Editor’s Note: Booty Shakers has been expanding recently, and with that expansion we have brought on a few new writers. One of these writers has chosen to remain anonymous, with the hopes of delivering completely unedited and unbiased festival / event reviews. Their first assignment? Imagine Festival 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. Allow me to introduce… Mr. Mafioso.
No joke, Imagine Festival 2015 was THE ILLEST weekend of my life! Iris Presents knows how to throw one hell of a party. Thousands of ravers were getting down to headliners like Griz, Chromeo, Brillz, DaDa Life, Tipper, Datsik, and The Glitch Mob right in downtown Atlanta. You’d be a fool to miss next year’s event.
Old Fourth Ward Park was the perfect choice for the festival grounds. Iris Presents set up three stages, all spread out across several acres in the Historic Park. The Main Stage, “Oceania”, was bumping electro house. The second stage, called “Amazonia”, was getting down and dirty with some really dope dubstep. The third stage, “Imaginarium”, had easily one of best setups. Located in an amphitheater right on the lake’s waterfront, with a grassy terrace where everyone could post up and check out some of Atlanta’s local artists.
Before I delve into my festival experience, I’d like to add a little preface, just so you know where I’m coming from. This was my first festival, ever. But, I’ve been into the DC EDM scene since 2011. So, I’ve seen plenty of headliners at Echostage. As my first festival experience though, I’m completely sold on the lifestyle. The rest of this write-up is about my experience at ImagineFest 2015, and I’m going to be 100% real about what happened.
My friend Sara and I decided to Uber down to Old Fourth Ward around Noon. There was no way in heck that we were going to drive, especially during a festival weekend. The second we arrived, the scene looked like it was about to get insanely tight. Hundreds of people dressed in their flyest rave attire were pouring into the park. Behind the entrance, you could hear the bass booming and echoing off the surrounding buildings.
A huge white Imagine sign marked the entrance to the grounds. I had to snap a pic. Behind the sign were all the access tents and this enormous “dome” that caught my curiosity. Once we went through security we were blown away by how HUGE of a party it was. I’ve never seen so many people getting down at once. No joke, “guesstimate,” there were probably 15,000 people there.
That “dome” turned out to be the largest water mister I’ve ever seen. It was a huge open spine structure made of steel that had misters integrated into the framework. Below the billowing mist, there were tons of big leather couches. A perfect spot you could post up and chill out at. They made sure there was plenty of room too. Paired along the main Dome were two smaller ones to accompany more people. Rolling hard as fuck and need a place to cool down? That was the spot.
To the right of the dome, they setup the perfect spot to get some shade. The Trippy Tree of Shade. Shaped like a psychedelic tree, it provided tons of shade. Good move on Iris to tend to everyone’s needs at the fest. A huge misting area, guaranteed shade, and free water station. Nicely done, Iris.
A word of advice when going to a festival; definitely bring something you can sprawl out on, like a blanket. Yeah the grass is fine, but usually only on the first day. Fest grounds get torn up after a day like that. It also helps to bring a lightweight backpack and just put all your “essentials” in there.
Alright, back to the festival grounds. To the right of the Trippy Tree of Shade were vendors selling some of the coolest artwork you’ve ever seen. Being an artist myself, I really loved the fact that they allowed vendors to setup and sell their work. These artists were SO talented, too. From Shpongle-inspired Indian paintings to color changing polar bears, these artists were flexing some talent. These tents made for a great spot to check out at the end of the night….. cough cough…….
Ok, onto the good stuff. So, typical of any rave, I end up losing all my friends and just venture off to have my own festival experience. Other than the music, my favorite thing about this whole scene is the people. Festivals bring out such a broad array of people. They come in from all over the world, and everyone’s just there to party and have a good time. You’ll always meet some new ride or die type of friends at raves, or just total fuckbois….. yeah stay away from those douches.
After doing a bit of recon, I got my bearings down. Center Stage in the middle, Trap and Dubstep stage to the left, and local talent at the lake amphitheater to the right. You can’t forget about that water station either. Gotta find that thing before anything else, there’s nothing worse than being out of water and having no idea where to get it. Def grab a couple bottles and carry them in with you, especially if you’re going deep into the pit. Oh, one thing that I’ll have to harp on was the water station. They only had one “free” water station, you could buy bottles from vendors, but cmon…….. only ONE free station? Wtf? Plus that shit ran out on the second day and people were forced to buy their water bottles. Not cool.
Now, I’m down at the ampitheatre checking out this DJ, Bells and Robes. He’s bumping some chillstep. It’s such a relaxing vibe, everyone’s up dancing and getting down. I look back at the top of the ampitheatre, and it’s the perfect spot to smoke. I’ve got a couple G’s of some purps on me, so time to lift off and enhance this chillstep mix.
