festivals

Sweet Jams and Good Vibes Aplenty: A SweetWater 420 Fest Preview [with Playlist]

Sweet Jams and Good Vibes Aplenty: A SweetWater 420 Fest Preview [with Playlist]

Check out some of the headliners and undercards at this year's SweetWater 420 Festival to give you an idea of who to check out at this awesome festival!

ZEMYA Fest: A Family Affair

ZEMYA Fest: A Family Affair

Atlanta's first locally-hosted mini festival, ZEMYA Festival was a concept brought to life by the Project B. crew. 

SXMusic Festival: A top notch event, full of magic and enchantment.

By Pilar Alzate

SXMusic Festival, a brand new electronic music gathering, was held last week on the alluring island of Saint Martin. All five days were pure bliss.

St. Martin is a beautiful island in the Caribbean shared by France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and for a few days, it was transformed into techno and house paradise. In its first edition, the festival featured well-known artists such as Dubfire, Lee Burridge, Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, M.A.N.D.Y., YokoO, Bedouin, Behrouz, and Apollonia. All of the DJs played masterful sets. They granted the festival goers serene moments of freedom where we danced euphorically until the last beat.

My ears are still buzzing from the formidable music presented in the multiple venues. A tropical stage at the beach, two night clubs, two lounges, and one hotel hosted thousands of people from all over the world. Despite the scattered rains, or the protests on the first day of the fest, the music lovers did not stop dancing. Here are my top five highlights:

1. Bus Rides: Although this may not sound glamorous, it made a huge difference in my experience. There were some complications with the shuttle service during the first day. However, the logistics team of the festival took care of it by adding additional shuttles that helped move people between all the venues.

2. VIP Jungle Party: This intimate party took place at a magical garden called Loterie Farm, one of the most visited places in the island. The farm sits in the middle of the mountains of Pic Paradise (French side of the Island). The mystic, fairy tale location housed an infinity pool, cabanas and a scenic view. Sets were performed by Behrouz, Chaim and The Doctors, who delivered mesmerizing oriental sounds, mixed with proper house and techno tunes. We all looked in wander to the DJ booth placed in a treehouse, accessed by a zip line.

 
 

3. Danny Daze: The techno DJ with Cyberfunk and OMNIDISC influences, exceeded the expectations of the crowd by playing a colorful set including a variety of genres. He definitely took us to another level on a different audio spectrum.

4. Friendliness of the People: Saint Martin is known as “the friendly island.” A Caribbean paradise full of warm people willing and able to help anyone. The motto is experienced from the moment the plane lands when one of the locals came on to the plane and gave a sincere and heartfelt welcome. Taxi drivers, restaurant servers, festival workers - everyone was so kind at all times.

5. Layla’s Beach Sunrise Party: Right after Apollonia finished a tremendous set at Le Shore Nightclub, Lee Burridge welcomed us with euphoric, deep house tunes on the beach at Layla's. The show blended the sounds of the music, the breeze and the sea. Burridge, founder of All Day I Dream, hosted us while we all watched the sun rise. Shortly afterwards, YokoO hit the decks around 10 a.m. and the party continued until past noon.

 
 

[Interview] The Werks: Werkin', twerkin', and everything in between.

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By Liz Turcotte March 15, 2016

The Werks are a solid jam band who have been playing together since 2005. No one can deny their talent, they were the most searched band within Jam Magazine in 2012, beating out Phish. Their fourth album, "Inside a Dream," was released late last year. We caught up with Rob Chafin (drums/vocals) and Dan Shaw (keyboard/vocals) last week to chat about their upcoming summer tour, adapting to a new band member and the new album.

Although the band has been playing together for over a decade, you guys rose to fame pretty quickly. What can you attribute to that success?

Rob: Obviously a large part of it has been the fans and friends. Everyone associated with the music scene has been so supportive from the beginning. Without them we would be nowhere. For example, when we first started coming to Atlanta we instantly found an Atlanta crew that has been supporting us, we’ve been pretty equipped down there because of it. We have a lot of hard Werkers in Atlanta We were blessed with such an amazing fan base and consider everyone friends of ours. We’re very blessed to be in the situation we’re in.

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The Werks 1

How you would describe the genre, psychedelic dance rock, essentially created by The Werks, to someone on the street.

