Tag - imagine music festival

Dirtybird Players Stage at Imagine 2017

IMF 2016 Disco Inferno

2016 marked the first year of Imagine Music Festival taking place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The larger venue allowed for an impressive layout of stages catering to specific styles of music: the Oceania Stage hosted an assortment of big names and headliners, the Amazonia Stage trended towards live music, funk, and glitch, the Aeria Stage had a slew of heavier drum & bass and dubstep, and the Disco Inferno stage naturally showcased an assortment of disco, house, and techno artists. Imagine will be building upon the success of the curated stages, notably with the Disco Inferno Stage, which will feature Claude VonStroke and the Dirtybird Players Stage.

Barclay Crenshaw, AKA Claude VonStroke, has been building the Dirtybird Records brand since 2005, specializing in a brand of house music that he’s dubbed “tech funk.” Some of the quintessential characteristics of the Dirtybird brand seem to revolve around having fun, being chill, and just doing your own thing. This is immediately evident given the events that Dirtybird Records has been throwing lately, namely the Dirtybird BBQ series and Dirtybird Campout. If the event names don’t make it clear, a primary goal is to elicit a laid-back feel, with a funky soundtrack of course. After Mixmag voted Dirtybird Records as the number one record label of the decade, Claude VonStroke was surprised and humbled, commenting that “We’ve always done our own thing, even if it wasn’t popular. It definitely wasn’t popular for a while, and it might not even be popular now, but we’re still just doing our own thing.”

Much of the success of Dirtybird could be attributed to this laid-back style of focusing on what’s fun and unique, not necessarily what’s popular or trendy. This style of recruiting artists, running a label, and throwing events should make any house music fan excited to see what’s in store this year for the Disco Inferno Stage at Imagine Music Festival. This year’s Disco Inferno Stage has an impressive lineup, including Dirtybird artists: Claude VonStroke, Shiba San, Will Clarke, Ciszak, and Dateless, as well as Gorgon City, Chris Lake, Claptone, and Nora En Pure. The Dirtybird Players Stage will take place on Sunday, September 24, while the remaining artists will perform at the Disco Inferno Stage throughout the rest of the weekend.

In addition to the music, the festival producers are expanding the stage. Glen Goodhand, Co-Founder of Imagine Music Festival explains what’s in store for this year’s Disco Inferno Stage:

This year’s Disco Inferno Stage will feature a giant disco ball center piece that shoots a 100 foot flame out of the top of it. Along with many other disco domes sprinkled in the crowd that will have water misting during the day and fire roofs at night. These will all be tied together with an elaborate truss system and massive D&B Audiotechnik sound system so everyone can hear and feel the beautiful sounds. A true 360-degree immersive experience.

Between the music, atmosphere, and stage production, the Disco Inferno Stage at Imagine Music Festival should certainly heat up the dance floor and get the crowd groovin’ and we can’t wait! If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, GA and VIP tickets are still available through the ticketing website. We hope to see you there!

Imagine Music Festival 2017 Full Lineup

Imagine Music Festival 2017 Full Lineup

After dropping a first phase lineup that would exceed most other festival’s full rosters, the three-day music and camping festival is releasing the next round of performers for its 2017 event. Returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia on September 22 through 24, 2017, Imagine has put an exclamation point on its performer lineup with a mix of new heavyweights, including:

Big Gigantic: Perennial fan favorites, Big G, has made a name for themselves by pairing electronic beats with their signature live saxophone and drums. Tracks from their latest release, last year’s Brighter Future that included a bevy of collaborators, is currently getting the remix treatment from acts like Luca Lush, Kasbo and Naderi.

STS9: Originally from Georgia and affectionately known to fans simply as “Tribe”, this tight knit group of electronic rock instrumentalists with a meteoric rise to fame, is now nearly 20 years into their illustrious career. Perfecting their self-described “post-rock dance music” through live rock instrumentation on one of their many tours, STS9 is one of the top-grossing live acts globally.

Claude VonStroke: A producer obsessed with the cross-pollination of genres, Claude VonStroke has made a name for himself as a house and techno pioneer with the chops to craft pristine, albeit laid-back remixes. This year, as the owner of Dirtybird Records, VonStroke will be joined by Shiba San, Will Clarke, Ciszak and Dateless on the label’s branded stage at Imagine.

G Jones: A favorite of the underground bass scene, G Jones has emerged as a staple on the festival circuit having played such notables as Bonnaroo, Euphoria, Camp Bisco and more. His unique blend of distorted bass and trip visuals make for one of the more energetic shows on the circuit.

Illenium: As a relative newbie to the game, Illenium has taken big strides since the release of his debut Ashes in 2016, having remixed Dawn Golden, ODESZA and Oh Wonder, amongst others.

NGHTMRE: Originally a trap and house producer, NGHTMRE released an eponymous EP in 2016- considered by many to be one of the top dance/electronic contributions of the year. The recently released “End of the Night” is a collaboration with Ghastly that is an epic example of what to expect at Imagine.

Additional artists new to the lineup include: Ciszak; Dateless; Hippie Sabotage; and The Funk Hunters, as well as local talent: Alex Lucas; Bandikook; Blunts & Blondes; Corey Von Waters; Daddydough; Daniels Jack; Deep Technicians; Devious; Domii; Exit 9; Flats Stanlie (theUntz Winner); Higher Learning; Jordan Gervais; Kevin Flum; Lucidea; LYFTD (theUntz Winner); Organik; Riven; Robbie Dude; Sejva; Space Kadet; Stranger Candy; Sylo; Teriyaki Noize; White Rhino; Yuki; and Zen Selekta. Additional music blocks will be provided by: Bass Family, Slow & Low and Trance Family.

