The Imagine Music Festival is upon us this weekend, and kicking off some of the hype on Friday is one of our favorite EDM artists, Protohype.
Max Hype, aka “Protohype,” has been producing music since he was fourteen years old. He broke into the EDM music scene after taking time off to attend college by playing at local raves and uploading his music online. Like many budding, young artists in the digital age, his smashing success on Soundcloud was the step that really propelled his music career forward.
“I’d say the song I’m most connected to is “Lights On,” says Protohype. “It has the most emotion and serious message out of all of the songs that I’ve made. I really poured my heart into that one, and that’s pretty tough to do when it comes to bass music.”
This epic DJ doesn’t just spin hit records though. In his spare time, Protohype is hard at work giving back to the community with his charity project, #Puppycrew. He raises money and support for the ASPCA through sales of his appropriately named album, Puppy Crew, as well as fundraising projects on social media using #puppycrew.
“I started the #Puppycrew charity project because I wanted to give back to the community with the money I had been making,” says Protohype. “It didn’t feel right to have influence and money and not be making a difference in the community.I love animals so that was the route that I chose to help give back. ”
As lovers of our fine city, we were also stoked to hear that he loves exploring Atlanta during his travels, and enjoying a leisurely day out. He’s basically a regular guy.
When speaking of his favorite go-to stop in the ATL, Protohype says, “Without question, the Atlanta Aquarium!!! I love going there so much. Growing up in Nashville, I’ve been to ATL so many times…and I love the aquarium, it’s so rad.”
And just like you and me, Protohype is pretty hyped about attending Imagine this year and experiencing all that the festival has to offer.
“The last time I played Imagine, it was downtown by Georgia Tech,” Protohype says. “Now that it’s at the speedway, I’m looking forward to a bigger crowd and a bigger venue. It’s going to be awesome.”
We couldn’t agree more.
If you don’t love this guy already, you might be convinced when you hear some of his sick bass at Imagine Music Festival. Prototype will be performing live this Friday at 10:00 p.m. on the Disco Inferno stage, so be there!
It’s nearly time for Imagine, so we’re going to be bombarding you with posts. Sorry not sorry.
You’ve seen a number of posts from me with “Zapp’s Picks” for different time slots on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This article is going to be a bit different. We’re going to dive into who the artists are most excited to see!
We spoke with Protohype, MetaPattern, Johnny GoodTime, and Reliquary.
Protohype is known for his heavy dubstep originals and work with Excision. He also started up the #puppycrew project to benefit the ASPCA! He’ll be playing Friday night.
MetaPattern is a member of Masquerade’s Torch DNB group, which is headed by Thesis. MetaPattern will be playing along with Johnny GoodTime and other members of Torch DNB in the Torch X Elevate DNB block on Saturday evening.
Johnny GoodTime is the head of Elevate DNB (at Lava Lounge) along with his wife, and together the two bring the best of USA and UK DNB to the ATL. Lots of acronyms, lots of great beats.
Last but not least, Reliquary is a Trance artist with dance music influences. He uses his music to create and move between landscapes and environments over the course of a set, bringing the right moods and energy at the right time for each. Reliquary will be playing on Sunday.
What about this year’s Imagine Music Festival are you most excited for?
The last time I played Imagine, it was downtown by Georgia Tech. Now that it’s at the speedway, I’m looking forward to a bigger crowd and a bigger venue. It’s going to be awesome.
I am looking forward to a well-planned (for once) camping experience and catching my old Trance legends on the Aeria Stage on Sunday!
I’m looking forward to the entire experience and not really any act in particular. After the DnB I’ll be exploring some of the other many big name acts.
That’s easy. On top of the best (in my opinion) Imagine headliner line-up yet , There is SO much amazing local and regional talent on this year’s line-up too! I’ve wanted to see so many of these artists for so long because of their amazing reputations and finally have the chance to! A lot of these people are also really good friends of mine so it’s really cool that we all get to perform at such an amazing festival of this scale. A HUGE thank you the Imagine team for making it happen.
