• Stephanie Heath

Imagine Music Festival: What Lies at the Bottom of the Ocean

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

(09/25/2019 Atlanta, GA) The sixth annual electronic music festival Imagine closed out the weekend with a bang-- from fireworks to flames and everything you can 'imagine'. At this year's festival there were six stages: Oceania (main stage), Disco Inferno, Amazonia, Six Feathers, Tyches and Silent Disco. Silent Disco was open at select hours prior to the festival grounds opening each day and late night sessions for those who wanted to warm up or dance the night away. Four days of camping, dancing and pool parties?! I can imagine why people call this one of their favorite festivals to attend.

Before I dive deep into why specific stages had its own special charm and highlights, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the artistry and innovative technology it took to pull this off! First and foremost, Oceania looked like hidden treasure that Poseidon himself lived in-- they had beautifully decorated white and gold pillars with a crown on top of the stage along with other decorations that resembled pearls. The stage was not only a work of art, it shot out smoke, flames and displayed visuals on the center of the stage along with laser beams darting everywhere. You can personally thank the Algorythym Designs crew for working on Oceania's Design, Disco Inferno Design and scenic fabriaction. Music Matters worked on lighting and video, PK Sound on audio. Mountain Productions worked on structure while Gammaspace created Draco's Nest Talons. Last but not least, Algorythym Designs created the Diskopella Disco Ball. On the walk up to the Oceania, there was a giant installation that spelled out "Imagine" which has been one of the iconic installations of the festival's existence.

Imagine Installation - Oceania Stage

Additional placements of the "Imagine" installation were located throughout the festival. There was no shortage of bright lights and visuals throughout the festival, with a Ferris wheel, and a mirror maze like the one you would find at a carnival, were both located not too far from the Oceania stage. There was also a giant pyramid that projected holographs on it and lit up different colors and patterns which was located near Disco Inferno.

Hands down Rezz put on one of the best performances of the weekend. The crowd was packed, and loving every moment of her set. Flames and smoke would go off every so often, and would rowdy up the crowd even more. She has definitely proven she should've headlined Friday night when we were informed that Diplo is no longer able to attend the festival. The crowd was feeding off her energy, and the feelings were mutual. Fans were showing their love for the artist by rocking Rezz-inspired glow goggles, which is her signature piece that she wears during every performance. A fan that was front row even had a dry erase board saying "Marry Me Rezz!!"

Rezz - Oceania Stage

Diplo was one of the most highly anticipated DJs to perform Friday night, however, he was unable to attend due to "unforeseen circumstances" and reassured us he will "make it up to Atlanta in the near future." Diplo's replacement was the one and only NBA star himself--Shaquille O'Neal, aka DJ Diesel! Not only is Shaq one of the most entertaining guys to party with, he's the "Chief Fun Officer" for Carnival Cruise Lines, a spokesperson for Papa John's Pizza AND there's viral videos of him headbanging in crowds at festivals on Instagram. Clearly he has earned his title for being "fun" to be around. Although Diesel had big shoes to fill, he did an amazing job at showing his fans that he's capable of showing us a good time. During his set confetti, smoke and streamers were flying all around us, flags and totems waving high in the sky. Diesel was hyping up the crowd screaming "I want a mosh pit!!" and the crowd would cheer and holler, shortly after, the DJ himself stage dived into the crowd.

DJ Diesel - Oceania Stage

Additional highlights throughout the weekend on the Oceania stage includes Alison Wonderland, Above & Beyond, Seven Lions & Zeds Dead rocking everyone's socks off. Attendees were dancing with light up hula hoops and pixel whipping. Each stage was tastefully curated to accommodate the array of genres within electronic music. Oceania was primarily mainstream electronic dance music. A majority of the DJ's that were headlining the festival surprised fans with brand new music.