Oceania Stage at IMF 2017

Oceania Stage at IMF 2017

Featuring over six stages, each with its own distinct musical focus and vibe, there will not be an inch of the festival grounds that will not be bathed in Imagine’s immersive aquatic fairytale. Previously announced artists on the 2017 performer lineup include: Headliners: Above & Beyond; Deadmau5; Tiësto; Pretty Lights Live and Gorgon City. Oceania Stage: Datsik; Deorro; Flux Pavilion; Seven Lions; Zomboy; 12th Planet; Black Tiger Sex Machine; Liquid Stranger; Marc Kitchen; Codeko; Fransis Derelle; Leah Culver; and Ying Yang Twins, with Pyramid Schemes. Amazonia Stage: The Floozies; Bleep Bloop; Minnesota; Rob Garza; Spag Heddy; Boogie T; Buku; Esseks; ill.Gates; Ott; Squnto; and Yeti. Disco Inferno Stage: Chris Lake; Claptone; Nora En Pure; Shiba San and Will Clarke. Aeria Stage: Netsky; Noisia; Planet of the Drums, featuring AK1200, Dara, Dieselboy and Messinian; Black Sun Empire; Andy Bruh; Bryson Taylor; Daily Bread; Eddie Gold; High Kalliber; Ployd; Ra & Adara; Sunday Service and music blocks by: Torch DNB and Wiggle Factor.

Disco Inferno Stage 2016

Disco Inferno Stage at IMF 2016

Imagine will be returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway this September 22-24, 2017 for the fourth edition of the festival. The return to the venue means fans can expect plenty of upgrades, based in large part on feedback from its 2016 attendees. Expanded water stations, camping upgrades, improved VIP areas, shade and charging stations, food options, dancers, art, workshops, the return of the Imagine splash pool and of course an even bigger and better lineup. As one of the country’s last remaining independent festivals, Imagine creates an all-encompassing, 360-degree sensory experience that blends music, circus troupes, performers, dancers, art, workshops, classes and more.

Tickets are available now starting at $163 for a 3-day pass. VIP passes, with front row pit access, an elevated viewing area, VIP (no line) access, air conditioned chill lounge, bottle service, cocktail service, complimentary champagne toasts, private security, clean trailer bathrooms with running water and air conditioning, giveaways, meet and greets, and more are available starting at $299 for a 3-day pass. Camping passes are also available to purchase as an add-on to the festival tickets with prices starting at $99. Four camping packages are available including GA Camping, VIP Camping, Easy Life Pre-Set Souvenir Tents, The Glamp Life Premium Tents, Geo-Dome Luxe Tents, GA RV Camping and VIP RV Camping. Tickets are available online at www.imaginefestival.com. Imagine Music Festival is an 18 and over event.

Imagine Music Festival is produced by Iris Presents. Visit www.imaginefestival.com for the most up-to-date information. Stay connected on Twitter at www.twitter.com/imaginemusicfes and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/imaginemusicfestival.

Imagine Music Festival 2017 Phase 1 Lineup

Imagine Music Festival 2017 Phase 1

Following a transformative third year, which saw the region’s largest independent EDM camping festival host fans from across the country, Imagine has released the first phase of its lineup and it’s bigger than ever. Returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia on September 22 through 24, 2017, Imagine is continuing its trend of attracting some of the biggest talent from around the globe. The first round of headliners for the highly-anticipated music and camping festival include: Above & Beyond; Deadmau5; Tiësto; Pretty Lights Live and Gorgon City.

Featuring over six stages, each with its own distinct musical focus and vibe, there will not be an inch of the festival grounds that will not be bathed in Imagine’s immersive aquatic fairytale. Additional artists on the 2017 performer lineup include: Oceania Stage: Datsik; Deorro; Flux Pavilion; Seven Lions; Zomboy; 12th Planet; Black Tiger Sex Machine; Liquid Stranger; Marc Kitchen; Codeko; Fransis Derelle; Leah Culver; and Ying Yang Twins, with Pyramid Schemes. Amazonia Stage: The Floozies; Jai Wolf; Bleep Bloop; Minnesota; Rob Garza; Spag Heddy; Boogie T; Buku; Esseks; ill.Gates; Ott; Squnto; and Heti. Disco Inferno Stage: Chris Lake; Claptone; Nora En Pure; Shiba San and Will Clarke. Aeria Stage: Noisia; Netsky; Planet of the Drums, featuring AK1200, Dara, Dieselboy and Messinian; Black Sun Empire; Andy Bruh; Bryson Taylor; Daily Bread; Eddie Gold; High Caliber; Ployd; Ra & Adara; Sunday Service and music blocks by: Torch DNB and Wiggle Factor. A second round of artists and additional stages will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The festival is a living and breathing representation of our guests wishes and imagination,” says Iris Presents founders Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand. “Each year we are challenged to not only top the lineup from the year before, but exceed expectations- this lineup is just the beginning of the magic that awaits.”

