Tag - imagine music festival

Disco Inferno Heats Up Imagine Music Festival

Imagine 2017 - Nora En Pure performs at Disco Inferno

Last month, Imagine Music Festival took over the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA, just outside of Atlanta, September 22-24, 2017. We gave a brief overview of the Imagine experience, which is hosted by IRIS Presents, Inc., the Atlanta-based dance music events and promotion company. This week, we dive deeper into the production and design of Imagine Music Festival, highlighting the iconic Disco Inferno Stage, a pyrotechnic work of art designed and built by the Incendia production team and their collaborators, led by Cory and Tyler Glenn.

Based out of Atlanta, Incendia has been heating things up lately on a national level as they utilize their artistic stage production talents at festivals across the country. The two brothers got their start in the Burning Man scene, where Cory frequently built art projects for regional Burns. After stumbling across the fire inversion technology that they now use in their stage designs and realizing they had a product that could appeal to a wide audience, they took it to the music festival scene, contributing to Imagine Music Festival from Day One. Tyler got an early start in the music business, running a club in Athens, GA at the ripe age of 20. It was this background in music business that gave him the opportunity to get involved with IRIS Presents just over four years ago, when he served as a talent buyer for the first year of Imagine, while also assisting the directors. While Tyler was focused on the music business, Cory was more involved in the artistic side of things. Together, they pulled Incendia into the first year of Imagine Music Festival, where they served a smaller role at the Historic Fourth Ward Park, Imagine’s original venue location. The first two years that Imagine was held at the Fourth Ward Park, Incendia setup misting systems for daytime cooling and fire lounges at night.

The lounges still make an appearance these days at Imagine, however, they are a small part of Incendia’s larger production. In 2016, Imagine moved to its current location, the Atlanta Motor Speedway, giving them a lot more area to work with. Disco Inferno made its first appearance at Imagine in 2016 and built upon its success this 2017. The 2017 stage featured a main half-dome decorated like a disco ball, where the DJs would perform from, as well as two small domes on either side of the stage. Each dome and the trusses above them sported various propane cannons for the pyrotechnic effects. In addition to the flames, the stage featured some more traditional productions like huge sound systems, LED walls, and other various lighting effects. The crew of 24 spent five days building the entire Disco Inferno Stage, working about 16-18 hours per day. It took about three days to break the stage down after the conclusion of Imagine. Of the 24, Cory’s team of about a dozen worked specifically on building the domes and pyrotechnic effects, as part of Incendia’s contribution.

Before the festival kicks off, the Incendia team goes through their safety check. Cory likens the detail and process to the pre-flight check that pilots conduct prior to flying an airplane. “We adjust everything to conform to all applicable standards. We do extensive system checks every day. We check for leaks. … We go around, we check the functionality of everything, make sure everything is dialed in correctly.” They do skin temperature readings with a laser thermometer to ensure that the pressure of the propane system is appropriately adjusted to the radius of the crowd. Once everything checks out, the crowd fills in and the flames start flying!

Imagine 2017 - The Funk Hunters perform at Disco Inferno

The Funk Hunters performing at the Disco Inferno Stage – Photo by Phil MacDonald

All of the fire controls are analogue. Cory expands: “We have like an arcade-style button box with different buttons representing different effects. We’ll sit there and try to anticipate the flow of the music,” adding that “it’s kind of crowd interactive as well; we can bring in friends, or other people in the industry … to play with the buttons and have fun with it.” There are a number of effects they can use, based on the build of the stage, but at Imagine this year, the main propane cannon behind the stage could shoot flames as high as about 100 feet in the air, a rough estimate, as Cory adds: “I’m not up there with a measuring tape, I like my eyebrows where they are.”

Imagine 2017 - The Funk Hunters perform at Disco Inferno

Flames go off at the Disco Inferno Stage as The Funk Hunters Perform – Photo by Phil MacDonald

Long before the festival starts, let alone is even built, Cory and Tyler plan the setup of Disco Inferno. Cory covers the pyrotechnic aspect of the build, while Tyler designs the stage and coordinates the logistics of LED walls, audio, truss towers, and crafting a budget.

When picking a stage location, Cory and his team have to be a little particular, as they have to take into consideration “flatness and proximity of flammable material.” The area must be flat for two reasons: 1) the dome structures they utilize do not have adjustable legs like many traditional stages do and 2) the inversion fuelings must remain flat to operate correctly.

Meanwhile, Tyler details his preparation, which includes a general high-level goal for him: “I really like to create a little bit more of the environment, a little bit more of an immersive experience.” He adds that a lot of bigger festivals tend to have two-dimensional stages. When he’s in charge of a stage, Tyler tries to “design something where people feel a little more comfortable,” so that that the attendants don’t “feel like they’re out and exposed in the middle of nowhere.” Tyler expands: “What I strive for is taking that out of there and getting people more of a space to feel surrounded and feel comfortable and therefore have a better overall experience.”

His process starts by creating a rough design in 3D format using Google SketchUp. His design is pretty close to the final product, but Tyler notes that his expertise only goes “so far in the realm of sound, video, lighting, and fire,” so he works with other people that specialize in those fields. Using Google SketchUp allows him to easily pass his 3D designs off to his specialists, as the SketchUp files are natively supported by Vectorworks, an industry standard product for stage design.

