Shaky Beats Music Festival was hands down one of the most entertaining festivals I’ve seen in quite some time. With perfect up and coming artists to compliment a scenic Centennial Olympic Park, this festival was extremely well executed in just about every aspect imaginable. With three stages situated throughout the festival grounds, every act was within a 10 minute walk of one another with various amenities and concessions thoughtfully placed along each major road. Shaky Beats brought together the hottest electronic acts for 3 days of a jam packed memorable weekend full of positivity, love, and connection. With so many smiling faces and evident jubilation there was never a dull moment on this unforgettable weekend in the welcoming city of Atlanta. Situated within walking distance from downtown ATL, Shaky Beats was extremely accessible yet very conscious of all that was going on in the city aside from the music festival. The promoters of this event did a phenomenal job at organizing all the licenses necessary to ensure a smooth and swift weekend.
Out of all the festivals I’ve attended, I can honestly say that I had little to no complaints at all. With various AirBnB’s located anywhere from 1-20 miles outside of the festival, traveling accommodations were not only affordable, but well worth the value. Seeing as this was not a camping festival, it was interesting to watch town of ATL enjoy a huge boom in millennial business come May 5th. Additionally, Shaky Beats organizers made sure that everyone had a safe, relaxing way to unwind from the craziness of each day. With perfectly orchestrated afterparties from artists such as Illenium, Slushii, Kaskade, Snails, Said the Sky, Ganja White Night, Mija, and Galantis (see full sets at the bottom of the article) the organizers of this event did a great job at shifting the festival madness from the outdoor park to various indoor venues to keep the city at bay during the early hours of the morning.
It’s difficult to properly highlight all the sets that stood out so in this article I’m going to do my very best to hype artists that I feel are well worth noticing for when they come by a town near you. With so much talent taking place over the course of one weekend, it’s nearly impossible to give each and every artists the respect and promotion they deserve. I would like to point out that every single artist on the bill treated the crowd and the festival as a whole with the utmost respect. Seeing as this was one of the first festivals of the season, every act came prepared with loads of unreleased material to compliment new sets and takes on previous work. Shaky Beats delivered, in my opinion, the strongest electronic lineup for a mid-sized festival in quite some time. Rivaling festivals such as Moonrise, Euphoria, and Camp Bisco, Shaky Beats stood out for it’s ability to provide a modern twist on the festival stigmas we have all come to know. The acts on this bill are sure to be the biggest influencers in electronic music over the course of the next few years and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if an act that opened one of the days was headlining the festival a few years down the road.
As far as sets from Day 1 go, every act kicked off the festival with an incredible strong set. Whether it was the live set from Crywolf to kick off the Piedmont stage or Ekali laying down a hard hitting trap/future bass set on the Peachtree set or even rising future bass sensations ARMNHMR leading off the Ponce de Leon, it was evident from the very start that this weekend was going to be nothing short of spectacular. Festival goers started flooding in around 5PM and by 8PM the festival was jam packed with millennials of all ages and interests. It was truly inspiring to see thousands of people getting down to Boombox Cartel’s incredibly riveting set only to walk a few minutes over to Said the Sky’s live set and see fans supporting this up and comer with the utmost respect. As the day progressed with sets from Party Favor, Ganja White Night, and Alison Wonderland, you literally could not go wrong being at any stage of the festival.
Although there were slight overlaps in these time slots, the festival was laid out perfectly to allow you to catch every single act that you wanted. RL Grime filled up the MainStage at 8PM as he debuted his newest original “Reims” live for the first time and with Bonobo and the Knocks performing across the festival grounds, it was so reassuring to know that even if you were sick of such a big crowd that you could easily walk to another stage and enjoy great music with a little more room to dance. As always, Griz brought the heat and delivered a bunch of unreleased material to solidify himself as one of the most dominant acts in the game. The amount of Griz merchandise spotted throughout the festival was absolutely insane and just goes to show what a successful brand he’s developed with his motto of “Show Love Spread Love”. Followed by a jaw dropping afterparty from Illenium and Said the Sky, I would have to say that Day 1 was probably my favorite of the entire weekend. Despite the fact that Illenium wasn’t scheduled to perform until Saturday, he didn’t hold anything back and gave the fans a bunch of material off his newest album to compliment some of his favorite bangers ultimately taking form in one of the best afterparties I’ve been to in quite some time.