Earlier this year, Imagine announced it would be returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway this September 22-24, 2017 for the fourth edition of the immersive aquatic fairytale. The return to the venue means fans can expect plenty of upgrades, based in large part to feedback from its 2016 attendees. Expanded water stations, camping upgrades, improved VIP area, shade and charging stations, food options, dancers, art, workshops, the return of the Imagine pool and of course an even bigger and better lineup. As one of the country’s last remaining independent festivals, Imagine creates an all-encompassing, 360-degree sensory experience that blends music, circus troupes, performers, dancers, art, workshops, classes and more.

Tickets are available now starting at $125 for a 3-day pass. VIP passes, with front row pit access, an elevated viewing area, VIP (no line) access, air conditioned chill lounge, bottle service, cocktail service, complimentary champagne toasts, private security, clean trailer bathrooms with running water and air conditioning, giveaways, meet and greets, and more are available starting at $299 for a 3-day pass. Camping passes are now available to purchase as an add-on to the festival tickets with prices starting at $99. Four camping packages available including GA Camping, VIP Camping, Easy Life Pre-Set Souvenir Tents, The Glamp Life Premium Tents, Geo-Dome Luxe Tents, GA RV Camping and VIP RV Camping. Tickets are available online at www.imaginefestival.com. Imagine Music Festival is an 18 and over event.

Imagine Music Festival is produced by Iris Presents. Visit www.imaginefestival.com for the most up-to-date information. Stay connected on Twitter at www.twitter.com/imaginemusicfes and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/imaginemusicfestival.

Imagine Music Festival Releases Official 2016 4K After Movie

Imagine Music Festival 2016 Mainstage Pyrotechnics

Imagine Music Festival, the amazing three-day camping, electronic dance music festival held in Atlanta, Georgia, is excited to reveal the official after movie for 2016. Coming off of a great year, which saw the festival welcome over 25,000 attendees to its new home at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the movie is – in a word, MASSIVE. Opening with a sweeping shot across the Imagine campgrounds, this #ReImagined look at the festival is something one can only do by taking a step back to take it all in. From a carefree float in the Imagine pool to a spin on the ferris wheel, the bumping beats of DJ Hanzel and lasers tearing through the night sky and even a wedding proposal, the after movie will transport you back to last August and make you want to do it all over again.

2016 IMAGINE MUSIC FESTIVAL OFFICIAL 4K AFTER MOVIE

Earlier this year, Imagine announced it would be returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway this September 22-24, 2017 for the fourth edition of the immersive aquatic fairy tale. The return to the venue means fans can expect plenty of upgrades, based in large part to feedback from its 2016 attendees. Expanded water stations, camping upgrades, improved VIP area, shade and charging stations, food options, dancers, art, workshops, the return of the Imagine pool and of course an even bigger and better lineup. As one of the country’s last remaining independent festivals, Imagine creates an all-encompassing, 360-degree sensory experience that blends music, circus troupes, performers, dancers, art, workshops, classes and more.

“We are extremely grateful for the love and support we saw last year. The magnitude of growth we experienced in our first year at Atlanta Motor Speedway was humbling. There is endless potential and we look forward to growing as a festival,” says Iris Presents founders Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand.

Tickets are available now starting at $125 for a 3-day pass. VIP passes, with front row pit access, an elevated viewing area, VIP (no line) access, air conditioned chill lounge, bottle service, cocktail service, complimentary champagne toasts, private security, clean trailer bathrooms with running water and air conditioning, giveaways, meet and greets, and more are available starting at $299 for a 3-day pass. Camping passes are now available to purchase as an add-on to the festival tickets, with prices starting at $99. Four camping packages available including GA Camping, VIP Camping, Easy Life Pre-Set Souvenir Tents, The Glamp Life Premium Tents, Geo-Dome Luxe Tents, GA RV Camping and VIP RV Camping. Tickets are available online at www.imaginefestival.com. Imagine Music Festival is an 18 and over event.

Imagine Music Festival is produced by Iris Presents. Visit www.imaginefestival.com for the most up-to-date information. Stay connected on Twitter at www.twitter.com/imaginemusicfes and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/imaginemusicfestival.

The 2016 Imagine Music Festival Experience

Imagine Music Festival 2016 Mainstage Pyrotechnics

Imagine Music Festival celebrated its third year, last month at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, in Atlanta, GA. Previously held at Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Park in Downtown Atlanta, Imagine moved to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time this year, in order to accommodate larger crowds, camping, and later noise ordinances. In previous years, Imagine had to end at 11PM (with after-parties going later in the night), while this year, performances were allowed to go until 3AM (with after-parties like the Silent Disco going later in the night). On top of the new venue, addition of camping, and later sets, Imagine also added an additional day, making the festival a three-day event.

Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand, the founders of Imagine and the Atlanta-based Iris Promotions LLC and Iris Presents Inc., told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that previous years saw an attendance of 25,000-27,000. They expected to host about 30,000-35,000 fans this year. They were thrilled when the festival ended up hosting about 45,000 attendants, saying: “The magnitude of growth we experienced this year is humbling.” The couple are looking to continue the festival’s growth, noting that “The Atlanta Motor Speedway has endless potential and we look forward to growing into the massive site.”