What (smaller) artists do you recommend people check out at Imagine?
I wouldn’t say this is a smaller by any means but the artist i am most hyped for at Imagine is JOKER. Joker is so amazing and a HUGE influence to me. His set is going to be incredible and I can’t wait to witness his greatness. I’m going to flip my shit when he plays “Tron”.
The Six Feathers Stage’s local lineup is absolutely insane! Literally any artist at any time will be guaranteed to have top-notch track selection and mixing skills!
Uh – I gotta keep it real and just speak for what I know – but the Torch & Elevate DnB block is going to be fire! We are supporting DNB superstars Ivy Lab, DJ Dara and DJ SS at the Aeria Stage on Saturday. Hope to see you there!
For me, the Aeria stage is STACKED all day Sunday. If you want to check out some top quality Trance or learn what the genres all about definitely swing by there. For many, Paul Oakenfold, Gabriel & Dresden, and Kenneth Thomas are far from “unknown” but if you don’t know them yet, you NEED to! My top pick has to be for Nhexis though. He’s an extremely talented DJ & producer and is a serious up-and-comer here from the Atlanta scene. Don’t be surprised when you see him headlining these shows in the next couple years. Also, don’t say I didn’t tell you so!
Between our schedule series and comments from the artists themselves, we have prepared you to set forth and conquer this year’s Imagine Music Festival.
We’ll see you in our next articles where we’ll be looking into everything you need to be fully prepared for the navigating the festival itself. Plus more from these great artists!
808 Fest is a celebration of all things bass in Atlanta. A multi-day event that occurs at five different venues around town, 808 Fest embraces different genres as well. Plus, it’s one of the best music event deals in the city every year. $50 for an all-access wristband gets you into all four days of these venues to hear all of these local and regional music acts.
Friday, August 10th:Aisle 5 will host Proko, Partywave, Kozmic and Lean Mean (Tripi Bandits). All Ages
Saturday, August 11th: IRIS has a line up consisting of Leah Culver as the headliner, Mantis, Sylo, and JStella are on the main stage. The Underground Stage will have a 808 Fest Takeover featuring Michael Sparks, Mighty High Group, Vandal Rose and Hard2Tell. But wait! There’s more 808: The patio will host Section 8 and Awesame. Ages 18 and up.
Aisle 5 will feature Elzhi, Khrysis, Divine Scienze, Trandle, The Family Orchestra. Your hosts will be Fort Knox with DJ Kerosene. All Ages.
Sponsors of 808 Fest are Speakeasy Promotions, Aisle 5, Controllerise, Sidebar, IRIS Presents and Wildpitch Music Hall.
Every fourth Saturday of the month, Atlanta is blessed with house music greatness from Chicago. At Wild Pitch Underground, located at 255 Trinity Ave SW in south downtown, Miko Jones hosts one of the best dance parties in town.
“I am a house fanatic from Chicago,” explains Jones. “I’ve been dancing to house music since I was 14 years old. It’s like a melodious sound that connects us all–I’ve met so many people through it. I think house music in Atlanta is love.” Jones is a part of Chosen Life ATL, the city’s chapter of Chicago-based DJ collective Chosen Few Djs.
Chosen Few are a group of house music DJs that formed in 1977 by founder Wayne Williams. Jesse Saunders, Andre Hatchett and Tony Hachett were additions to the collective shortly after it formed–providing Chicago’s south side with a signature underground dance sound that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the world: house music.
Since 1990, Chosen Few has hosted a music festival in Chicago held in July–think “House In The Park” that’s held here in Grant Park but three times that ever-growing crowd. It’s annual gathering is the world’s longest running event dedicated to house music, clocking in at 12 hours of performances by the Chosen Few DJs and guest DJs and vocalists.
These big names like Alan King, Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, and James Hunter come to town each month to play at least a two-hour set after being warmed up by a local. June’s event featured local was Tocayo, whom you can find at Alley Cat Music Club when he’s not guest starring at Wild Pitch.