After such an incredible experience on Day 1 it was hard to contain your excitement for the rest of the weekend. I will admit that I was a little tired after so much smiling and dancing throughout the course of one day but I was ultimately energized and amped to see what the rest of the artists had in store for Saturday and Sunday. My favorite sets from Saturday came from Young Bombs, Modern Measure, Haywyre, Slushii, Illenium, and Gramatik. I’m not the biggest fan of house music so unfortunately Saturday didn’t move me as much as the previous day.
Check out Full Sets at the bottom of the article!
With that being said, there was a tremendous amount of diversity within the house music genre whether it be hard hitting deep house/trap hybrids from JOYRYDE or electro-pop anthems from Galantis or even old school progressive house masterpieces from the legend Kaskade himself. As mentioned above, the amount of musical diversity on every stage was unbelievable. To transition from future bass/electro-pop oriented Young Bombs to funk, soul filled live piano from Haywyre, to some of the heaviest dubstep around from Slushii ultimately climaxing in one of the most inspiring and unique live sets from Illenium, Saturday was nothing short of spectacular. I definitely didn’t have as much musical comfort as the previous day but there was always something worth seeing regardless of what stage you were at. With that being said, just because house music isn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean it isn’t great! It was evident that these artists had huge draws and truthfully if the fans are enjoying the music that’s all you can really ask for from a festival. In my opinion too many festivals are trying to cater to one specific crowd which often cannibalizing any other genres that make their way onto the lineup. Shaky Beats did a phenomenal job at executing a diverse lineup that catered to every single person in attendance.
Sunday’s lineup closed out the festival with an absolute bang. By combining some of the heaviest acts in EDM with up and coming singer-song writers, Sunday’s bill took into account how everyone was feeling and provided a great balance between chill and hard hitting acts. Whether it was super laid back sets from acts like Echos, Little Dragon, Mutemath, or Wingtip to crazy dub/trap sets from Slander, Getter, LOUDPVCK, REZZ or Zed’s Dead, the last day of the festival engrained a positive memory in your mind. The energy towards sunset was at an all time high and it was clear that nobody wanted to festival to end. Luckily for those people, Shaky Beats managed to secure the biggest act in debatably all of music to close out the festival with a bang.
Despite all the negative rep the Chainsmokers have received, this closing set went to show exactly why this duo has skyrocketed to the top of every music chart out there. I’ve honestly never seen so many people at a single set and seeing as it was the final act of the festival, everyone in attendance made sure to give their all to the historic pop duo. Whether it was sensational remixes of their original tracks or throwback instrumentals such as Teach Me How to Dougie, the Chainsmokers displayed an immense amount of diversity and kept the haters at bay by being able to take the energy to an all time high and then keeping the vibe rolling for a chilled out rendition of various tracks off their debut album “Memories Do Not Open”. All in all, this was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend and despite what anyone else has to say, I will continue to support the Chainsmokers and all they’re doing for electronic music for years to come.
In conclusion, Shaky Beats Music Festival was nothing short of spectacular. If you’ve made it this far into the article I can tell that you have some interest in music festivals as a whole. As an avid fan of electronic music and a sometimes skeptic of music festivals as a whole, I can assure you that you can not go wrong with this festival in the future. I’ve attended pretty much every major music festival around the country and for my personal comfort this festival was perfect. I love being able to come back to a nice room with a shower after a day of dancing and Atlanta provided the perfect opportunity to do just this without having to worry about renting a car and driving a ridiculous distance to get to the festival. The acts on this bill perfectly catered to the crowd and whether you’re a single guy looking to find his soulmate or someone going with good friends to have a good time, I would strongly recommend this festival to younger generations getting into the idea of music festivals. To any parents who are scared of the concept of letting their children go to a music festival, rest assured that festivals such as Shaky Beats are doing a phenomenal job at creating a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for new comers to enjoy their first festival experiences with a peace of mind. I look forward to attending this festival next year and for anyone who was unable to attend, I strongly suggest looking away from overpopulated festivals such as Bonnarroo or Electric Forest and into festivals like Shaky Beats that heavily invest in picking the perfect acts to balance a strong lineup with a reasonably sized crowd.
Written By: Cooper Turley
OTHER SETS FROM SHAKY BEATS 2017:
Illenium After Party Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNN4kmJiZYg&t=1643s
Said the Sky Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zTtyfOoeoQ
Mayhem Partial Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL5iTV5AWMU
Galantis 1/2 Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Psqt9MZ1fM