In order to enter the venue, patrons had to navigate through a pedestrian tunnel that led underneath the speedway and onto the center field, making the journey feel like a portal into another realm. As soon as fans made their exit from the tunnel and onto the center field, they were immersed in an aquatic music and art spectacle. Imagine teamed up with AQUA this year, a special effects company that enhances concerts and festivals. The production company started years ago, in an effort to put their own spin on music events. “By combining lights, lasers and projections we can create 3D visuals, water holograms and mezmerizing [sic] fountains that dance to the beat of the music.” In addition to the visual aspect, AQUA also makes it a point to give back. For every ticket that is sold to one of their events, they donate one month of clean water to a person in need. Complementing the AQUA production and the general theme of water was a large pool in the center of the venue, which was open to the patrons. Additionally, a water slide was available for patrons to use near the Amazonia stage.

Zeds Dead Fireworks at Imagine Music Festival 2016

Fireworks going off at the Oceania Stage

With seven stages at the event, there was no shortage of music. Imagine has an eclectic mix of music ranging from Jam Bands and funk, to Disco and Tropical House, and the heaviest Bass and Dubstep music you’ve heard. The national lineup included the likes of Adventure Club, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Dillon Francis (and his House alter ego, DJ Hanzel, his first performance under that name), The Disco Biscuits, Excision, Gramatik, Nero, Steve Angello, Zeds Dead, 3lau, Dirtyphonics, Lotus, Thomas Jack, SNBRN, Snails, Keys N Krates, and many more. Iris also enlisted the talents of local artists, including Midnite Panda, Daddydough, Alex Lucas, Ployd, Scales (a regular performer at Iris-sponsored events), and more.

While the music selection was great, make no mistake, Imagine fans are some of the most passionate and they come to dance and party. On day two, Chris Lyda, Director of Public Relations at Iris Presents had to politely ask the crowd to tone down the excitement a bit, so that fans at the front row didn’t move the front barrier forward. Apparently patrons were dancing a little too enthusiastically on day one. It must be an interesting problem to have for the festival. On the one hand, it’s a sure sign that the music selection is on point, but on the other hand, the festival has to look out for the safety and well-being of others.

Imagine Music Festival Main Stage 2016

Caspa & Rusko perform at the Oceania Stage

Day One of the Oceania Stage had a great performance by Liquid Stranger early in the day. Following Liquid Stranger, Black Tiger Sex Machine took the stage as the day gave way to night. After BTSM, The Bloody Beetroots got a bit of a late start, but wasted no time turning up the speed once he got going, throwing down heavier and faster-paced music. While The Bloody Beetroots kicked up the tempo to get the crowd going, Caspa & Rusko slowed it right back down, playing a set that paid homage to older Dubstep, a style much more reminiscent of ten years ago. The duo kicked off their set with a newer tune, Blouse An Skirt, but made sure to throw in many of the original Dubstep classics like Woo Boost, Jahova, Pro Nails (Rusko Remix), and California Love (Rusko ‘Da Cali Anthem’ Remix). Caspa & Rusko demonstrated their true performance abilities by utilizing negative space, creating an atmosphere of suspense and tension, making the whole set more cerebral than an average Dubstep performance. Steve Angello followed Caspa & Rusko, while Borgeous capped off the night.

#rusko throwing down the classics at #imf #imaginefestival #wooboost #dancebreak #youredoinggreat

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Day Two at the Oceania Stage experienced some heavy sets early in the day, with Funtcase B2B Cookie Monsta, followed by Doctor P. Over at the Amazonia stage, G Jones threw down some masterfully crafted bass tunes. Minnesota followed as the sun dipped low into the sky. He made sure to sync his music with the natural light around him; the later in the night he went, the heavier the music became. The live band Papadosio changed up the pace a bit as they played their funkier songs.

Over at the Disco Inferno Stage, Dillon Francis made his debut performance under the alias DJ Hanzel, his more House-y alter-ego. After DJ Hanzel, EDX adjusted the vibe when he got on and started playing his bubbly House tunes. The Amazonia stage continued the Jam Band/Funk theme with Lotus playing the midnight slot. In addition to the music, Lotus’ visual team does a great job complementing the mood of the music with their spectacular light shows. Back at the main stage Dillon Francis played for the second time of the night, this time as Dillon Francis. As he took the stage, he proclaimed “Fuck DJ Hanzel!” While most people in the crowd laughed, the joke was lost on some fans, not realizing that Dillon Francis and DJ Hanzel are the same person. While Dillon Francis has had mixed results in the past, he put on a good performance at Imagine as he warmed the crowd up for Zeds Dead to close out the night. Unsurprisingly, Zeds Dead put on a stellar show. Their years of experience as producers and DJs are evident in their performances, as they are able to smoothly transition between genres and keep the crowd engaged.

Zeds Dead at Imagine Music Festival 2016

Zeds Dead playing at the Oceania Stage

Day Three at the Amazonia stage saw rising star Opiuo play his multi-genre music, a style he describes as “Broken-frog-stomping-funkadelic-hippo-hop-monkey-crunk-chunky-bouncy-stomach-morphing-bassdolloping-scrumptious-bowl-of-glitchy-bass-love.” He was quite mobile on the stage as he bounced between drum pads, a MIDI controller, and interacting with the crowd. At the Disco Inferno Stage, local artist Alex Lucas played some fun tunes as his set gave way to SNBRN. SNBRN had an appropriately timed set that coincided with the sunset. Back at the Oceania Stage, pantyraid played their signature slow progressive bass music. The duo consists of Marty Party and Ooah (of The Glitch Mob), two producers who frequently work either solo or on other projects. Together, they make a powerhouse of a music team that puts out unique music and performances.