Rob: A mixture of classic rock, straight up rock 'n' roll, blues, the dance sensibility of funk and electronic music and everything in between. The overarching “dance music” can be anything, mixed in with a lot of “jamming.” We try to bring all of that together. Some people compare us to Phish, some people compare us to STS9. It’s funny how we touch a {wide} variety of the jam scene.

The Werk Out Festival, great name by the way, was founded in 2010. How has it grown over the years? Is there anything new fans can expect this year?

Rob: This is our seventh year, we’re very excited. We’re grown exponentially from the beginning until now. It started out as a party with all of our friend's bands that we toured with on the road, all through the regions, and brought them all to one place. We’ve expanded from there to now we have people coming nationally and internationally, from all over the country and the world. It’s really cool because it started as something so small, and now looking at it where it is at today. We have still have a bunch of surprises. Stay tuned kids.

The Werkout Festival 2016
The Werkout Festival 2016

The band’s fourth album, "Inside a Dream," came out late last year. Tell us about putting out a full-length album these days and the work that goes into it.

Rob: A lot of things have changed in the music industry over the years. It used to be that bands would get record deals, record, and then sometimes tour because record sales were such a big part of the musician and band's income back in the day, pre-master days. But now after the master boom, people stopped buying albums and it shifted from album making to more live touring and live shows for the way for bands to make income. It’s almost as if albums nowadays are an expensive business charge in order to continue touring. We looked at it, with this album, as let’s do it the way they used to do it back in the classic rock era. Really dig deep and try to make a concept album, something you want to listen to start to finish. The "dream theme" is recurrent throughout the album, and it flows together with a dreamy feel. We wanted to put out something similar to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” Bands don’t really do that anymore, put out an album versus a collection of songs. This was something we were trying to bring back with “Inside a Dream.”

The first single off of the album “Drop” is super funky and dancetastic, what energized this inspirational song?

Dan: Drop is about a couple of different things. The main kind of theme is psychedelic influence. Numerous sleepless nights are what inspired the song due to certain psychedelic influences. That was one of the most driving forces more than anything else.

Rob: Maybe the quote of the song is “expanding your mind.” {pauses} You’re not like a Christian based publication are you? {We all shared a laugh}

https://soundcloud.com/thewerksmusic/sets/inside-a-dream-album

The band’s bassist, Dino, decided to sit out the winter tour which led to Jake Goldberg stepping up to take his place. How has this affected the band’s dynamic?

Dan: Songs that we’ve been playing for a bit, with someone new there’s fresh perspective on the tunes. It’s been pushing us to revisit and reinvent playing songs we’ve been playing for a while. Jams been exciting and it’s always new and exciting to redefine your rolls and your position. A lot of fresh jams, a lot of new territory we’re expanding. Jake just being a different position, and different player in general, is forcing us in different directions which are fun, exploratory and experimental.

What are you most excited about for the rest of 2016?

Rob: Aside from the Werk Out Festival, we’re very excited to get back to Atlanta and the southeast in the spring. We’re looking forward to summer festival season across the country, all the way from California to Pennsylvania and in between. I love Summer Camp, it’s a favorite for a lot of people.

The Werks are taking the stage with Consider the Source and BIG Something at Terminal West this Friday, March 18. 

Get your tickets here.More info here.

Gramatik sells out Georgia Theatre for the Epigram Tour

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By Clara Goode

Photos by Ryan Purcell

Gramatik continued the North American promotion tour for his latest EP, “Epigram,” with a sold out performance at the Georgia Theatre in Athens last Wednesday night. The venue itself is beautiful. It consists of multiple balcony levels, a rooftop bar, and a photo gallery which I wandered through before the show began. The dance floor is smaller than I expected. However, with the incredible balconies you are almost guaranteed to be able to find a place to see the stage clearly.

Jenaux, the first opener, comes on stage at around 8:45 p.m. The crowd is still small at this point, but grows steadily through his set. It is a bit of a rough start for the show. His set is good, but feels a little underdeveloped with too long pauses between tracks and jarring genre changes that make continuous dancing a little difficult. The crowd, however is very encouraging, showing him affection when he plays a track that really encourages them to dance, then swaying and sipping on drinks when the tempo slows.