Although tree was the only thing I’d brought, I wanted to really get down with everyone else. After getting up from the amipheatre, I went along this path above the waterfront, leading to the main stage. Along the path, I run into this group of the cutest rave girls. You should have seen the girl in pink, she was really pretty. We light up a couple bowls along the walk, exchange numbers and then they went off to the main stage. Walking along the path, I spot this guy who looked like he definitely knew where to get some bomb drugs. We chat it up, him and his girlfriend were just in town from New Orleans, and bam. Within 5min, I’ve got 2 hits of gel tab acid.
I tripped with a buddy before moving from DC about 5 months ago. So, my system was in the perfect state to thoroughly get faded this weekend. Ok, so I’ve got two hits in my pocket and need to find a place to pull them out. The best place to do any sort of sketchy shenanigans like this? Usually in the middle of a crowd of people with security far far away, or if you’re vip, you can just use the private restrooms behind the stage. I’d highly recommend going VIP if you’re going to do a fest, the extra amenities are so worth it. Food vendors grilling out right next to the vip tables, a double tired balcony that overlooks the crowd, and best of all, private bathrooms. Honestly, it’s a great networking opportunity too. Most of the people hanging out in VIP are pretty well established and make for legit connections.
Ok, I’m in the bathroom and pull the gel tabs out of the foil. “What in the hell is this shit?” Acid that’s a dark amber color? It looked like the DNA rock from Jurassic Park. Oh well, Yolo. I decided to take only one at first and save the other. Here’s a good piece of advice for anyone going to these fests. You have NO idea what you’re taking. People will say one thing and have no idea that they’re actually selling fake synthetic drugs. Always make sure the people you’re buying from are legit too. Ask if they’ve test kitted it, or bring your own kit. Hell, spend $5 on Amazon so you don’t fuck your brain up.
Back to the fest, it’s about 5:00pm now and Sara’s over at Amazonia. Ill Gates and KJ Sawka are about to hit the stage. Traversing the crowd, I finally find her. Ill Gate’s had a really badass set that we smoked to. Everyone was raging out of control. There was a shuffle circle going down on my right, hot girls’ twerking on my left, and wildy vivid 3D visuals blasting across the stage…… And, that’s when it hit.
The gel tab only took about 30min to kick it, and guess who just hit the stage, Brillz. At this point I feel like a fucking rockstar, the cid is hitting SO smoothly. Not too many visuals though, only if I really stare at stuff. But, the body high? HOLY Shizzzz! The only way I can describe it, was that everything felt like I was the starring in some EDM music video. There were insanely dope tracks being played, hot girls everywhere, and everyone from the crowd put off such friendly vibes. It was a perfect atmosphere to be tripping out at.
EDM music as a whole is some incredibly produced music, and probably some of the best music you’ll ever listen to. But, people enjoy taking different cocktails of drugs to enhance their experience. Honestly, this is America, “Land of the Free,” we should be able to do whatever we want. Born to Rage! That’s the best part about raves/fests. You can do almost whatever the fuck you want to do, without being judged. Just be yourself. If you want to dress up like the Red Power Ranger with a Red Mohawk, well, just make sure you look fly. The term I call outlandish rave outfits is “peacocking.” Throwing on some crazy bright colored outfit that draws attention to you, just like well, a peacock.
I’m not hating on it though, I freaking love dressing up for raves and seeing everyone else’s outfits. The way people go about expressing themselves sparks my own imagination for the next rave. This one group of girls all went dressed up like my lil ponies. They looked amazing!
Back to the fest. As I’m attempting to walk through the crowd, I’m moving in this weird morphed out dance style, and it’s ridiculous. Looking like a bum that just shopped at H&M, I’m meeting some really chill festival attendees. Hell, with Griz and Morgan Page playing in the background, I was getting down while looking for a new smoke spot.
After walking around, I found a couple dressed up like Indians. They were definitely getting their peace pipe game on. So, I hungout and smoked with them. There was this hilarious girl rolling around on the ground right next to us. Super cute, Middle Eastern, but SOO gone. She was flailing her arms and legs like a worm, rubbing herself all over the grass. Everytime a guy would walk by, she’d start rubbing the hell outta herself, chick was in heat. Ahhh, that’s one of the best things about this lifestyle. You NEVER know what kind of crazy shit you’ll see…
Editor’s Note: Mr. Mafioso continued his raucous partying late into the night. Somehow, he found enough strength to regroup, and do it all again for Day Two. Read his second entry of adventures here.