SNBRN at Disco Inferno Stage, Imagine Music Festival 2016

SNBRN at sunset at the Disco Inferno Stage

Over at the Amazonia Stage, Break Science showcased their fusion of styles as they moved between live instruments and DJing. Thomas Jack closed out the Disco Inferno Stage with an 11PM set time. His music matched his tropical attire, playing a relaxed House set continuously through the night.

Confetti at Borgore, Imagine Music Festival 2016

Confetti shooting off at Borgore at the Oceania Stage

Back at the main stage, Borgore demonstrated his technical abilities as he kept the crowd dancing through the night. His performance was quite a sight, as confetti blasted through the air and giant beach balls bounced above the crowd. After Borgore, Nero played a more theatrical set, reminiscent of a movie soundtrack. Nero made sure to include many classic Nero songs like Me & You, Reaching Out, The Recluse, and Promises, while also including some newer material like Satisfy.

Although Imagine showcases a range of top-notch artists and a variety in genres across seven stages, the selection of Excision for the closing set of the weekend on the mainstage highlights Imagine’s most represented demographic: Bass heads. Unsurprisingly, Excision threw down a heavy and grimey Dubstep experience that had the whole crowd going nuts, with no shortage of headbanging. As the night came to a close, festival founders Glenn and Madeleine came on stage to give a special thank you to the fans, staff, and performers, and to announce a quick encore by 12th Planet to close the night out.

Who's a #headbanger? #excision closing out #imf #imaginefestival #youredoinggreat #dancebreak

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The closing ceremony with comments by Glenn and Madeleine highlighted a feeling that I had the whole weekend: Imagine Music Festival is a family affair. The comments were a nice gesture, but more important was the festival as a whole. Although the festival hosted 45,000 fans, the event felt like a smaller community coming together to celebrate the hard-work and effort that Iris and their team invested into the festival. There is certainly some room for improvement; however, the missed opportunities were not unique to Imagine. For example, the placement of free water stations and the general layout of the venue could be improved, as well as an increase in staff. The issues pale in comparison to the overall success of the festival, and fans should be optimistic that this independent festival is produced by a passionate team of locals who wish to see the festival and the Atlanta music scene grow and thrive.

To see all of our Imagine Music Festival coverage, make sure to follow us on Instagram, check out our Facebook page, and take a look at our photos.

Imagine Music Festival Releases 2016 Schedule

Imagine 2016 Schedule

Imagine Music Festival takes place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway August 26-28 in Atlanta, GA. The festival producers have just released the full schedule, along with daily ticket passes. In addition to the schedule, the festival producers have teamed up with AQUA for the main stage experience, which includes their 3D water hologram production. Water fountains and 3D images will float next to the headliners, as they play out their set. For more information, check the official press releases regarding the daily schedule and AQUA partnership.

Meet the Founders of Imagine Music Festival

Imagine Music Festival 2015

(pictured above, The Glitch Mob perform at Imagine Music Festival 2015)

Summer is in full swing and for music fans that also means Imagine Music Festival is just around the corner. Imagine Music Festival will be taking over the Atlanta Motor Way in Atlanta, GA August 26-28. The final lineup has been released and includes some big names like Adventure Club, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Dillon Francis, Excision, Steve Angello, Zeds Dead, The Disco Biscuits, Gramatik, Caspa B2B Rusko, The Bloody Beetroots, and many more artists. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, a range of options are available with General Admission tickets starting at $199 (plus taxes & fees).

Leading up to the festival, Dancebreak had the opportunity to talk to the founders of Iris Presents, Inc. and Imagine Music Festival, Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand. Continue reading below to get a look into what goes into planning Imagine Music Festival and what to expect at this year’s event. For clarity, Dancebreak comments are italicized, while responses from the founders are not.

You folks have been putting on events long before Imagine. How did you come to decide to create Imagine Music Festival?

We have been putting on events for over 20 years. The impetus behind creating Imagine started from a void of authenticity felt at other festivals. We felt that the experience was lacking and people were not being treated right.  For all of our events, our motto has always been “treat others as you would like them to treat you.” With this core value in mind, we sought to create a festival that was 100% customer-centric, maintained its integrity and had the thickest vibe possible.

Have either of you been involved with writing or creating music, or have you primarily been focused on putting on events?

Our primary focus is putting on events, however we also are passionate about helping develop local up and coming artists. By providing the highest quality production – our stage creates a platform like none other for local acts to practice and grow their fan base. We believe Atlanta has some of the best talent in the land and we are blessed to be able to showcase it.

What goes into creating something like Imagine? For patrons, it can seem like new festivals pop up rather quickly and without warning. What kind of work goes on behind the scenes leading up to a festival? How long was Imagine in the works before its debut?

A lot of blood, sweat, tears and more work than you can “imagine.”

What sets Imagine apart? Objectively speaking, it seems like you have gained quite a bit of recognition. But, at the ground level, what makes Imagine different? If you were to teleport someone to Imagine without telling them where they were, what sights and sounds would that person see that are unique to Imagine?

The biggest difference that you will feel is that we are one of the few remaining independent festivals. At Imagine you will experience a spectacle of aquatic themed performers; circus acts; transformational village; a colorful lineup with many gems to discover; and an incredibly positive vibe from both festival-goers and our staff.