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Brasstracks takes the stage next. The duo of brass and drums played a mix heavy with hip hop, drawing yells of appreciation from the young audience. Rap and dubstep overlaid with live trumpet and percussion is a definite win to the college crowd of tank tops and cargo shorts. The scene is dotted with a few hippy chicks and members of the alternative crowd, but for the most part, cheap beer and backwards caps abound. Brasstracks keeps the energy high and the dance floor is fills quickly through their set.

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By the time Gramatik takes the stage, the venue is full to bursting. I tried to push my way to the front, but soon thought better of it after realizing that even if I made it, dancing would be a difficult and possibly painful experience. I retreat to one of the multiple balconies, affording myself a better view and more room to move. The show is excellent, though not what I expected. His sound is heavier, darker, more hip hop and dubstep than the chill jazz groove of his older music.

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The crowd is not the least bit disappointed in the deviation, which has been heard over the last couple of years in albums like the “#digitalfreedom EP” that came out in 2015 and his most recent EP, Epigram which dropped this year. Gramatik's last couple of albums have moved away from funky swing rhythms and have adopted a much darker tone. Andrew Block, a New Orleans based funk, soul and rhythm & blues guitar player joins Gramatik on stage for some added flavor to the show. The dancers who moved to stage level during Brasstracks are now part of the packed mass that is moving together, chanting along and yelling with the music. They bounce to deep rhythms and popular hip hop samples, belting the lyrics and cheering when they recognize a favorite.

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The light show is incredible. The backdrop constantly changes between images and patterns all equally bright and captivating. Scenes play in vivid lights, from cute robots, to monsters, to a bold nod toward the online hacker community Anonymous, with alternating shots of their question mark logo mixed with a mass of Guy Fawkes masks. It's a fully entertaining performance.

Last year was a year of huge success for the producer with a world tour, a feature on the Netflix original, “Narcos,” and an interview with CNN’s Lisa Lang. With a sold-out and happy crowd, Gramatik’s visit to Athens is a promising start to a new a year that hopes to be better than the last.

 
 

BoomBox Delivers a Musical Mastery for Terminal West

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By Kristin Gray  

Photos by Sara Vogt

Have you ever wondered where the fun-loving festival goers party in the winter? The answer is Terminal West to see BoomBox. A different crowd than the norm (if there is such a thing for this venue), I walked in and instantly felt like I was at an outdoor summer fest. Chilling and dancing with the eccentric, happy folks that are regulars at these events. It even smelled like a festival.

The night kicked off with DJ Ramona Wouters, a pleasantly talented artist who has opened for some great talent and often tours with BoomBox. Her set started us off right, with a wonderful house mix that caught the audience’s sweet spot. When I arrived the dancing had already begun and only intensified as she continued weaving for us a rich array of sounds. I kid you not when I say that Ramona’s music was bumpin' enough to inspire someone’s mom to start break dancing on the floor.

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After a great set and the pleasure of witnessing a wickedly impressive dance session, BoomBox came to the stage. With a full DJ deck, guitar, drums and mic I fully expected guest artists to step up. But no, the duo was about to show us a musical mastery I have never seen before live. Growing up on various instruments, producing, and DJing, these guys could do it all. On the stage was vocalist/guitarist Zion Godchaux, whose parents happened to work and perform with The Grateful Dead, and Russ Randolph, DJ and drummer extraordinaire. Russ was donned in a pink polka dot hat and headgear that could have been stolen straight from Willy Wonka. I knew this was going to be a fun night.

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The talent these two exhibited was second to none. Sexy guitar riffs and seamless transitions between turntable and a drum set that filled the venue with a groovy, funky house beat. These guys are no freshman to the performance world, having been playing and producing together for over ten years. Known for their improvisation rather than playing a pre-decided upon track set, they tune their music to the mood of their beloved fans.

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There were brief interludes to their upbeat grooves when their music hit a darker turn, Russ kicking in deeper sounds that completely changed the movement of the crowd. It became more intense, but just as quickly as it came, they brought us back to their soulful vibes. But at no point did I think this was choppy or out of place. It was more like they were saying, “We know you love our groovy, psychedelic rock, but now come join us on the dark side for a moment.”

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We stayed strong till the end, nobody wanting to leave, as we were all caught up in the magic of their songs. Striking up the chords for an oldie but a goodie, Stereo, the crowd lost their minds, unable to stop cheering and relishing. From that point, they continuously brought back in snippets of the song throughout the night, mixing parts of the bass or guitar notes into other songs. It really showed their intuitiveness and creativity that gives them such a unique sound. It was an evening of musical diversity and harmony that none of us will soon forget.

