Photos taken by Rebecca Hollman
An Atlanta EDM staple after the loss of Counterpoint and TomorrowWorld, Shaky Beats wrapped up another successful festival in 2019. The festival started in 2016, after the founder company, Shaky Festivals LLC, started both Shaky Beats and Shaky Knees in Midtown, Atlanta. Shaky Knees, the sister festival of Shaky Beats, started in 2015. The festivals are back to back weekends in May and have been extremely successful since their start. Shaky Knees is an indie/rock festival while Shaky Beats has always been EDM.
2019 was the first year that the festival wasn’t three days. All of the previous years had about the same amount of artists but spread over three days. This year the festival switched to two days and had more stages. This year’s lineup featured headliners Martin Garrix and Rufus du Sol, as well as Big Gigantic, Fisher, Chris Lake, San Holo, SNBRN, Big Wild, Boogie T, Ekali, Lane 8, and more.
The stages included the main stage, the Peachtree stage, located at the main entrance on a flat area. This was where the big Shaky Beats sign was and also were the headliners played, since it was the main stage. Behind Peachtree, on top of a large hill, was the Piedmont stage. The Piedmont stage was another open field and this was where Big Wild, Chris Lake and Lane 8 played. Behind Piedmont was the charging stations, the merch tent, and the restrooms. Separated by a long stretch of road from Peachtree and Piedmont were the Ponce de Leon stage and the Criminal Records stage. Along this journey was the strip where all the food options were, including a mobile Chipotle! The food options here were actually surprisingly good, with over 40 different food vendors to choose from and virtually no lines. They even had a coffee food truck, bless! The Ponce de Leon stage was the only tent, located on top of asphalt. I personally thought this should have been the house stage because it had the best floor for shuffling and dancing. The Criminal Records stage was a shaded stage underneath some big, beautiful trees on the other side of the road from the Ponce de Leon stage. This stage had great sound, ample shade, and a big concrete path that ran through the middle for all the shufflers. I thought it was a nice touch that they named all the stages after iconic Atlanta roads – everyone in Atlanta knows Peachtree, Piedmont and Ponce: if only they had had a North Ave stage!
The forecast for the weekend predicted that it was going to be pouring rain all day both days. Thankfully, it never even rained once and we were blessed with a sunny, but humid and sticky, weekend. Overall, Shaky Beats (and Shaky Knees) are great festivals. They are well run, efficiently organized, have small but stacked lineups, and always deliver. I feel like these days it’s guaranteed that something won’t go well at the music festival you go to – something always has to go wrong. But Shaky Beats really delivered – no security lines, ample space at the stages, good quality sound, plenty of food options (even for vegetarians), places to relax in the shade, plenty of places to buy or refill water without lines, etc. I tip my hat to the people that run this festival.
Best Sets of the Weekend
Hailing from Manchester, production duo Mark Richards & James Eliot, collectively known as Solardo, are continuing the city’s rich heritage in house music. Solardo produces killer tech house tracks and have released music on house record labels like Sola Records, Lost Records and more. They have made music with the likes of Camelphat, Black Coffee, Nicole Moudaber and Carl Cox. Solardo threw down a dark techno and tech house set on the Criminal Records stage right after sunset on Friday night. It was the best house set of the weekend, and in my opinion, the best set of the whole first day. Not many people were at this stage, as other big name artists were playing at the same time, but the people who were there were going incredibly hard.
Saturday: ZEKE BEATS
ZEKE BEATS is a bass producer from Australia, currently on his new EP tour around North America. His new EP, Bad Robot, features three tracks (one of the same name linked below). ZEKE BEATS has a massive tour all over the US and Canada to promote his new EP, including stops at many festivals including Shaky Beats, EDC Las Vegas, One Vibration, Emissions Festival, Valhalla Sound Circus, Big Dub Festival, Electric Zoo and Lost Lands. ZEKE BEATS produces experimental bass that goes f**king hard and has released music on record labels like Dim Mak, Buygore, Saturate Records, DEADBEATS, Division Recordings, Bass Rush, Terror Rhythm, and Bitbird. ZEKE BEATS brought the heat early Saturday afternoon in the Ponce de Leon tent. Even though his set was at 3pm, that was the hardest I saw any crowd go the whole day. He had that tent packed out and every single person was vibing with the tracks he was playing. I thought this was the best set of the entire second day.
Even though the festival was only two days this year, it still was an amazing time and I only see this festival growing in future years. It’s the perfect small EDM city festival and gives the people of Atlanta, and the Southeast, a truly good festival to look forward to each May.