Back in March of this year, Imagine Music Festival revealed the 2019 theme of their sixth installment of the festival. “What Lies Deep at the Bottom of the Ocean.” As described by the Iris Presents team as an underwater city. Once lost, but now found, where guests embark on discovering hidden treasures. What exactly those hidden treasures may be are left to the attendees to decide. So as we head into Imagine with an idea of what to expect, but there is a level of curiosity that looms over. What will we discover?
The draw to festivals is undoubtedly strong. Bringing together thousands across the country and globe, year after year to embark on new experiences with their closest friends. Gatherings of this nature allow the chance to create new moments with fresh faces and empower those who attend to create lifelong relationships. Music and art are what bring all these people together. It takes a dedicated team to appropriately provide the environment to execute this experience. The folks at Iris Presents make this happen. Imagine flawlessly provides the escape from reality and throws you into a dreamlike world while staying true to their theme of discovery and running into the unknown.
Atlanta brings this infectious energy to the table. It’s own unique expression of southern hospitality mixed with unapologetic hometown pride that makes for a great duo. That spirit makes for an exciting crowd that gathers each day just south of the city in one it’s largest venues. Atlanta Motor Speedway, the 71,000 capacity speedway, that transforms into a festival goers wonderland. A small city centralized around the love of electronic music.
Let’s get to business.
100+ Artist. Six Stages. 3x more Art Installations than previous years. Cirque acts and carnival attractions. Pool parties. Video game lounge. Late night campground parties. It is a lot, but it is supposed to be. Imaginers have all the liberty to be completely immersed into the festivals four day duration.
Appealing to the masses comes with its own set of struggles. Being able to create a diverse lineup of artist on a massive scale appropriately is a daunting task, but handled with grace when it comes to the Imagine Team. One look at the 2019 IMF lineup poster and there is no hiding the fact that artist from every sub genre of electronic music holds a spot on the bill. Each night, at each stage, felt as if the team had carefully crafted a stage for the wide variety of genres. Massive production reigned at Oceania, House tunes pumped steadily throughout the night at TechYes, experimental tunes found haven tucked away at the Amazonia Stage. Giant dubstep tunes blasted above the flames of Disco Inferno, grassroots artists shined with inspiration at Six Feathers, and low light vibes with projection mapping at the Campground to ease on into the next morning.
Everyone has a different ear. Music registers differently from person to person. It makes some dance. Some stand still, eyes closed. Head bang, laugh, cry, and sometimes all of the above. But whether you are there for the likes of Marshmello or for the tunes of Tipper, Imagine masterfully provided the environment for the listener to escape reality. No matter the taste of music, everyone has a place to fit in.
Imagine serves as a hotspot for artists to gather, just as it does for music. Painters, muralists, graffiti artists, and more gathered from all around to create live pieces at the festival. Blank canvases scattered around the grounds of the speedway transformed into bursting walls of color as the weekend progressed. Artists taking time to step in and out of conversation for the curious bystander. A camaraderie between artists flourishes at Imagine. Art spreads the grounds of the festival from pillar to post, and all along adding to the aura of Imagine Music Festival. The Live Art & Muralist Director, Monica Palma-Ruiz, spoke with TCE about the successes of the weekend.
“We had twenty five artists come out to Imagine 2019 to paint at Disco Inferno and Amazonia each night! We also were thrilled to see the completion of thirteen murals painted live throughout the festival at our three main stages! Thank you to everyone for taking your time to check all of it out!”
– Monica Palma-Ruiz
So yes, at the end of the day we can reminisce the banging tracks played by our favorite artists or the crazy things we saw with our friends, but there is something a little more to it all. What did we discover? Why do people travel so far to make it to Imagine? What does Imagine mean to you? Two weeks removed from the madness it all starts to become clear. It is the friendships that can be built or reignited. Creating a new experience with a total stranger. Discovery of a new sound that fits into the tone of your life. You might just find out something about yourself as well. Something that seemed unclear, but now in a better light. Festivals can make that happen for people. Imagine makes that happen.
We want to thank the entire Imagine Team for inviting The Chronic Electronic out to IMF 2019. We could not have been more thrilled with the experience. Thank you for the hospitality and can not wait to see you in 2020!
FULL PHOTO GALLERY OF IMF 2019 ON FACEBOOK ASHTRO J PHOTOGRAPHY THE CHRONIC ELECTRONIC ON FACEBOOK IMAGINE MUSIC FESTIVAL