto a unique identity.
Hyping up with Counterpoint and TomorrowWorld, Imagine Music Fest roars deep with the southeastern beasts. ATLHOmetown hero, Mantis, returned even sicker than last year at Imagine and TW combined! Leah Culver (a.k.a. MK ULTRA) also made a raw come back this year with her true talents and a new name to reflect it. As for the massive Florida front, many attendees were fervent fans of Suwannee Music Park. We can all agree that the collision of both worlds created an atmosphere that was unexpected! Even after closing out their sophomore year, Imagine Music Festival's residual bass heightens the scales of my skin. IRIS Presents crafted an aquatic wonderland that cannot be explained unless you were submerged by the waves of electro and bass. It’s impossible to define ALL the genres of music this year, even with the additional stage to define the battling styles.
Interactive performers uplifted the crowd with marching bands and aerialists that swayed in the air. Build-ups and trilling snares reached as high as the VIP viewing deck. Hot and heavy basslines shook all the way to the lower 3rd floor of the historic Masquerade's Hell where the after-parties took place. Fans had the chance too meet their favorite artists and participate in workshops. The unique atmosphere created by the mixture of a variety of artists as well as Georgia and Florida crews raging together really made this festival shine in the prime location of Fourth Ward Park.
Oceania, the “main” stage had several bouncers, bangers, and bass (of course) such as Brillz, 12th Planet, and Dada Life . Totems and Twonk teamers were bouncing along with the clownfish and little planets floating through the crowd. Kayzo was the real MVP of the Oceania stage. If you're not a fan of hardstyle, he may be your only hope. At least he's not like other artists that disappoint you with a hardstyle drop. Kayzo's sets primarily consist of hardstyle, but morphs into heavy dubstep within a few seconds to bring you back to head banging.
Next, Imagine started spicing things up with the sax slinger, Griz. Watching him was a good reminder of how many different styles of music can be portrayed in one artist. His performance alone made many question their loyalty to the duo, Big Gigantic. The official afterparty, that was only a few stair steps from the boundaries of the venue, hosted more artists like Griz, Leah Culver, Le Castle Vania, and more that were from Day 1.
Amazonia, dubbed “the dust stage” by attendees (bandannas recommended), housed a concoction of talent from all different varieties. ILL Gates vs KJ Sawka was the most unique set of the day at Amazonia. The two had a midi-battle that threw a competition twist to this B2B set. Instead of spice, Amazonia provided chills from acts like Sphongle and Tipper with Android Jones controlling the insane visuals.
Back over at the Oceania stage, Morgan Page's set contrasted to the minimal and blacked out stage for Shpongle. This had been the best laser display seen at a festival of this scale. It was a perfect touch to the progressive and electro house DJ, Morgan Page. Finally, the glitch-hop trio took over Oceania as the Day 1 headliners. No special effects or gimmicks needed. Their live performance is unparalleled to any other EDM artist with their forward-facing midi controllers and electronic toms. They don't perform very often around these parts, so make sure not to miss them!
Day 2 greeted the attendees with light rain that caused some push back in the set times. The Ying Yang Twins followed by KTheory Live had the crowd going rain or shine. The new movement of "future bass" was best represented by the Pretty Lights Showcase featuring Paul Basic and Eliot Lipp. The only disappointment of this day was Lil Jon's cancelled performance due to a "sickness". This wasn't the first time he was on the bill and turned out to be a no-show. His appearance is either becoming highly anticipated or the biggest turn down ever. We were so disappointed that we had to call him out on Twitter.
Papadosio, the 5-piece jamtronic band, was an interesting to open before Crizzly. Your only option at his time was the electro-funk duo from Montreal, Chromeo. This choice appeared weak to a jamtronic band since it was only a DJ set. Instead of this hard decision, the Daily Beat was scheduled for an INTERVIEW with Slice Gang, Crizzly.
Crizzly IMO threw down the best set. His mixture of hip hop and heavy bangers along with some throwbacks had everybody wiling out. 10 points to whoever caught those pizzas that got launched midway through the set. After Crizzly was done slaying the crowd, the lights went down and Datsik took the decks. He came in strong with some old school Datsik bass then transitioned to some electro jumpy stuff. The most impressive part of the set was closing out with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Going from strong party vibe to a chill sing along atmosphere was a fantastic way to end the festival.
Needless to say Imagine has continued to WOW their fans with another outstanding year. 26,000 joy filled attendees flocked to Atlanta to be part of one of the coolest festival experiences possible and were not disappointed. Luckily we won’t have to wait to ensure our spot for next year, Imagine has already started selling customer appreciation tickets. How cool is that? Whether you’re an Imagine OG or if you just want to party with some awesome vibes at a sick venue, you do want to pass this up.