 
 

[Interview] Vinnie Amico Dishes his Love for The Tabernacle

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By Liz Turcotte

Vinnie Amico, the drummer of moe., chatted with us recently about his daughters, Jerry Garcia and how much he loves The Tabernacle. moe. begins their three-night run in Atlanta on Thursday at Terminal West, followed by two nights at the Tabernacle with opening sets from Earphunk and Dumpstaphunk.

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What type of music did your parents listen to growing up?

My father, Sal Amico, was a Jazz musician who played the trumpet and well-known in the Syracuse area so when I was real small there was a lot of Jazz around. My parents divorced and my mom remarried and she used to listen to the worst music. Gordon Lightfoot isn’t that bad now that I look back at it, but Neil diamond, Roger Whittaker, ABBA. It’s all stuff that is stuck in my brain because now when an ABBA tune comes on the radio I can sing every single word.

You have two daughters, are they both pretty big into music as well?

My oldest daughter goes to Drew University. She doesn’t study music but takes vocal classes and is in the choral union. She plays saxophone, she’s actually played with moe. a couple of times. Both of our kids are in musical theater. My youngest daughter is very musical, although she quit playing violin a couple of years ago. She sings all of the time and just loves music.

Is it true you have never taken drum lessons?

That is correct. When I was really young, when I was first introduced to instruments in school, I played drums but it didn’t last very long. I wasn’t in the school band or anything.

How did you learn to play without YouTube?

My parents bought me a drum set my first six months of classes at school. I went home from school every day and put on whatever music I was listening to and memorized all of the songs. I played drums all day every day for about five or six years before I started hanging out with my friends who were playing instruments, and we all started putting music together.

Would you be able to teach someone how to play the drums?

Oh yeah, I had two lessons today actually. I have a guy that I teach FaceTime lessons to down in Florida and I had a guy show up at the house today who I gave a lesson to. I’m trying to do a couple of clinics because I have a whole thing that I teach, it’s very simple but I think it’s very helpful for any drummer. I figured I had to teach myself so I should be able to teach others, right?

You perform in a variety of one off Grateful Dead sets, what makes those performances so special?

The music itself because I used to be a big Dead fan and the songs are just great songs. I played in that kind of style of band in college so I got really good at playing that particular style of music. You could say I studied that style. Also, there’s a couple of really good players. Jerry Garcia was such a great guitar player and there’s some guys who emulate him very well. When I get to play with them it’s like I’m playing with Jerry. Those kind of things really make it fun. When you get close to what the Dead was playing when you’re doing it, it’s just awesome.

What guitar player do you feel like emulates Jerry the most?

There’s a friend of mine who used to play in a band around Albany called Slipknot, and then he was in Buffalo and played in a band with me his name is Adam Czolowski. He’s just about as close to Jerry as I’ve ever heard anybody play. His sound isn’t 100% but its pretty close. It’s his playing, he’s just such a great guitar player. I play with another guy named Zach Nugent who is also really good, a real good Jerry guy. The ones that really studied the music and know the songs the way the way the Dead played them, the different styles and stuff it’s just a blast. If you’re all in tune with the style, the year or whatever kind of jam you’re doing it can be a lot of fun. And the songs, it’s all about the songs.

Do you have a favorite venue or city that you like to play in?

Actually the Tabernacle is definitely one of my favorites. It’s just an amazing, amazing venue. I mean we’ve played all over. We’ve played Red Rocks, Radio City., too many to say but I definitely love the Tab. As far as the energy goes for our performances, it’s one of the best venues we play.

The band is playing a three-night run in Atlanta but with one night at Terminal West and two nights at the Tabernacle, how did that happen?

We’ve been touring in that model for the last year where we’ll play one smaller venue to give people a more intimate setting and then we’ll play two nights at the bigger place in town. It’s kind of cool because it gives the fans a destination to go to where they’re not traveling all over the place. They can just travel to one place, get hotels, roll up and party to have a great time and don’t have to do a whole lot of moving around and what not. It definitely seems to work. I think the fans like it, we definitely like it a lot. I think we’re going to continue doing it for a while into this year. We’ve never played Terminal West so we’re looking forward to that.

