Shaky Beats 2018 is downtown Atlanta’s biggest and baddest party of the year!
I got to Atlanta and was all settled and checked in around 3pm on Friday, May 11. My hotel was a convenient ten minute walk down the street from the festival gates. One of the first things that caught my attention about Shaky Beats was the lack of lines. Now I’m not saying that there weren’t any people there. There were easily over 15,000 people at this festival. The festival itself was so well organized I walked straight through the line at ticket pickup AND walked straight into the festival. No lines. No waiting. Security was fast and friendly, and before I knew it I was already inside. Nothing gets me more excited than quick lines at a festival!
Shaky Beats 2018 was held in a section of Atlanta’s historic Central Park. This venue was gorgeous! All together they had four stages: Criminal Records, Ponce De Leon, Piedmont, and Peachtree.
The smallest stage was Criminal Records. This stage was a smaller, intimate venue serving up sick beats by up-and-comers from all genres within EDM. The stage was shaded by towering elm trees and the ground was padded with soft grass and dirt. Towards the back of this area of the park you could find food vendors and water, as well as multiple trees and picnic benches to relax and make a new friend.
Ponce De Leon
The next largest stage was Ponce De Leon. Ponce De Leon consisted of an expansive and shady metal pavilion with an open-air parking lot and a shaded dirt lot in the back to sit. This was one of my favorite stages to hang out and meet new people! You could comfortably rest your back against the fence and let the music wash over you. But if you got into the pit; whew! Things got hot real fast! Thank goodness for the open pavilion space. The Georgia heat and humidity turned up to party too this weekend! The stage lineup was a fair mix of established artists including my personal favorites Bonnie X Clyde and the funky Dr. Fresch.
The second to largest stage was the Piedmont stage. This staged featured popular heavy hitters like Dillon Francis, San Holo, and Seven Lions. The stage was set on a hill at the highest point in the park. There were trees to the left of the stage to provide shade, and to the right were houses in the city where people were partying on their rooftops! I felt like I had stepped into a Project X party. Along the borders of the field were bars and a Mikes Hard Lemonade booth that featured games of cornhole and bright yellow hammocks for lounging.
And finally our largest and coolest mainstage: Peachtree! I loved this stage! It was a massive and towering stage with a lifted DJ booth in the center for Shaky’s biggest acts. In the back of the venue there were hills, trees, and even a baseball pitch, where plenty of people could sit, sleep, and shuffle. The hills also offered a great visual dynamic for people to get their own personal stage view free of tall people, totems, and balloons. Getting to the front of the crowd and up to the stage was super easy too! At so many festivals I find myself having to push and shove through an impenetrable wall of people and dirty looks to even get passed the tech booth. Not at Shaky Beats. The field was expansive enough that everyone could move and dance with room to spare. I managed to reach front left speaker for Excision with as much ease as walking into the festival that day.
The vibes at Shaky Beats could not be any better. Seriously. Police and security were visually present and friendly. The paramedics were prompt, courteous, and ready to help patrons with anything, no matter how small. For those who explored the festival grounds, you could find hidden gems like the city playground, scores of mouth-watering food trucks, photo booths, virtual reality experiences, the greek god Zeus, and endless scores of FREE M&Ms. Everyone at this festival showed up to throw the funnest, safest, tastiest, good-vibing time possible. No lines, no arrests, no technology malfunctions, no cancellations, fantastic weather, fantastic artists, fantastic music… and 3 days of it all for just $200 a ticket. Need I say more?
Shaky Beats has cemented itself as downtown Atlanta’s biggest and baddest party of the year. Their numerous stages, unique venue geography, convenient location, sick lineups, cleanliness, organization, and all around good vibes, provided the perfect partying atmosphere that would excite even the most seasoned of music festival veterans. Shaky Beats 2019 will absolutely be on my festival list next year and years to come!
The Festival Voice hopes to catch you at Shaky Beats 2019 next year!
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Photos courtesy of aLIVE Coverage for Shaky Beats Music Festival | @alivecoverage