by Brandon Lopez
Atlanta’s biggest camping festival is back, and this year it is keeping the party going longer with four days of fun. With more activities than ever and the brand new Techyes/Guerrilla 360º stage Imagine is stepping it up this year. Be sure to check out the Saturday pool party from 1-4PM and hang out on the giant floaties. Be dazzled by the circus and character performances including the Giant Wheel. Check out the artwork all around the grounds and stop in for yoga, fitness, and wellness classes. One class that caught my eye is the Wim Hof Workshop Experience with Ice. This class focuses on increasing oxygen circulation through breathing and mindset. The workshop ends with an ice bath to stimulate the body with cold exposure.
Come early on Thursday to dive deep into the aquatic wonderland and secure the best camping spots. Prepare your dancing shoes for when Blunts and Blondes throw down exuberant energy with classic old school wubs that will bring you back to the early days of dubstep. Then, stick around for when Space Jesus brings his signature intergalactic vibes beaming with low frequencies, future feels, and downright inter-dimensional rhythms.
Friday the party heats up, highlighting some of EDM’s hottest stars — Diplo and Rezz. Diplo is most known for his label Mad Decent has been producing for over fifteen years. After releasing “Paper Airplanes” produced with M.I.A., Diplo exploded onto the scene. Diplo is no stranger to collaborative DJing including a couple of duos, Major Lazor, Jack Ü, and supergroup LSD. Rezz is still a bit of a mystery in the EDM scene with an ever progressing hypnotic soundscape. At my most recent Rezz performance, I had the pleasure of watching Rezz drop the track “Physco” featuring audio and visuals from the 1950s movie by the same name. These spooky, elements mixed with alien, hypnotic, almost circus-like energy makes her a real wild card behind the deck. A loose cannon of mesmeric beats so to speak. Other Friday artists I’m excited to check out include Subtronics and Boogie T who collaborated on the tracks “Hit ’Em” and “Senpai.”
On Saturday, the lineup features some favorite DJs and producers from around the world. Out of Australia, we have Alison Wonderland, a master of deep-hitting melodic, smooth listening beats. The warm and welcoming lyrics to her songs are like a lullaby for the soul, sure to leave you in a state of bliss. Above & Beyond hails from England and is legendary in the trance scene. Seeing them live is an experience, a real emotional release for most and has helped me to process emotions and find direction in my life. If you need to dive deep into your soul, have a moment with a loved one or even just yourself, this is a set you have to attend. Australia also brings us Wax Motif, who brings mind-churning house perfect for connecting the mental dots. With trippy, uplifting, bewildering, thought-provoking tones, the House of Wax is a place for deep introspection.
Saturday is bursting at the seams with talent from the US as well. G Jones has roots that run deep in my hometown of Santa Cruz, CA, where he attended UCSC. His music booms deep into your soul, taking you on a journey across a hypnotic and pixelated soundscape. G Jones exhibits stellar control over tempo while incorporating panning to give you an immersive experience where it sounds like the sound is zipping around you. Ghastly is from around my old stomping grounds in Phoenix and has thrown down countless times at the Rawhide. Most recently Drezzo brought ghastly out for a surprise back to back at Rezz’s show. Ghastly goes hard, bringing hard-hitting house and dubstep beats that keep the crowd moving in a frenzy.
Sunday brings my most anticipated act, Tipper. His live performance has managed to evade me since the summer of 2011. Back then, my friend recounted his Sound Experience show at the Coconut Grove in Santa Cruz to me. “Dude, it’s crazy this guy sets up like twenty speakers in a room and plays different noises on all of them.” Ever since then, I’ve been jamming to tippers weird, beautiful, downright psychedelic sound and loving every moment of it. Sunday also brings Thriftworks one of the most magically off-the-wall artists out there. True to the name Thriftworks borrows sounds from all genres of music in addition to the everyday world. He is a master of densely stacking together sounds into aisles of eclectic music.
Finally, Sunday brings Claude Vonstroke & The Dirtybird Stage Takeover at the Disco Infernal Stage. The entire Dirtybird crew brings a particular version of house music known as “tech funk.” This funk-infused house music will have you bouncing on your toes as the birdhouse goes deep down memory lane. The birdhouse is chirping with sounds that will remind you of your childhood and college years. And noises that will surely trigger you to remember your time at imagine in the future. There is no better way to end a festival than in the birdhouse, so come out and flock out to see Claude Vonstroke, Justin Martin, J. Philp, and Justin Jay. The Dirtybird Players mellow, yet energetic sets will wiggly away all your worries and mellow your mind as you prepare your imagination and intentions to reenter the outside world. Secure your tickets today, while free Thursday early entry is still available.