[Insider Look] Imagine Music Festival Camping Experience
I arrived onsite and quickly noticed VIP is conveniently located near the security entrance, making it easy for folks to get in. I weaved through the lanes of happy campers thinking I wouldn't find a spot to set up my home for the weekend. To my surprise, there was one shady spot left under a tree. My neighbors were friendly architects who built a geodesic dome and covered it with a tarp.
I found some other neighbors giving each other massages. The general atmosphere of the community is truly warm and light. When I set out for the stages, I came across a lovely Pokemon woman and sweet decorated cars from folks that road-tripped in for the event. Fun slogans like "Imagine or Bust" littered the campsites.
The walk from camp to Oceana (the main stage) was long but rewarding. It was hot in the afternoon and many found solace under the beautiful shade structures centrally hanging in the fields. I needed to cool off so I headed to the VIP cabanas and discovered the pool. Mermaids were hanging out in the shallow, salt-water pool. It was truly an oasis for a Georgia afternoon.
While chilln out, my new friend Ian introduced me to a brilliant game called "butt bingo." Anytime you see an ass that's two-thirds or more exposed you yell out, "BINGO!" After drying off and re-hydrating I left the cabanas and discovered the second oasis, at the Incendia stage. Incendia is crew that builds geodesic domes with an amazing fire ceiling for events. This is the first time I had seen an Incendia structure without the flames. For this instillation the dome spritzed cooling mist over the dance. What a relief! The DJ was suspended high above the dance crowd within the dome. So far I had found my bearings, but had not been able to locate a map of the grounds! If you're still on the fence about coming to the festival my recommendation would be to get your ass down here and have some fun!
As a first time Silent Disco participant, I was quite confused. I thought the DJ's name would be Silent Disco. Upon arriving, I saw there were dueling DJs playing on different channels and listeners all had headphones. Ravers could switch their headphones back and forth from one channel to another. I was truly amazed, it was like some kind of cool freakish hive-mind experiment. Having the Silent Disco in the campsite was brilliant because everyone can party until the sun comes up without disturbing people who are sleeping. Shout out to the green channel, I held that one down most of the night.
Saturday started early for me, too early. I didn't linger in my tent because it would've been a death sentence. Despite the heat, I got up and greeted the day like a happy camper. I visited the VIP shower trailers where I became human again. The showers are perfect for campers to get rejuvenated and give us the stamina to keep going for the remainder of the weekend.
As the day went on, it became a game of scavenging for shade. I decided to go for a stroll and ran into vendor alley, Imagine's version of Shakedown Street. The merchants are propped up between the pool and Incendia Dome. I came across a booth which had merch from one of my favorite artists, Chris Dyer! A few booths away, the kids at Dance Safe provide free ear plugs, condoms, and literature. Dance Safe wants you to have all of the fun, but also urges you to have safe fun. Freedom Rave Wear was also a great booth, and seemed to have everything one would need to fully transform into a mermaid or even a unicorn.
I continued my walk and just when you think you have run out of festival grounds there is another stage and three large walls where festival goers are encouraged to leave their mark. Here is where I found a guy offering everyone body paint. The sense of community in this area was apparent. Day 2, success.
Ninja Flash gave an excellent Consciousness workshop in the Imaginarium early Sunday afternoon. In the solace of the pavilion, he guided us through the fundamentals of rewiring our lives through the awareness and nurturing of our creative minds. We identified subconscious habits. The audience was really engaged and had a discussion after his lecture. Events that host workshops add so much value to the overall festival experience, thanks Ninja!
As a self-proclaimed junglist, I’ve always had a special home in my heart for drum and bass. As a woman, it is awesome to witness other females being empowered by what they love doing. At the Aeria stage, I ran into lady DJ, High Kalliber. She was getting stoked for her set the next day. We took a walk and chatted about the acts we were excited to see. Click the Soundcloud link to listen to the interview!
Beauregard & The Down Right dominated the locals-only stage with fresh and relaxing melodies for the ears of festival goers. They were a splash of Sunday beach vibes in the midst of the EDM carnival. We got a chance to chat with them about being a live band at Imagine Music Festival and what they've got going on for the rest of 2016.
Photos by Grace Kelly