Imagine 2017 - Disco Inferno at Sunset

Sunset over the Disco Inferno Stage during Chris Lake’s set – Photo by Phil MacDonald

Tyler is able to bring his stage designs to life with the help of his industry specialists and collaborators: 4Life Entertainment provided lighting and video equipment and installation, while Liquid Lux Light Design and Adam Gray Lighting provided lighting design services, and Rhizome NYC took care of visuals. Meanwhile, Music Matters, a local audio company, provided the sound system for Disco Inferno, which included an array of Meyer Leopard speakers. He notes that this specific system was deliberately chosen for Disco Inferno due to its ability to project at a wide range. Tyler and his team wanted to make sure that, given the relatively large width and shallow depth of the stage, attendants would get the full range of audio frequencies regardless of where they were standing.

In addition to the main half-dome disco ball at the center of the layout were two truss systems that extended like wings on either side of the center stage, each hanging an array of speaker stacks and LED walls in ascending height. Further beyond the truss systems were two smaller pyro domes on either side of the stages—the smaller lounge-style setups that Incendia utilizes to fill smaller areas. The lounges feature misting systems during the day and flames at night. Two additional truss systems stood at the back of the dance floor, sporting additional lighting. The whole layout extends almost entirely 360 degrees around the dance floor, so that regardless of where attendants stand, they are able to look in any direction and feel immersed. The back lighting area served as the border of the Disco Infero dance floor, which featured live-painting on the first night from local artists, like Danny Sanzone, giving fans the opportunity to pull back from the main action, but still feel involved. The 360-degree layout was the brain-child of Tyler’s careful crafting and execution by his production team.

In spite of all of the planning, Disco Inferno did run into some issues this year. On night one of the event, the Disco Inferno Stage hosted a slew of bass and funk artists with a lineup that included Andy Bruh, Daily Bread, Squnto, Esseks, Yheti, Buku, ill.Gates, The Funk Hunters, Bleep Bloop, and Minnesota. It was then when issues with Disco Inferno’s power source became apparent. The stage briefly lost power several times on the first night, until the main generator was eventually swapped out with a backup one provided by the power production manager. It was later determined that the first generator had an issue with a loose cable connected to the engine control unit. Regarding the power issues, Tyler commented on the effect that Hurricane Irma, which made US landfall on September 10, had on Imagine:

“Being that we were just at the tail end of the hurricane coming through, our whole generator order that we already had in place got switched up, because everything gets dedicated down to disaster relief. As it should. So it was a little bit of a scramble there at the end to locate the power sources and everything like that. Thankfully, it was executed properly, and we did have a backup there to take care of that.”

Once Disco Inferno got the backup generator rolling, the rest of the weekend went off without issue. After the bass-heavy first night at Disco Inferno, things changed tempo, as nights two and three exhibited more House and Techno artists. Night 2 had performances from Alex Lucas, Ariel, Chris Lake, Nora En Pure, Claptone, and Gorgon City. Night 3 was dominated by the Dirtybird Players Stage. After a performance from Atlanta local, Wiggle Factor, Dirtybird artists took over the remainder of the night. Ciszak, Dateless, Will Clarke, Shiba San, and Claude VonStroke performed throughout the night at Disco Inferno, with Claude VonStroke closing out the festival. The Glenn brothers are both quick to point out that putting together something like Disco Inferno takes a lot of coordination from a large group of talented people. Tyler points to the serious focus from all of the individuals, “it was a very large group of friends that came together” to make the stage happen. Adding, “it wasn’t a whole bunch of hired help. Everybody that was a part of it was a part of it from the get-go and all the way through. We’re all part of a larger group of friends making an idea happen.”

The culmination of Disco Inferno 2017 was especially exciting for Tyler Glenn, as he got engaged at Imagine on Night 2. On Night 3, Glenn Goodhand, owner of Imagine and IRIS, gave a congratulatory shout out to Tyler during the closing ceremony of Imagine Music Festival, at Cory’s request. The two brothers plan to continue building Incendia and Disco Inferno, as Tyler notes, the goal is always “bigger, better, and larger.”

Editor’s Note: In 2017, even weeks after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the US, Imagine still felt the effects of the storm. Through the American Red Cross, they setup a donation campaign for the Hurricane Irma relief effort. In addition to Hurricane Irma, during the festival weekend, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico since 1928. 3.4 million US Citizens were left without power and water, and limited access to food, gasoline, and other basic life necessities. It will take months to rebuild after the damage of Hurricane Maria. If you are interested in contributing to the relief effort in Puerto Rico, check this list of trusted organizations offering aid to Puerto Rico.

Imagine 2017 Schedule, Map, & App

Imagine 2017 Schedule

Imagine Music Festival is just days away, taking place this September 22-24 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia. In preparation for the event, IRIS Presents has released the official map of the venue and the full performance schedule, both of which are available from the Imagine Music Festival app, which is available for download from the iOS App Store and the Android Google Play Store.

In addition to the above festival information, Imagine has partnered up with the American Red Cross, which is now accepting donations for Hurricane Irma relief. Earlier this month, Hurricane Irma made its way through the Caribbean and the Southeast US, causing widespread destruction, especially in Imagine’s neighboring state of Florida. Donations will be used by the American Red Cross in its efforts to help bring relief to those affected by the hurricane.

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.