For as long as I can remember, music has been my favorite medium of art. Bumping Megadeath in the car with my mom or jamming to Bowling for Soup in my friend’s garage in middle school are memories that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Last year I was accepted to Kennesaw State University and was delighted to find out that I would be a part of the radio station on campus. My manger informed me about the Shaky Beats Festival the year prior how amazing the festival experience was. He wasn’t even finished detailing his experience before I was on the computer doing my press application. A few months later I got the response that I was cleared for a media pass and started getting my stuff packed for my first music festival experience.
On the first day, my group took me to go see Alison Wonderland, who I had never listened to before. At the beginning of her set I saw the lights coupled with the video effects and was completely immersed. I couldn’t help but see all the people around me dressed in different colors, costumes and outfits and started to dance my mind away.
I preceded to walk through the festival and went to the smaller stage, Ponce De Leon, to catch Ganja White Night’s set. While not as well-known as the other headliners, they still put on amazing set that had everyone in the crowd twisted like a long island iced tea. I only recently got into EDM, so I was never too well educated on the performances that Snails, RL Grime and Griz would have.
Snails had the entirety of Centennial Olympic Park shaking from the bass. RL Grime had everyone screaming in amazement as soon as the beat dropped. While both were some of the best EDM sets I’ve ever attended, never before had I seen such a captivating stage presence than when I witnessed GRiZ play his saxophone live. I never knew funk and modern electronica could come together for such a beautiful sound. Nothing but pure funk and love was in the air that night. It truly set the mood that the next two days would be and was the best introduction to festivals I could have ever asked for.
I’ve been into hip-hop as soon as I started my high school career. When my best friend introduced me to SoundCloud I got completely taken away by the underground rap scene, so you could only imagine my excitement to see Pouya, Germ and Flatbush Zombies all on the same day. After I attended the Slushii set, I quickly ran to the Ponce stage to see Pouya. Being that close to one of my favorite artists at the rail was phenomenal and even more amazing when he jumped in to make a pit. Even though he destroyed my glasses I was completely honored to have them stomped by him. After Pouya’s set, I attended the adjacent Piedmont stage for Flatbush Zombies. Finally hearing “Palm Trees” live and unreleased Flatbush music made my entire weekend.
The last day was one of surprises. I hadn’t listened to anyone on the set list except for Getter since he produced for Pouya. All the artist I witnessed that day, however, impressed me- especially the Chainsmoker’s set that night, alongside the fireworks, flame cannons and confetti. I cried tears of joy. At one point during the set, the stage went dark and the entire crowd shined their phone lights out into the sky. The aura and the power of all the emotions from the crowd had me in utter disbelief that anything this beautiful could happen.
Shaky Beats 2017 will forever live on within me for not only showing me the beauty of festivals but music in general. The thousands of people that came to show love and pure bliss while enjoying their favorite musicians is one of the most beautiful displays of peace I have ever witnessed. What a wild, wonderful, and wacky three days that weekend was. Thank you Shaky Beats for providing me an amazing lineup for my first music festival experience ever!
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