Is IRIS primarily an Atlanta-based initiative? Are you involved with other events outside of the Atlanta area? If not, do you have aspirations to grow outside of the Atlanta area?

IRIS is currently based out of Atlanta, with most of our events happening in the area. We have been involved with almost every major EDM event to come through the city, since the nineties. It’s our home and therefore has been a great place for us to start. We are always looking for opportunities to expand and eventually would like to be an internationally recognized brand.

Are you primarily focused on dance music, or do you have other ventures unrelated to dance music that you’re involved in that you would like to share?

Our roots are in electronic music – it’s where we got our start and is what we know best. Music is always evolving however, and we will evolve with the music. That being said we have some other projects in the works that would open us up to experimenting with other genres and new experiences.

Dance music used to be more of a counterculture idea; the artists, patrons, and enthusiasts tended to be more on the fringe of what society considered “normal.” Yet these days, it’s everywhere. In your opinion, what caused that change? Did dance music become more “normal” or did society become more “weird?”

At its core, the scene was always about the music and gathering together for the music, the love, the party, and the knowledge. Dance music makes you feel good and creates an environment free of judgment where you could express yourself. I wouldn’t say that the participants were not normal, some were perhaps the most ordinary of people looking for an escape from their everyday lives. It’s hard not to like electronic music as it can be very uplifting. It was only a matter of time for the mass-market to catch on – we believe the internet and social media perhaps played the biggest role in lifting the music out of the underground. It simply became easier for more people to connect and share a common love for the music.

Has this changed the way you plan, promote, and throw events at all?

To keep some of our old school flavor, we still employ some traditional promotional methods, but Social Media sure has made getting the word out much easier.

What challenges has the commercialization of dance music presented for you guys? How have you benefited?

Most promoters will agree that skyrocketing DJ rates has created the biggest challenge for festivals. Now there is a larger market out there opening our events up to more people, but there is still a great deal of risk involved.

To wrap things up, can you comment on what patrons can expect for this year’s Imagine? What’s something that a returning Imagine fan can look forward to? What about someone who is coming to Imagine for the first time?

At the end of last year’s show, we took to the stage and promised everyone that things would only get bigger and better – and that still holds true. From a bigger lineup, more performers, more days, bigger venue with camping – there is a lot to look forward to this year. For someone coming to Imagine for the first time, we hope they feel the same energy and love that was felt by every first-timer before them.

Thank you for your time, we look forward to seeing you all at Imagine Music Festival this August!

Imagine Music Festival 2016: Lineup & Info

Imagine Music Festival Logo

Imagine Music Festival returns to Atlanta, GA for its third year. Previously a two-day event, Imagine expands to three-days this year, taking place from August 26-28, 2016. The festival previously took place at Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward and Masquerade Music Park, however, the location for this year’s event has not yet been unannounced. Undoubtedly, this has to do with their expansion, as this will be the first year that Imagine has the option to camp at the festival. This should be a great indicator of the festival’s prospects; Imagine has been hailed as one of the top festivals in the country, and continues to show its dominance as a music and arts festival. This year, the festival boasts an impressive lineup, with artists like Nero, Zeds Dead, Gramatik, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Dillon Francis, Excision, Beats Antique, Caspa B2B Rusko, Pantyraid, The Opiuo Band, Lotus, Doctor P, EDX, and many more. This is only the first phase of the lineup release, so expect even more top artists to be added!

In addition to the music, the festival curators have gone to great lengths to differentiate Imagine from other festivals by putting an emphasis on performance art and other attractions. This year’s festival will include special events and workshops, amusement rides, aquatic environments, circus performances, and a silent disco. Tickets are currently on sale: General Admission tickets are $188.44 (fees included), while VIP tickets are currently selling for $324.94 (fees included). For those looking to camp, all patrons must have both a festival pass and a camping pass. GA camping passes are selling for $84.43 (fees included), while VIP camping passes are going for $125.44 (fees included). This means that the total cost for GA camping is $272.87, while the total cost for VIP camping is $450.38. For those that are not camping and instead need a weekend parking pass, those passes are selling for $47.94 (fees included). A range of other options and amenities are available, including RV camping and shuttles. Make sure to check out the full list of ticket options and read the fine print carefully so that you buy the correct selection of passes! It looks like the Imagine Music Festival website still has some parts that are under construction. As the date gets closer, make sure to check back to see what FAQs and information are available.

An Interview with MARTyPARTy

Recently at Imagine Music Festival, Dancebreak had a chance to sit down with bass slangin South African goofball, MARTyPARTy. Fresh after his killer after-party set the night before and right before his daytime set, we had a chance to ask the man himself a few questions about himself and his music.

DB: We saw you at Electric Forest and you fucking crushed it. Was that your first time playing at Electric Forest and how was your experience?

MP: I arrived and my manager had rolled me a joint. We got stoned and rolled up to the [Jubilee] tent, and I had no idea where I was. I just got off the plane and was like ‘I dunno where I am’. I didn’t know what gig I was playing or what to expect. My manager was like ok let’s go and I was just like “fine okay let’s go play for this little hippie camp or whatever’ and when I walked out it was a GIANT purple fucking tent! And I’m a purple guy! So I was like is this a joke? So I went in and it was the most giant sound system I ever saw. There were like five people there. I started it up and it was the weirdest empty sound but then everyone started coming down that hill. By like the 5th song, that place was fucking packed. That place was packed for an hour. The production was insane.

