Atlanta's first locally-hosted mini festival, ZEMYA Festival was a concept brought to life by the Project B. crew. Their mission to create an earthy, harmonious theme succeeded. We are all a part of this blue planet, and in love and respect we came together for a weekend of a special kind of magic. We were a family, unconstrained from any prejudice, judgement or disrespect. This festival, or boutique fest, was a jungle getaway where humanity was what perhaps it should always be.
The location was Studio No. 7, a venue frequented by Project B. and its loyal followers. And yet, it wasn't really Studio 7 anymore. It was a jungle amid a city-scape, open air and concepted in a dream. The stage was draped in ivy, giving the DJ's an "emerging from the jungle," badass look. A few of our headliners, curious as to what this little Atlanta fest had to offer, decided to come early and stay both days. The Dance Spirit duo, Chris and Reagan, were there from the very beginning until the very end, including the inevitable Sunday after party. And thanks to our lovely little community, even LUM pushed his flight to stay with us the second day.
Not many artists will cancel or change around their busy schedules for a small event, and even less will spend the majority of their time on the dance floor, dancing and chatting with the festival goers. Pardon my cheesiness, but it really does prove the type of energy this community puts into the world. From the moment I walked into this oasis. to the moment I had to return to the urban world, the only thing I ever felt was a genuine love and kindness from everyone. Many I already knew, but by the end I could call all of the beautiful souls that attended friends, and a special bond was formed between many who experienced this journey together.
Photo Credit (left to right): Sommer Saracevic, Bobi Stevkovski, Project B. team
The caliber of lineup was nothing to shake a stick at either, and the beauty of ZEMYA was that just as much stage time was given to our locals as it was our headliners. Saturday featured some remarkable sets from locals Ramouz, Tito Mazzetta, Parker Stephens and Zeek. Following them were Kinjo, LUM, a live performance from Dance Spirit, and capped off by Matthew Dekay.
Sunday support came from locals Elio Stereo, Christian Chotro, Adam Hagen and Bobi Stevkovski before the final night lit us up with Kai Alce, Livio & Roby and Radio Slave. The Project B. team invested not just their time and energy into this, but their souls and passions, the very reasons they work so hard to build the underground music scene here. And the dance floor was a thing of beauty.
Here you saw it all. The vibrant and creative burners, with their intricate feathers, face jewels and umbrellas, dancing in a dream state. Then there were the shufflers, always a source of entertainment, and perhaps a smidge of envy? Even the "do you even techno" dancers arrived, clad in the traditional all black grab, with some pretty slick dance moves themselves. There were the stand-and-nodders, who happened to be some of the best conversationalists and always up for a good story-telling. And then there were the awkward dancers, perhaps a bit lacking in the rhythm department, but when the music takes hold, all cares fly straight out the window. (I may be referring to myself here.) Despite our differences, on this night. we were all in splendid harmony, brought together by the hard work we have all put in to making this community a genuine one and the music we so cherish. ZEMYA 2017 can not get here soon enough.