The owner of Wild Pitch Music Hall is also a music legend himself: Chicago born, Atlanta-based DJ Pierre. Pierre is a pioneer of acid house music and co-founded the group Phuture in 1985. Since 2016, Pierre and his wife, Andrea, have hosted techno and house legends at this artist-owned venue while fostering new talent as well.
But this is not the usual dubstep, hip hop or trap party: sometimes a live drumming session can break out in the evening. “Normally, there is someone that comes around to play his drum with the music. Saturday was special because my friend brought a guy who had just come from an African drumming session and he was doing a great job of staying on beat.”
“Some people don’t know we’re here, “Jones explained. “These events started out years ago in Chicago with a small crowd of a hundred people. Now, it’s huge. People from Europe, Japan—all over the world—are showing up!” The annual Picnic & Festival in Jackson Park, IL, draws a crowd that is “much, much bigger than House In The Park here in Atlanta.” It’s Jones’ hope that Atlanta can grow as big a house music scene here.
The next event will be on Saturday, July 28th. Featured artists will be DJ Tony Hatchett and Gary Wallace. Doors open at 10 pm. with a $5 cover before 11 pm. Paid parking is available next to Wild Pitch Underground.
It’s Wednesday so we’re now only 2 days away from Shaky Beats! It’s time to start picking outfits and getting that show schedule planned out. Today’s article is going to focus on getting yourself food and drink. Welcome to Part Four of your Shaky Survival Guide! See Part One here, Two here, and Three here.
Music festivals these days have taken to food trucks rather than food stands for the most part. I, for one, am all about this life. Food trucks have way better quality than the basic burgers served at festival food stands, and they’re typically much more reasonably priced. The variety is greater, and the competition between trucks means that they can’t charge 15 dollars for a taco. There will still be some food stands around in most festivals. These are typically overpriced and crappier than the food trucks. Just go to the food trucks. One perk of having a festival in the heart of Atlanta is the wide selection of restaurants nearby. If you get tired of the food trucks in the festival and you aren’t in a rush to get to the next show, we recommend you walk to one of the many nearby restaurants to get a bite!
For water, you’re going to want to use your Camelbak or a large water bottle. There are quick refill stations so you can fill up once or twice a day and be solidly hydrated. If it’s a hot day, I’d recommend refilling every time you change stages. For drinks, get em as often as you’re comfortable with. I’m not talking about what you’re comfortable with taking in, I’m talking about what you’re comfortable with coming out. If you’re not a fancy VIP person, you’re going to have to plan your bathroom trips carefully. A well-hydrated person is probably going to need to hit the bathrooms every 2 beers. Keep in mind that beers are tall boys at these festivals. And guess what? You have two hands! That’s right, double fisting is the way to go. I’d say every time you switch stages make a bathroom trip, grab two beers, and nurse those until you switch. Then wash, rinse, and repeat. Beer vs Wine vs Liquor. I’d normally say to go with your preference, but honestly there are some right and wrong choices here. I really cannot recommend wine at a music festival. I guess some people like wine on a warm day, I just can’t understand it. For liquor, don’t do shots. You’re going to get dehydrated and hate life. I also dislike mixed drinks for festivals because you get a ton of ice and it’s more expensive. Your best bets are drinks you can nurse, like beer.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article, where we’ll have some final thoughts for your Shaky experience and some spotlights on our favorite lesser known artists!
Only three more days until Shaky Beats! Part 3 of your survival guide here, and I’m going to discuss some basics about actually getting around within the festival. Welcome to Part three of your Shaky Survival Guide! See Part One here and Part Two here.
When you first get in line as a new festival-goer, you’ll probably either think:
“Wow everyone here is dressed in neon suspenders and mesh hoodies and I’m here in a polo and J-Crew shorts”
“Oh no, everyone here is dressed like a Banana Republic model and I’m here in a full-scale dragon costume with functioning wings”.