DB: You said you’re a ‘purple guy’. What’s the origin of that?

MP: I mean, I dunno. I don’t know if it’s purple anymore. Everything’s just a movement for me. Now its red.

DB: Now it’s red?

MP: Yeah it’s my color.

DB: What type of mentality are you usually in when you write music?

MP: I like having fun with my music. I don’t like my music to get serious and all deep. I’ll listen to other people’s deep music. If I make deep music it takes me to sad times in my life, it brings it there, to my house. I’d rather make it lively and happy because I’m more that kind of guy when I’m hangin in my house or whatever. I make a song cause I’m like ‘WOO!! I just washed my car! I feel good! Let’s go make some music! Smoke weed’ ya know.

DB: So how would you describe the MartyParty experience?

MP: I think, you know there’s nobody else really doing what I do. I’m a really big fan of myself and I never really know what to expect when I get on stage. If anything, I’m dancing. I don’t really see a lot of people dancing these days just a lot of swaying back and forth. But yeah so I try to bring a lot of unique sounds, add a lot of interesting noise, and then the drops. Crazy dubstep. Weird crazy shit. So yeah, that’s the vibe.

DB: Hell yeah man. And you crush it at making that vibe.

MP: I’ve never heard anyone say it so well. I crush it at making that vibe, I like that.

DB: Does living in Florida influence the kind of music you make?

MP: Yeah man Florida’s all about their tropical music vibe, together with bass. I’m trying to get back to that. You’ll just be jamming out on the beach and some guy in the white supremacy and a four-wheel drive barrels past and you’re just like ‘whoa! You got to chill!’ It’s just so weird.

DB: So can you walk me through your live setup? When you’re performing live what do you have going on up there?

MP: I make all my tracks in Ableton. When I’m writing the tune I have maybe 20 to 30 tracks that I need to mix together. Then I edit the tune and render it. Then I load the full song into Ableton, all my tracks, hip hop acapellas, some one shot samples, some lazers, then I load it all onto a Trigger Finger so I can trigger them as I go. I keep just loading my new shit into the template and go. When I’m djing I use filters a lot. Throw in some acappellas. Give it a hip hop vibe. When I’m mixing songs I always just rely on my ears. I always test my songs on a bunch of different systems, like my Bluetooth speaker when I’m at the beach. I always ask myself “what does it REALLY sound like”. If it sounds good on my little Bluetooth speaker I know it’s done. I really aim for a full sound. It’s always full. When I’m writing music sometimes I feel like I’m getting really weird in a lab. Full experimentation.

DB: Occasionally you’ll link up with Ooah of The Glitch Mob and play as PantyRaid, how’s that going?

MP: Good man. He was here yesterday, we hung out on his bus, he came to my show.

DB: I was half expecting him to come out during the after-party for a surprise PantyRaid set.

MP: Yeah he was there and I was like “stand up!” and he was like nah cause he’s with the Glitch Mob you know? He doesn’t want to confuse people. He’s on the Glitch Mob tour right now. We’re like ‘whatever’ cause were just dudes you know? We don’t really care but you got to please the crowd dynamic. This music scene is like a giant ship. Even when you pump the brakes it takes twenty years for change to happen. So you can’t really influence it that much you just got to go along with the biggest swell. With yourself, with your own character, but it’s gonna take a long time. We want to do PantyRaid next year, but we want it to be a special thing. When you buy a ticket we want you to be stoked. We don’t people to be like ‘should we go? I dunno.’ We want people to be like ‘DAMMN LETS GO!’.

DB: So what’s in the future for MartyParty?

MP: I think I want to open a club in Miami sometime next year. I’m probably going to play every week, with guests. I’m going to have everyone play with me. It’s gonna be some real shit.

Until next time MARTyPARTy!

Imagine Music Festival 2015: The Aftermath

Imagine 2015

The weekend of August 30th and 31st has come and went and the second annual Imagine Music Festival is officially in the books, and what a weekend it was. There was incredible music, amazing vibes, tons of friendship and good times were had by all. I was curious to see how the festival would handle the increase in the crowd’s size that would be inevitable as a result of the stacked lineup, and as a whole it was handled very well. I’ll review all the acts I saw over the course of the weekend as well as the positives and negatives of the festival I experienced (not that there were many negatives but there were a few).

First off a disclaimer to all those reading this: I am a bass head to the core. I live for those gnarly crushing bass lines that smack you in the chest and make your face contort as if it were hit by a sledgehammer. I live for unique and original sounds, concepts, and rhythmic patterns, anything that catches me off guard and keeps me on my toes. So with every festival I attend that’s what I hunt for. If you’re looking for reviews of Morgan Page or Dada Life you can just stop reading this article now. I respect house artists and what they do, but I can listen to approximately 6 seconds of four on the floor music until I’m too bored to deal with it. SO without further ado, my weekend went a little something like this:

We arrived at the festival just in time to catch the up-and-coming melodic bass producer Illenium. I had heard some good things about the young gun so I thought I’d check him out. He wasn’t disappointing necessarily but I was very far from impressed. The all too familiar major chord progressions over basic bass lines left much to be desired. His tunes were pretty, sure, but he didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. Using a drum pad to add some percussive elements to his set was a nice touch, but it wasn’t enough to make it memorable. Followed by Illenium was the trap king Buku. Having opened for Buku myself as well as seeing him at last year’s Imagine Festival, his sound was very familiar to me, yet still very get-down worthy. His fat beats and fun synth lines always make Buku shows a good time and I was not disappointed with what he brought to the table, despite it being an early set.

