Shaky Beats Festival 2017 – A Beautiful Swirl of Love
Written by Amanda R. McCarty & Ari Kane
Photo Credit: aLIVE Coverage
On a brisk day in Georgia I found myself on a journey to experience my very first EDM festival! Nested in the heart of Atlanta, Centennial Olympic park was home to this year’s EPIC 2017 Shaky Beats music festival for three days of food, fun and music. Now me the sweet baby that I am had never been to anything even remotely close to an Electric Dance Music festival. (Hell I had to ask my friend what it even stood for.) I have to be honest though, I had my reservations, and on that first rainy day in May I was certain that my assumptions would be proven true. Walking through the city to get to the park, (shout out to Atlanta for all the convenient parking) over the sound of the wind and hum of the streets you start to hear an alluring sound. A steady strong beat that magnetically pulls you into the park like a friendly invite to come over and chill (just chill not Netflix and chill). The louder the music got, the more excited I got for my adventure.
As I got closer to the park there was a group forming funneling itself smoothly through the security check points into the actual park. Once entering you are met with the beauty of the setup, vendors to one side, artists spray painting a mural on the other, and the stages just down a hill. The park was very open and easy to navigate with no good places to get lost in, as you followed the crowds around. The group arrived to the Piedmont stage, where I laid my eyes on my very first EDM artist, a man by the name of Crywolf.
I could tell why he was popular from the crowd and reactions of the fans . The music was snaring, getting everyone to dance in great waves in no time at all. Crywolf’s passionate set created a very strong start to the whole festival. Some of my favorite sets of the week belonged to:
The Knocks, an American electronic music duo consisting of Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson. They played an intimate set at the Ponce de Leon stage, nestled in a thick set of trees and awnings. Its seclusion gave way to a feverish crowd all jumping, singing and laughing in tandem. The Knocks set was full of funk, love and people getting down like the 70’s Soul Train.
Bonobo played a phenomenal set with a full live band and a poignant singer that swept people away in intense emotion.
Griz and Muzzy Bear put on one of the best shows on Earth! Their Good Will Prevail Album is by far the Best of 2016 and 2017 thus far. This is one of the few stellar albums you can listen to straight and never have to skip. The powerful love and positivity on this album will elevate you into a blissful state of mind.
Kaskade always puts on an incredible show, but this set seemed like one of his best. He played all the hits, had impeccable transitions and the lights and fireworks were setting people off. All 3 stages were very close to each other so it was easy to wander from stage to stage following your faves or discovering new tunes.
There was also an almost comical change of demographic when it came to the people once you entered the park, soooooo much color and costumes. It looked as if everyone was dressed to have tea with the Mad Hatter. When we entered together every afternoon, most were talking about the artists that would be playing, while the rest had already started to run to dance at the stages.
While the music was stellar it was the incredible sweet and loving people that made Shaky Beats marvelous! Throughout the three days the people I met made a lasting impression on me. Vibrant eccentric wizards an aliens eager to explain why which bands are the best or why the locations were cool because of the way the sound bounces back into the park. Scarlet foxes to show me where the vendors sold their shirts and stickers, or even an alien ghost to grab a bite with as giggling groups passed in herds brandishing their homemade flags and totems so that lost members of their party can find them again.
Couples dressed in matching cat suits throwing compliments at other matching couples. It was as if the whole festival was competing for most colorful costume. It was a fun game of wit and showmanship. I was proud that my first festival was such a warm place, so open to each other’s creativeness and personalities. So many ideas being exchanged in those sunny warm fields in rainbow tutus or chicken customs, all the good conversation leaves one quite intellectually satisfied.
Once you have your fill of music and conversation and you start to feel the rising need for something more sustaining, worry not because Shaky Beats had your back with a fleet of brightly colored and scrumptious food trucks. The choice in food provided by the food trucks was vast, serving anything from fried rice to Popsicles. Some good ones to mention would be the Five Finger Filly, Mac an Cheese, and King of Pops. For the thirsty folk they had concessions were you could pick your poison as well as a multitude of well-organized water filling stations, which are always appreciated.
Shaky Beats festival was such an amazing experience! The ticket price was affordable, the music terrific, the setting serene and the people were bursting with love and warmth. All these people there to dance and love creates powerful swirls of energy that can be felt and absorbed. I guess that is why I could not stop smiling the entire 3 days even after I had left the park! I could not have an imagined a better wast to lose my Festivalginity. Thank you Shaky Beats! I will for sure see you next year…