Photos by: Anissa Yarbrough
Story by: Lacy Bursick
The 2015 music festival season is unfortunately coming to an end as autumn creeps up on us. At the end of August, I got the opportunity to experience my favorite city festival of the entire summer, Imagine Music Festival at Masquerade Park in Atlanta, Georgia.
On Friday, I arrived early and explored the festival grounds. The Masquerade Park was filled with vibrant colors and energy despite gray skies.
My evening went from G Jones on the trippy side stage (Amazonia) and over to GRiZ on the main stage (Oceania). The sun went down and the lasers came out just in time for Shpongle and Tipper on the Amazonia stage.
Shpongle and Tipper’s sets ran back-to-back for one of the best psychedelic festival lineups all summer bringing out all the weird and strange. The visuals by Android Jones were a kaleidoscopic experience through space and time. They both feature heavy bass that rattles your soul–in the best ways.
An unfamiliar guy in the crowd turned to me and said, “it’s like psychedelic hip-hop,” and I said back, “glitch-hop.” He shook his head in excitement and said, “I need to download this when I get home!” That’s the beauty of music festivals; exposing people to different music and artists they’ve never seen. IRIS Presents did a great job curating the stages and lineup.
To be completely honest, my expectations for Imagine were low because I am not a fan of city festivals and because of my experiences I have attended the weekly IRIS event at Rush Lounge on Saturdays. I thought I knew how the crowd would be: half naked, wide-eyed young ravers with lots of neon and sucking pacifiers. There definitely were a few people living up to my premeditated image, but for the most part, I was wrong and the crowd was diverse with nothing but happy vibes.
Thankfully it seems people were raving responsibly because I never saw anyone getting carted out by medics. There was a DanceSafe booth present, which is a non-profit group that many festival promoters are hesitant to allow in, but their presence makes a difference and informs.
Going into my Saturday, I assumed I would hangout at the side stage again because of my music preference; I’m a basshead, what can I say? But after running into a friend in the VIP lounge at the main stage, I ended up enjoying my night watching The Crystal Method and Dada Life headline the event.
The VIP lounge was off to the side, raised in the air for the best view equipped with bottle service, giant hookahs, decorative chandeliers and couches for lounging. I could watch the Dada land pillow fights and giant inflatable bananas bounce around the crowd through the lasers all from a safe, side view.
At the end of the festival, IRIS Presents partners Glenn and Madeline Goodhand gave a huge thank you and promised to be back next year. They thanked everyone for being part of their IRIS family and announced they are pregnant and the crowd celebrated and cheered for the news of an IRIS baby.
Look out Insomniac, IRIS is making the southeast rave scene stronger and stronger and now they’ll even have their own Rainbow Aurora. The EDM scene in the southeast continues to grow and flourish with a lot of credit to IRIS Presents.
With the expected closing of the Masquerade venue, I expect Imagine to relocate to a place where the festival can continue to dance and play. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.
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