When you’re playing and make a mistake how do you handle it?

It happens all of the time. Sometimes I make a face, sometimes I yell. Pretty much when I screw up the whole bands turns around, because it’s very apparent when it happens and I don’t do it that often. So when it happens it’s a big freaking to-do and everyone looks at me. I’m thinking guys, you could cover it up by not turning around and making me look like an idiot, but it’s not the way we roll. We did at one point have a jar and anytime anybody made mistakes they had to pay-in. Whoever made the least would win the jar but it got to be pretty expensive. Some people made lots of mistakes so they were always having to put money in the jar.

Last year was the 25th anniversary for the band, what were some highlights from the year?

Summer Camp was a highlight, I mean it always is it’s such a great festival. We got to do a set with Bruce Hornsby which was a lot of fun. Playing in Chicago when the Dead was there was a lot of fun. They played and then we did some after-show sets there. That was great because we got to see the Fare Thee Well shows and then perform afterwards. At a show like that the energy level is pretty high so you go into it really ready to rock.

Our first Jamaica trip was last winter and have since been back, we just got back a couple of days ago. Hopefully we started a yearly excursion. It’s like we were vacationing with our fans because for the most part people who come to those things are our friends. We have a community of people who are on vacation together and all a bunch of like-minded people. It’s a cool place to be on a beach hanging out with good entertainment.

We did a lot of cool stuff last year and the fact that we were able to celebrate 25 years being a band, most people don’t get to do that. So the fact that we’ve been able to make a career of playing music is awesome.

Random question, what do you think about when you’re alone in the car?

Getting to the next place, listening to Howard Stern on the radio and usually I’m late. Picking up my daughter at school and thinking, “Crap, get out of my way.” It’s not very deep at all.

How long have you been listening to Howard Stern?

I started listening to him in ’92 so I’ve been listening to him a long time. I lived in DC, I guess about 23 years now. Long-time listener.

You’ve probably done a million interviews and have been asked a million questions. What’s something you always hope someone will ask you?

That’s a great question, too bad I can’t remember. I think that might be the question. You know what I don’t have an answer, what a great question that I can’t answer. Maybe if you come backstage at the show next week I’ll have one for you.

Upcoming projects? Plans for 2016?

We’re doing the west coast tour that was just announced. Doing a bunch of shows out west where we haven’t been in a while which will be awesome. My side band Floodwood is doing a bunch of shows coming up in February.

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Grab your tickets for the upcoming shows in Atlanta here

Deep Jesus: Round 1

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By Kristin Gray

I arrive to Sound Table around midnight, and already the venue is packed. I squeeze through the dancing crowd ready to experience the already energetic groove being gifted to us by Bobi Stevkovski of Project B. It’s so crowded that finding a spot to dance proves far more difficult than I originally thought. I opt to head outside on the spacious outdoor patio. The freakishly warm weather makes this the prime spot to get some fresh air and share good conversation with friends.

Though the wait at the bar was almost painfully long despite the full bar staff, this didn’t stop anyone from feeling the good vibes. At this point the music has transformed into a beautiful flow as Deep Jesus steps up to the booth. Bobi’s undeniable energy and smooth sound already has the crowd bouncing. Deep Jesus of Desert Hearts takes over and the crowd begins to move with his beats. You can see people turning to each other and smiling, we can all feel the passion being poured into this set.

3 a.m. comes and goes, Soundtable is still as crowded as I have ever seen it. From my recently acquired vantage point in the DJ booth I get a fresh new perspective of how wonderfully excited this crowd is. No one is ready to leave, we are all still in love with the music and this night.

We begin our next adventure to the after party at Alley Cat, a fairly new venue with a lot of potential. As we are walking there, I am talking with Ryan (aka Deep Jesus) about his experience here. He expresses how comfortable he feels here from the kindness and welcome he has received from the city of the South. We talk about this underground scene and the people that make it possible. Down here, anyone who shows up is here for the pure love of the music. We love our DJ’s and the magic they bring to this city.

This time, Bobi and Deep Jesus continue the night in this intimate party of maybe thirty techno lovers unwilling to give into the coming morning. Finally, we all have enough room to really move our feet and get lost in the sound. The two artists work splendidly together as the sound reverberates through the floor. You can feel the passion and joy these men put into their music, can hear the soul that goes into producing such intoxicating sounds.

