An Open Thank You Letter To Kygo, Or My Shaky Beats 2018 Review

Last weekend, this betch went to Shaky Beats, an electronic music festival in Atlanta. Now, those of you who know me know that I am something of a festival slut queen, as in, I go to way too fucking many of them. I swore that after Coachella, I would hereby retire from the festival game (save Electric Zoo come Labor Day weekend), but once I got off the plane from LAX, I was determined to book another festival.

Me with festivals:

Elmo Festivals

So yeah, I booked Shaky Beats for a few reasons: it’s in Atlanta, my second home; the lineup looked dope; and… nope, that’s pretty much it. Here were my thoughts.

The Atmosphere

The location of the festival was extremely easy to get to, once you figured out that the festival was in Central Park and not Centennial Park, and that yes, Central Park DOES exist in Atlanta, and no, it is not a typo. I know I moved away from Atlanta a little over two years ago, but I used to LIVE there, and had never once heard of Central Park, let alone been there. They need a better educational component. Anyway, the venue itself was pretty well set-up for a festival, once you got over the fact that you literally had to walk through a baseball field and a children’s playground to get to certain stages. In retrospect, though, that was a great call for the attendees, because you know drunk (and beyond) people go crazy for swing sets. Shaky Beats was set up better than most festivals in Atlanta in my experience—noise pollution between was minimal to nonexistent, I didn’t have to chase artists at various venues throughout the city, and traffic getting there and back wasn’t a nightmare.

Shaky Beats

The Music

I sadly missed the first day because I have a job, which means I missed Marshmello, Ludacris, and others, and NO I don’t want to hear about it, but my friends told me they were incredible. The second day we loved Borgore’s set (and he’s actually a very introspective guy—interview coming soon), San Holo did a great job, Zedd killed it as per usual, and I actually didn’t hate Excision. Anybody who knows me knows that this is a big fucking deal, because I had a death hatred of Excision ever since I saw his set at the last Tomorrowworld. IDK why, it just completely killed the vibe for me. But his set at Shaky Beats made me realize, wait, I actually DON’T hate Excision, I actually kind of like Excision, and maybe I shouldn’t have judged him so hard, and what else have I been wrong about this entire time?? Is it a good or a bad thing when a music festival triggers an existential crisis? Asking for myself.

Borgore Shaky Beats

Sunday was even better, though. We caught Troyboi, Tokimonsta, Seven Lions, and they were all great. I don’t really have anything specific to say. But then we get to Kygo. Holy shit, what do I even say about Kygo. Kygo’s music just makes me a happier and better person in general, I think. He really puts on an incredible live show, from the lights and effects to the guest singers he brings out. It was fucking beautiful. I just remember Kygo playing, looking out at the Atlanta skyline, and being on the verge of tears. Shit is MOVING. I wish I could thank him personally for that set.

Kygo Shaky Beats

The Food & Drinks

I only ate the mac n cheese once, which was a bad choice just because it was so heavy. It tasted amazing, I would like that to be known, it was just too rich for me at the time. Food and drinks wise, Shaky Beats handled it very well. There weren’t really long lines, and there were plenty of options. There were also a number of sneaky activations throughout the festival that offered a respite from the craziness. Mike’s Hard’s activation in particular was great—they had hammocks all the old people could sit on (me) plus free samples of Mike’s Hard. Yes. Free. I basically lived there all weekend.

All in all, while Shaky Beats may lack a little in identity and decoration (stepping into the festival doesn’t feel like stepping into anywhere unique in particular, which leaves something to be desired), it makes up for it in efficient organization and a top-notch lineup. Hopefully see you all next year, if they’ll have me.

Images Courtesy of aLIVE Coverage for Shaky Beats Music Festival

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