Alabama fans will descend on Atlanta for the season opener against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Georgia Dome, a venue quite familiar to the Crimson Tide faithful. Another aspect of the city that Tide fans will also find familiar is the vast and varied nightlife in the ATL that attracts visitors from all over the South. Part of that nightlife involves an active electronic dance music (EDM) scene. Beginning with raves in the early 1990’s, EDM has grown into one of the most popular genres of modern popular music. Trance, house, dub step and more DJ styles fall under the EDM umbrella. It is present at most major festivals, and sells out some of the largest venues in the nation. It has also influenced artists in pop, rock and hip-hop that top the charts currently. And on August 30th, it will take Atlanta by storm.
The Imagine Music Festival will be held August 30th and 31st at the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park and Masquerade Music Park in downtown Atlanta. The festival will feature some of the biggest names in electronic music currently touring. It will surely bring a lot of excitement to the city for Labor Day weekend. The festival will be headlined by Adventure Club, Destroid and Fedde Le Grand. Adventure Club are a duo of DJs from Canada that lean towards a slicker sound of electronica. Destroid is a collaboration between EDM artists Excision, Downlink and KJ Swaka. Fedde Le Grand is one of the most renowned house music DJs in the world. These acts lead a monstrous lineup that is sure to have the ATL bumping deep into the night.
Not all acts fit the mold of DJ led electronica. Beats Antique features a band, with the DJ also playing guitar. They also feature a belly-dancer who provides additional percussion as well. Other artists are influenced by genres far different from EDM, like Mantis, who began their career involved in metal and hardcore scenes. The festival will include legends like Infected Mushroom, who pioneered the use of psychedelic music in electronica to help create trance music. It also features rising stars such as Buku, who is making a name for himself in the glitch scene. Other highlights of the lineup include Paper Diamond, Archnemesis, Araab Muzik, Ethan Kath of Crystal Castles, Neon Indian, Shpongle, Protohype and Wick-It the Insitgator.
Electronica has come a long way as a genre. Evolving from the techno scene pioneered by Kraftwerk in the 1970’s, and the industrial scene led by Nine Inch Nails in the early 1990’s, EDM has become almost dominant since 2010. Almost every artist on modern radio has heavy electronic instrumentation, especially in pop and hip-hop. Artists such as Skrillex and Calvin Harris are sought after as producers by some of the top selling acts in music today. It is a genre that has also shown potential for even more growth, although the tendency to focus on instrumentals will keep it from ever overtaking pop on the charts.
Imagine Music Festival brings another major music festival to the Dirty South. Shaky Knees back in May brought a more traditional crowd to Atlanta. More and more, Atlanta is showing itself to be just as big a music destination as New Orleans and Nashville, long known for their contributions to southern music. Imagine Music Festival adds to that growing legacy. The festival will be in downtown Atlanta, so don’t expect parking to be easy, especially with major football games taking place in the city at the same time. But if you can brave the traffic, this is definitely a must-do for any EDM fan.

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