As the night, er, morning finally came to a close, I look around at us survivors and see a bouncing energy that feels like it could last forever. We share stories of the night, as well as the future. Great things and incredible talent is coming to Atlanta in 2016, and the folks that call this city home are waiting with bated breath and open arms.

Photo credit: twitter.com/deepjesus

15 Reasons Why Suwannee Hulaween was the Best Festival of 2015

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By Liz Turcotte

Photos by Chris Monaghan

For this year’s Hulaween festivities, we invited our correspondent Liz Turcotte down from Atlanta to experience her first Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park event. Liz is a pro-festy, and can set up a 4-person camp in 30 minutes flat – complete with Halloween decorations and a giving tent. As someone new to the park, but experienced in large attendance festivals, Liz offers a fresh perspective on Suwannee Hulaween. As an added bonus, it was her birthday weekend – and as you can tell from her article below, she had a blast. Welcome to SOSMP & Florida Music Blog!

1. Location, location, location The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is nestled right off of Interstate 75 in Live Oak, Florida. As soon as you drive onto the property, an almost euphoric feeling takes over and you feel right at home between the Spanish moss and unspoiled forest. SOSMP is home to over 25 music festivals like Suwannee River Jam, Wanee Music Festival and Purple Hatters Ball, just to name a few.

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Continue reading the entire post here.

[Interview] Ralo Fires Up Alchemy Burn

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It was a chilly and damp Saturday night at Cherokee Farms. The gorgeous property is nestled in the North Georgia mountains and each year during the first weekend in October around 3,500 beautiful souls gather for Alchemy Burn. I was feeling right at home in the midst of the woods, hippies and house music when I sat down by the fire to talk with one of Atlanta's hottest producers, Ralo. He wore a black top hat with steampunk goggles and a grey feather fastened to the strap. His hajj scarf draped over his head (a gift from fellow burner, Ramzi) and the red and blue elephants danced around his retro shirt.

Have you managed to stay dry this weekend? 

Barely, but has anyone?

You're outfit is perfect for the occasion, where did you get all of this?

It's is a combination of pieces from a thrift shop in Little 5 Points, Rag-O-Rama, and Amazon. I've always been into the steampunk look. It's the perfect mixture of mechanical and Victorian style. When I wear this it makes me feel, like me.

What enticed you to experience Alchemy?

I always heard about Alchemy from people I've met along the way of my travels over the last couple of years. Like most people here I hope to attend Burning Man at some point and had to see what this was all about. This is my first burn, I've been to several festivals. The love and energy here is created organically, no money driven productions.

Is there a story from this weekend you can't wait to tell people? 

The group I'm here camping with planned a "birthday flash mob" for an unsuspecting victim who's birthday it wasn't. Long story short, we all sang happy birthday, handed out cupcakes, noisemakers and gave our fellow burner a birthday present and card which he read out loud. Then we all calmly walked away.

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Ralo

What is one word you would use to describe Alchemy?

Lovely.

Do you have any upcoming shows back in the real world?

Yes. I'm doing a label showcase with Digital Delight owner Sishi Rosch on November 6 at Music Room in Atlanta. It's perfect timing for the release of my upcoming EP on the label.

Are there any other upcoming projects you want your fans to know about?

I recently collaborated with one of my good friends from Miami, Strada, on a three-track EP coming out on Mr. Nice Guy Records. There's no release date just yet

TomorrowWorld Leaves Thousands Stranded

TomorrowWorld, a three day festival 30 miles south of Atlanta, left thousands stranded on the side of the road last night. After the shows were over, the festival canceled shuttles and would not allow Uber driver to pick up attendees. People were left cold and wet sleeping on the side of the road. Others walked miles until they were able to find a ride willing them to take them back to the city for a price of around $200. In addition, TomorrowWorld is not allowing anyone to attend today who is not currently on site.

Festival attendee, Claudio Silva, sent this message to me personally.

