I had very high hopes and expectations when I embarked to Imagine Festival, the southwest region’s profound answer to how Georgia would deliver a electronic dance music themed aquatic adventure. IRIS Presents changed venues prior to the opening day of their landmark event to the massive Atlanta Motor Speedway. Through production, shops, and the general atmosphere created I must say I was not disappointed with the decision. A walkway and tunnel led us all into the field where we had five different stages to experience. Every stage set the bar high production wise and had me drooling in its excellence. The mood changed with each stage. We were treated to captivating Led screens, smoke cannons, extreme pyro, circus acts, rides, and a pool with mermaids. The production crew with IRIS gave the fans in Atlanta the full EDM package by reviving the idea of art accompanying music.
As a relatively jaded fan of this music scene it’s hard to really “wow” me. I am used to going to a festival and knowing what I am going to see before it even happens, but here I was caught off guard. The production crew for Imagine was willing to put every foot forward to make sure that everybody got what they paid for and more by constantly keeping us entertained. They ushered in a rush of nostalgia with acts such as Pendulum, Rusko b2b Capsa, and Steve Angello. There were also the new crowd favorites like Gramatik, Beats Antique, and my personal favorite Black Tiger Sex Machine. The amazing line-up had me constantly floating around the venue to get a glimpse of my favorite acts. At the Oceanic Stage I got goosebumps just viewing how every laser and pyro would shoot off in coordination with each drop or build up. Production crews and artists were in sync and worked together to put on their best show. Talented performers from GL&M Productions danced their hearts out as others dressed as phoenixes and mermaids enchanted the crowd. There were even contortionists, bending and blowing the crowd away with their moves. Imagine Fest did the one thing that many other festivals fail to do and that is make all the moving, artistic parts work together as one. Not only did they make it work but they perfected it.
Walking around the venue could be a bit of a breather but in all honesty, it made it better. Having a nice walk around the venue gave space for the number of people coming out to the event. It also allowed me to take in the firework shows and get great views from the Ferris wheel. Imagine Fest wasn’t content with the music being good enough to attract festival goers. Their efforts to draw people into the aquatic world they had created were far from lackluster. Our weekend in Atlanta brought back memories of when EDM took the world by storm and when event organizers were driven to showcase all forms of artistic expression. Artistic expression is what draws so many dance music fans to events. It’s what this scene as a whole needs more of and Imagine Festival delivered.
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