Then came iLL.Gates vs. KJ Sawka and this is where it starts getting real good. ill.Gates kicked things off with the most absurd mash up I’ve ever heard of, his tune I’m Eel, Ice by Corporate, and a slew of other epic bangers perfectly stitched together to make everyone in the crowd effectively lose their shit. ill.Gates continued to bring massive amounts of heat including his super epic remix of Monkey Crunk by Opiuo, as well as some unreleased bangers that left multiple faces lying in a puddle on the floor. KJ Sawka was decent but trying to battle ill.Gates is like trying to battle Yoda in a light saber battle, you just stand no chance. ill.Gates is a certified Ableton instructor, mentor to Bassnectar, conductor of the fattest beats, and just an overall genius. KJ Sawka is an incredible drummer and as a member of Destroid is the single greatest at what he does, but directly next to ill.Gates his set seemed sloppy and unimpressive. Had he been his own separate set he would have been more appreciated for what he was doing, but side by side with the Phat Conductor just left me feeling like I wanted an all ill.Gates set and KJ Sawka should stick to what he’s best at which is being an epic drummer.

G Jones was nothing short of epic. He was one of my top acts to see and not only did he meet my expectations, he surpassed them. Hearing G Jones on a great sound system really allowed appreciating the genius of the young producer. You could really hear every subtle detail in his productions, the epic vocal panning, and experimentations with reverbs, crazy delays. Despite the speakers only being in front of us, it sounded like his music was coming from every direction. Listening from the mindset of a fellow producer, it really felt like getting to hear a master at work. The future is incredibly bright for G Jones and I can’t wait to see him again. Following G Jones was the always-incredible Griz. With the sun setting in the background lighting up the sky a brilliant orange hue, the moment couldn’t have been more perfect. Griz played the perfect collection of soulful sax-filled tunes and crushing bass bangers that had everyone in the crowd getting their boogie on. It was one of the more magical moments that life has to offer and it was amazing to share it with so many other people.

After Griz ended we made our way over to Shpongle, mostly just in anticipation of Tipper. Despite never really knowing what exactly is going on during a Shpongle set, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The lasers on the Amazonia stage were on point and watching how different people dance to Shpongle is massively entertaining. As Shpongle was coming to a close we steadily crept into an ideal spot for Tipper and Android Jones. If you’ve never heard Tipper’s music on a great sound system before, it’s something you should do if you ever get the opportunity. I truly believe everyone should attend at least one Tipper set in his or her life if anything to appreciate the genius that is Dave Tipper. The man is the king of glitch hop, a sonic wizard. The dude makes sounds that are so out of this world and hearing them on a big sound system really accents all the subtle details that makes his music what it is. Android Jones’ visuals were nothing short of incredible. The man is a true artist and it was a distinct honor to get to experience the combined genius of Tipper and Android Jones to close out day one of the festival.

Continued below.

We had an amazing night last night with Glitch Mob closing but #imf2015 isn't over yet! Who's ready for day 2?! PC @dvphotovideo

A post shared by Imagine Music Festival (@imaginemusicfestival) on

 

Day 2 for us started with the representatives from the Pretty Lights Music label Eliot Lipp and Paul Basic. Both playing their signature hip hop beats and original music, which was a great way to get day two started. After Paul Basic, we left for our interview with MartyParty (full interview to come soon) and then rejoined the festivities. Here is one of the few moments in which Imagine could have done better. Lil Jon had to cancel his set due to health concerns and as a result all of the sets on the Oceania stage were moved back an hour and there was no notice whatsoever. There was no email or announcement of any kind informing the patrons of the schedule change and as a result there was massive amounts of confusion. We were very excited to see 12th Planet but thanks to the unannounced schedule his set was moved to the same time as MartyParty’s so we had to skip 12th Planet. Luckily he played at the afterparty so it actually worked out. MartyParty’s set was a great time, playing some of his signature tunes like Greedy and V8 and just slamming the crowd with his crushing bass lines.

Once MartyParty had finished playing he came out into the crowd and jammed out to Papadosio with us. Papadosio absolutely crushed their set. I have seen them a few times before but this was definitely the best Papadosio set I have seen to date. They debuted one of their new songs for us and it was absolutely incredible. I highly recommend seeing Papadosio if you get the chance. Crizzly absolutely blew me away. Another act I’ve seen a few times before but also the best time I’ve seen him. Something about Imagine Festival brings out the best in artists I guess. His mixing skills were so on point and the transitions were flawless. His blend of hip hop and grimy dubstep is unique and satisfying to a wide range of people. Datsik brought the heat too, playing banger after banger to close out the festival. With fireworks shooting off from the main stage and Datsik hitting us with wave after wave of heavy bass music, it was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

The only other negative note I have is that the festival ran out of water towards the end of the second day, which obviously posed a huge safety hazard for those in attendance. Hydration is incredibly important and not having water available exposes the festival to potential lawsuits if anyone were to suffer dehydration to the point where hospitalization was necessary. So for next year as long as they ensure they have enough water for everyone and keep those in attendance well informed of any changes in the schedule, I think they’ll have a perfect festival on their hands.