"I showed up on Thursday morning set up and all of my shit flooded before it hit 10:30pm.  I dislocated my knee from slipping in mud around 3amFriday morning. I ended up having to book a flight home and while in the medical tent we asked if we could get a gold cart to take us to the exit of the park or take us as far as we can possibly go so it could minimize my walking. Mind you it was pouring down rain. The guy in the medical tent told me that everyone is being very greedy about the golf carts and there was nothing he could do. I had at least a five mile hike with a very fucked up leg. Finally, some dude picked me up in a golf cart and took me to a shuttle pickup. The shuttle never came. So this guy who worked for the park luckily took me to the uber pick up which the only reason I was able to be helped. All in all I spent maybe $1000 and I was gone before Friday." (Sent to my e-mail)

Added 9/28 from an e-mail sent to me personally by festival attendee, Matt DeLeo.

"I'm compelled to tell my story because TomorrowWorld through their social media posts and official statements has done nothing to address the true events of what transpired Saturday night.  The event organizers continuously lay blame on the weather for a situation that had very little to do with the weather and it's unfortunate that thousands of paying customers had to suffer while many others are being led to believe that the extent of their mismanagement was not being able to accommodate non-camping attendees on Sunday.

Let me preface my account by stating that I was 100% sober throughout the day.  I do not drink alcohol (for medical reasons) and this was my third year attending TW.  My fiancee and I had parked at the new off-site parking venue on Virlyn B Smith Rd earlier in the day.  Upon the conclusion of Get Real's set, we made our way to the exit and walked back to the area we had been dropped off at earlier by our shuttle driver.  However, we were instructed by no less than three TW staffers to continue walking up the hill.  There, stanchions were set up to funnel shuttle riders into the appropriate area.  This is where the problems began to arise.  TW staffers were not on the same page and could not give a unified answer as to which line was which.  Additionally, the stanchion on the right side was soon overrun and the one staffer there pleading with people to stay in line was ignored.  Finally, more staff was directed to this area to offer some measure of crowd control but they made a drastic mistake.  One group claimed to live just a mile down the road and asked to be let through to escape the crowd.  Upon allowing this group, other people grew increasingly inpatient and rushed the stanchions, effectively cutting thousands of people who were waiting in line for their shuttles.

This was truly the root of the chaos.  The lines started progressing forward at a decent clip so we figured "OK, cool.  Now at least they have it figured out."  Wrong.  What was really happening was all of the people who cut the line started boarding buses and TW did not have adequate staff in place to direct the crowds.  There were no crowd control measures taken beyond that one area.  No stanchions. no ropes, no signs directing riders to the appropriate waiting area, no more than 4 visible staff members (some were not even uniformed), and one police officer who did nothing in the time he was there but stand near his cruiser and yell at people to step away from his vehicle.  Some buses had signs stating their destination, others did not, and even some of these signs were not the correct location.  We resorted to following the crowd down the long row of buses hoping to find the shuttle to the Renaissance Festival lot but nearly every bus was full and others were ignoring riders knocking on their doors.  One festival goer commented that one bus driver with an empty shuttle told him he was not taking anyone because "His shift was over."

Finally, maybe two or three staff members then began directing people to back up onto the grass to allow buses to pass.  But all of the staffers there lacked any semblance of communication and allowed thousands of people who cut to board buses while everyone else waited.  We were packed in like sardines along the side of the road and some (highly intoxicated) individuals shouted that we should riot.  It was a very dangerous situation and not once did a staff member speak up to tell them how horrible an idea that would be.  After two hours of waiting and being told additional shuttles were on their way, a TW staffer stood up on a rock and informed everyone that shuttles service had ended and that if we all walked "1.5 miles" down the road, there was a parking lot where Uber and taxis would be available to take us wherever we needed to go and that "TomorrowWorld will reimburse you for your fare."

So my fiancee and I began our walk down the road knowing the walk to the Renaissance Festival was nearly 10 miles.  We did not have any cash because TW told everyone there was no need for it.  So both Uber and taxis were out of the question for us and even if we had the cash, we were hearing stories of the few Ubers in the area giving rides to the highest bidder (sometimes in the HUNDREDS of dollars).  The road everyone was forced by TomorrowWorld to walk down was entirely unlit and visibly challenging even with a flashlight.  This is where patrons began taking residence on lawns and at roadside as physical and mental exhaustion would not permit them to continue.  My feet were in rough shape at this point and began to throb so badly from being wet and raw that I could barely keep the pace with my fiancee.  We reached the lot where Uber rides had been promised only to be turned even further down the road by TW staff with word that more shuttles would pick us up at another location.  Finally, after approximately a 4 mile walk from the shuttle area (which was 1.5 from the concert venue), we reached an area police had blocked off and the remaining patrons were waiting at.  The weather conditions had worsened at this point- a steady stream of mist fell and temperatures began dropping to the point that people began shivering in the clothing they had sweat into all day.