Honestly, everyone that’s been new to festival life has had these thoughts, especially people that don’t roll in 10 deep with their crew. If you’re rolling in with 10 of your best friends, congrats! If you’re not, just take a deep breath and calm down. My tip to get over the anxiety of fitting in at a music festival, especially EDM festivals is to just talk to the person closest to you. These are the friendliest people in the world, and anybody in line next to you is going to be happy just to know you. Nobody there is judging you and the more you socialize the more you’ll come to realize that everyone at Shaky Beats is there for the same reasons – to listen to some great music.
On the same note, there are some general codes of conduct to follow. It can be tempting to judge others for their outfits, actions, or behavior. Just keep it to yourself and focus on enjoying the show, because everyone else is just trying to enjoy the show in their own ways.
Finding Your Friends
So you’ve made it to the festival and you can hear your favorite artist off in the distance! Your friends are messaging you to come meet up, so you start walking into the swarm of colorful outfits and BAM you’re lost as all hell. Yeah Central Park isn’t the biggest venue, but the festival can be a daunting place. How are you going to find your friends?
Use your landmarks. The stages are great landmarks of course, but you have to think smaller if you want people to be able to find you when you’re trying to meet up at a show. The sound booth is a quality landmark, drink stations, food stations, etc. will all work better than the vague “I’m at stage X”.
Use totems! Your best landmark when you’re actually in the crowd will be totems. Totems are those tall poles with funny or neat pictures on them, lights, foam animals, whatever. They rise above the crowd so texting a friend “I’m standing under Spongebob” or “I’m between Oprah and the Rainbow Cat meme” will work great for finding one another. These are especially useful when you’re not close to any larger landmarks like sound booths.
Stand out in a crowd. Wear something fun, unique, or distinct. It doesn’t have to be a 15ft tall T-Rex costume, but wearing a wild hat or a neon shirt or something to make you a bit more distinct in a crowd will always help your friends find you.
Have a fall-back plan. If your phones die, if you all get lost, if your friend gets way too wasted and can’t read a map, have an easy-to-spot location where you can meet up. For most festivals there are central pillars with schedules that will be there each day – these work great for meet ups because they are tall but have narrow bases. This makes them easy to spot from a distance, but ensure you can find each other easily once you arrive. Food stations are also good meetup spots so long as they’re there day after day.
Getting a Good Spot
Getting a prime location to view your favorite artist is important, but don’t think it’s the end of the world if you can’t be front row. It’s important to remember not shove your fellow concert-goers and to try to be mindful of those around you.
Standing up front is nice for seeing the show, but you’re going to have the force of a few hundred people up against you. If you like to dance in any way other than bouncing, enjoy breathing anything but freshly exhaled CO2, or like to have a bit of personal space I would not recommend this life. If you are bent on being up front, don’t push through from the back. Walk up the side, then cut through sideways. The best option is always to come to an earlier show and keep your spot.
For more visual shows and people that like to dance more, I’d recommend standing further back. Central Park has some hills you can take advantage of for seeing shows without being in the middle of the crowd.
Being a VIP
It’s an age-old question, but we still ask ourselves whenever we buy tickets – is VIP actually worth it?
My opinion is, probably not. For 90% of us your standard ticket will do just find and there is plenty of room to go around. Being closer to the stage is nice, sure, but what’s the point if there’s nobody to enjoy it with? In my opinion there are two people that VIP is suited for:
Actual celebrities. If people are going to be stopping you and bothering you with requests for autographs, then sure. Go ahead and get yourself VIP so you can enjoy the show without being bothered.
People with IBS. There is one understated perk of VIP access and that’s the ability to take craps in peace, with full AC. If you have IBS, then by all means you go ahead and get VIP because you need the access and comfort.
If you’re not on TV and don’t have a chronic bowel disease, then I think you should just go ahead and get general admission and join the crowd.
That’s it for post #3, but stay posted for tomorrow’s post where I’ll be going over food and drink tips for the festival!