To describe Disco Inferno as "lit" is a serious understatement. A moving disco ball that spits out fire, along with select parts of the stage, that stage was H-O-T! This stage proudly brought the heat and so did the artist lineup. The lineup for this stage included dubstep and riddim artists such as Boogie T, Subtronics, Leah Culver, whom is an Atlanta hometown hero, and Rusko to name a few. Boogie T has released his latest EP, called 'Supa Fly' which includes the original mix along with 3 additional remixes of his song 'Supa Fly' by Rusko and additional well-respected artists such as GRiZ, Dirt Monkey and Jantsen. Leah Culver has been featured on collaborations with artists such as Marshmello on his song 'Fly', and 'Burn Like Sun' from Liquid Stranger. Subtronics latest song releases include 'SNAILCLOPS', and 'Headband'.

Subtronics - Disco Inferno

During the day time there were endless activities including the major pool party brought to you by one of Imagine's proud sponsors BeatBox Beverages. There were giant duck and flamingo pool floaties, beach balls, the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. In addition to the pool party, there was a gaming lounge brought to you by Monster Energy Drink, another sponsor for the festival. The Imagine Festival Gaming Lounge was where gamers and DJs would raise money for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. In the gaming room there was a giant ball pit that many people enjoyed jumping and playing in, a 'Complimentary Bar' where you can interact with others at this bar and give strangers respectful compliments. Additional workshops that were available for attendees were hosted by sponsors iHeartRaves included Kandie Making by Kandie's World and Totem crafting, as well as partner yoga. The vendor alley featured food trucks, apparel and accessories booths from Spunglasses and Festy Besty to name a few. There were also vape booths, booths from sponsors such as Babe Rose which has Oprah Winfrey as an endorser of the product.

Amazonia stage which was on the opposite side of Oceania was worth the trek. Between the aerial and flame performers to the performers on stilts, there was always something going on. People were in awe of the creative performers that shared the stage with artists such as Goldfish, Phantoms, Thriftworks. Select artists had individual dancers join them on stage to dance and these were not your average dancers. From slow motion to bending and contorting their bodies in various ways, they were incredibly talented.

Kyla Kelly - Aerial Performer for Team EZ - Costumes by Colleen Naughton

On the side stage there were live painters that were interacting with fans along with displaying their completed pieces that were up for sale. Graffiti artists were spread throughout the festival, in open grass areas, and don't worry, they got plenty of love and attention as well. Spectators passing by and taking pictures or taking the time to speak to select artists and admiring their work. Live painters spent a majority of their days working on art that was proudly displayed throughout the festival. Festival goers enjoyed taking selfies with the works of art.

Additional performances on the Amazonia stage, which personally was the highlight of the weekend was the Tipper & Friends takeover which includes Dave Tipper, Jade Cicada & Detox Unit. Tipper is a DJ from the UK that leaves you 'Tipped'. His style of electronic music is on the psychedelic bass side of the spectrum, bringing INSANE visuals with sounds that will put you in another dimension. He humbly performs on the side of the stage where he is not seen, and lets his music do all the entertaining. He opened his set with a VIP of 'Vection' off 'Jettison Mind Hatch'.

Detox Unit - Amazonia Stage

Fractaled Visions created Tipper's visuals, Cullen Hassel did Detox Unit and Steven Haman did Jade Cicada's visuals. The Amazonia stage was an experimential and psychedelic aesthetic, which is why Tipper & Friends takeover of the Amazonia stage on Sunday was the perfect way to close off the weekend. Tipper "discovered" and currently manages Jade Cicada and Detox Unit. A majority of their shows are performed together or with artists very similar to their style. Cicada played 'Komorebi' off his new EP that came out Monday. Detox Unit played songs off his latest EP that was debuted a few months ago. Tipper also played 'Jello', a crowd favorite, and it is of course currently unreleased, however, he's performed it throughout the years.

Marshmello - Oceania Stage

Marshmello took the Oceania stage by storm closing out the festival Sunday night. 'Melloheads' were decked out in their favorite DJ's merchandise, colorful and glowing in the dark. Fans were jumping and screaming, he was the most highly anticipated artist of the weekend. During his performance he had colorful visuals, laser beams and even confetti and streamers. To top off his performance there were fireworks lighting up the sky, which was a beautiful way to end this chapter of the aquatic fairy tale we call Imagine. Claude VonStroke, who was the final performer of the entire weekend put the fire out at the end of Sunday night, all good things must come to an end. Until next time, we will be waiting for another message in a bottle to wash up on shore with next year's lineup.

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