There were people passed out on police cruisers, on the grass, propped against stone walls, basically any available real estate was home to an exhausted TW customer trying to rest while awaiting further instruction.  I spoke to a police officer to ask what was being done to fix the situation.  He replied that he had personally placed several calls to festival organizers and that he genuinely did not know if they had a plan in place and if they did, they were not communicating it to him.  Some TW security workers showed at this point and handed out maybe 100 water bottles as dehydration loomed precariously close for some individuals.  At nearly

7 am, two shuttles arrived and my fiancee and I had to physically force our way onto the bus.  These shuttles were packed so tight with people trying to get back to their cars that the bus driver could not see out the back window and at one point had to rely on the riders to reverse her course.  While we drove to the off-site parking location, you could still see people passed out on the side of the road waiting for transportation.

TomorrowWorld failed these people.  They abandoned paying customers, exposing them to a dangerous walk and to the elements when they were not adequately prepared.  Promises were made and broken.  No attention was paid to the safety of their patrons and for TomorrowWorld to suggest this is their number one priority while refusing to acknowledge what transpired Saturday night/Sunday morning is a slap in the face to everyone that was FORCED to endure it due to the lack of contingency planning on the part of TW organizers.  Blaming the weather for their missteps is pathetic and insulting and their continued misleading of the public needs to stop.  People need not to bury their anger and frustration but put both to good use- put your experiences into words, let anyone who will give you a platform hear your story, and do not be discouraged.  SFX and its partners need to be held accountable for their actions (or lack thereof) on early Sunday morning and they need to know just how many of their customers they lost."

Rosalie Azzato's story was also picked up by local news station 11 Alive.

More horror stories and photos from Facebook:

Added on 9/28 from a Creative Loafing Facebook Post:

Despite all of the bad news, you have to admire this guy for his bright outlook.

If you'd like to share your story, TomorrowWorldNightmare.com is compiling a list of them here

Top 5 Underground DJs at TomorrowWorld

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At TomorrowWorld, you create your own destiny. There are three forces at work to generate an unimaginable festival experience. 1) The vibes of your crew, 2) energy of the crowd, and 3) uncommonly skilled artists.  If you're not looking to spend your weekend at main stage these are the underground shows you don't want to miss.

1. jackLNDN

When you follow jackLNDN on Instagram it's obvious he is one of the most humble dudes in the scene. Although, he has a lot to brag about considering he warmed up Red Rocks for Bassnectar back in May. If you think disco is dead jackLNDN is here to revive your doubts.

Sunday, 27 September

2:30PM-3:30PM

Mythical Frames

2. Shiba San

Music maestro. Get ready for Dirtybird Records' own deep/ghetto house golden child. Shiba San's set is assured to make dat booty pop. Be prepared for some heavy bass and funky, hip hop infused tunes.

Saturday, 26 September

4:15PM-5:45PM

Mythical Frames

3. Alan Fitzpatrick

It's official, the techno crown has been claimed. Producer/DJ Alan Fiztpatrick keeps proving he's unstoppable by releasing tracks on Hotflush Recordings, Drumcode and Figure this past year. If you're looking to get weird, this is the place to do it.

Friday, 25 September

6:30PM-8:00PM

Drumcode

4. Patrick Topping

Hailing from the UK, Patrick Topping is known for his rise to the top under the wing of Hot Creations head honcho Jamie Jones. Miami, New York and San Francisco are just a few of the cities who've recently had the pleasure of hosting one of the most sought after names in dance music. His set will be a cherry on the top of your weekend.

Sunday, 27 September

3:00PM-5:00PM

Paradise

5. Claptone

Hidden under the golden mask stands a true artist eager to captivate audiences. Claptone is an accomplished producer with a recent No.1 remix on Beatport. Dance your worries away with carefree electronic and deep house jams.

Sunday, 27 September

4:30PM-6:00PM

Mythical Frames

Honorable Mention: Bakermat

One reason. This track is the shit.

Sunday, 27 September

7:00PM-8:30PM

Terminal West LIVE