The Shaky Beats festival is coming to Central Park! Welcome to Part two of your Shaky Survival Guide! See Part One here!
Getting to the Festival
Please do yourself a favor. Don’t drive. It’s Atlanta, in Central Park (midtown, more or less ), just don’t. You’re going to hit some wild traffic there and back and your chance at parking will be abysmal. I would recommend taking MARTA or an Uber as close as you can get, and then walking a few blocks to the event. Basically, once your Uber is moving slower than the speed at which the people in the tie-dye shirts are walking, it’s time to bail and join them. This also lets your driver off the hook from sitting in traffic for twenty minutes trying to escape that mess. Then you’re off to the show!
Given the location of Shaky Beats this year, I’d highly recommend picking one of the area’s great restaurants as a pregame destination. Grab some lunch and brews and head on over to the festival once you’re good and ready. Some of my recommendations for pre-gaming are Midtown Tavern, Torched Hop, Two Urban Licks, and Venkman’s.
Planning Your Shows
There are roughly 100,000 apps for planning shows at music festivals, and Shaky Beats doesn’t disappoint! They have their own super handy app for booking your adventure. But for us lowly folk with little phone memory or that need their phones to stay alive throughout the whole day, I’d recommend a simple note-taking app like Google Keep. I usually plan as follows:
For each time slot in the day, number your artist choices in order of how badly you want to see them.
For a time slot that has two great artists, you might have trouble deciding which one to see. Your best option in this case is just to suck it up and figure your life out. But one helpful deciding factor is the distance of the artist, or “how long is it going to take me to get to this show versus to the other one?” And “will I be able to get a decent spot? Which show will give me the best positioning for the next show after that?”
Regardless of how badly you want to see your #1 show, always write down your #2 for each time slot. That way, if you’re meeting up with a crew or friends with differing opinions on who to see next, you can be open to two suggestions rather than one.
Critical info to know is 1) Artist 2) Time 3) Stage
If your phone fails, it’s always nice to have a backup. Typically you’ll be able to find flyers around the festival grounds with artist schedules, and there will be pillars dispersed with daily schedules and stage information. These are what I recommend for last-ditch items, or if you end up at a sweet show and just need to know who that artist was.
Dealing with Conflict
In some instances, you’ll disagree with your friends about what show to see next, and you’ll have to negotiate. Negotiation is an art form. Hell, our humble Commander in Chief even wrote a whole book about it. When it comes to negotiating with your crew between seeing your favorite artists and theirs, you’ll have to remember the 3 C’s of deal making: compromise, concession, and coercion. These go in order of your best-to-worst options.
Option 1- Compromise. This basically means you make a deal. They go see your favorite show now if you go and see theirs later. The trick? Their favorite show is also another one of your favorites. Pick a show that you know they will want to go to, and that you will like, but they don’t know you like. This will only work if you have not announced your festival show plans to your friends. You must keep these plans a secret to successfully come out on top of the compromise, otherwise you’ll come out even and that’s as bad as losing.
Option 2- Concession. This one means you’ll give them something. Buy them lunch, get them a t-shirt, some sort of knick-knack, whatever. The trick to winning this one? They give out tons of crap for free at these festivals. If you’re negotiating with someone, you might be able to split up for a while. Then you can sneak off and score some free swag or food and concede away.
Option 3- Coercion. This can be risky. This just means you get the rest of the group on your side and force the troublemaker to give in and see your show. The risk here is that if the group disagrees, then you become the troublemaker. The trick to coming out on top of this one is to ensure that the group (your backup) wants to see either your show, or the show coming on after your show at the same stage. This will give them reason to want to hang around and get a good spot.
Keep posted for three more parts to our Shaky Beats pre-event advice!
The Shaky Knees and Shaky Beats festivals are coming to Central Park! For many Atlanta residents, these festivals are great opportunities to experience the music festival life without having to trek out to the middle of nowhere! As a chronic EDM festival-goer, I’ve picked up a few tricks that will help you get the most out of your festival experience. Welcome to your Shaky Survival Guide!
What to Wear
Guys – I don’t care if you wear pants or shorts. I don’t care if you wear a polo or a t-shirt. I don’t care if you wear a silly costume. But if you care about fitting in while staying cool and comfortable, shorts and a tank top is a safe option. But dear, sweet baby Jesus, wear compression shorts. You’re going to be dancing, walking, etc. for what adds up to a few miles every day, for up to 3 days. Things will chafe.
Ladies – For both Shaky Knees and Shaky Beats, you can’t go wrong with high-waisted jean shorts and a bohemian cropped tank top. Self conscious? Make it a full tank. Voila, you’re now dressed like 90% of girls at music festivals.
However, you’ll also see some guys and ladies wearing much more elaborate attire that may or may not include wings, rainbows, and a variety of colored makeup and sprays. You’ll also see other people wearing much less, to say the least. Just remember that no matter how you dress at a music festival, do it for yourself! Much of what makes the music festival a fun and magical environment is the ability to be yourself and let your freak flag fly, so don’t hold back! Live your truth. In a lot of ways, the modern definition of the music festival is owed to the men and women who dare to be authentic, bold and colorful.
Essential Packing List
A music festival is a lot like a crappy Australia – everything there is trying to kill you, but really really slowly. Your packing essentials are going to make sure you survive the day each day.
Essential 1: a Camelbak or similar water pouch backpack. You gotta hydrate, mate. Most music festivals these days have special hydration stations with spouts intended for these packs. Getting one provides you with a lot of advantages. No more paying for water bottles, fewer refill trips, plus a backpack! If it doesn’t go with your outfit (ladies this is probably the case) just make sure you have a friend with one that doesn’t mind cooties. Remember to rinse and empty before you bring it!
Essential 2: Earplugs. You can get ’em fancy or you can get the foam classics, but get earplugs. You might say, “But, but, I go to a music festival to hear the music! Why would I put in plugs that make it harder for me to hear it???” That’s because when you listen to music on your phone, you get a warning at 85dB. When you listen to music at a festival, that beat is bumping at a steady 130dB all day long (keep in mind this is a logarithmic scale folks). You’ll hear the music just fine through those earplugs, but while you’re enjoying the show, they’re doing the important job of ensuring you don’t go deaf. You can even go fancy and get specialty buds that block only harmful noise as well!
Essential 3: During the day, you’re going to get some sun. I’m not a weatherman, we have our weather page for that, but it may be a lot of sun. Regardless of your complexion and how much sun you expect to have, just do yourself a favor and put on some sunscreen. You don’t want to be sunburned by day two and have to spend the rest of the festival watching your favorite artists from under the shelter of a far off tent. That’s no fun for anyone.
Fun-damental Packing List
Along with the essentials for survival, you may also want to bring some additional goodies to make your festival time a little more enjoyable. The following packing list has those good-time goodies that you should consider.
Goodie #1: Snacks! Granola and nuts are probably going to be your best bets. Nuts if you want to share, granola if you don’t. Why no protein bars? Because they’ll dehydrate you. Why no candy? Because it will melt, get gross and sticky, and generally be a mess.
Goodie #2: Sunglasses and spectral shades. One for the daytime and one for the night (at Shaky Beats at least). Sunglasses (or a hat if that’s your thing) are going to be a real necessity when it comes to keeping those eyes on the stage and not staring into the sun. Your spectral shades basically just act as little prisms, taking those pretty lights to the next level. If you think head, you can get them online for $2 instead of at the event for $20.
Goodie #3: Party Favors. Although you might get them away if you make yourself too obvious, people generally have little to no issue getting stuff in. It’s not my MO, but hey if you want some party favors to help you enjoy the show a little more, then by all means, bring all the party favors you want.
Stay posted for your daily Shaky post leading up to Shaky Beats! See Part two here and Part three here!