The day before the first day of full weekend music festival is always an interesting one. Although the stages are barren and closed down, that doesn’t stop the early birds from rolling in to set up camp and get a head start on the party. After a two-and-a-half-hour car ride into Atlanta, GA on Thursday afternoon, my partner and photographer, Ana Leonard, and I pulled into the Atlanta Motor Speedway with eager anticipation for everything we were about to experience. Being both of our first times to attend Imagine Music festival, or a fully EDM festival in general, we came with excited open minds for how everything was going to happen. The two of us drove around the outskirts of the whole speedway track to get to the entrance point of the camping grounds. The sheer size of the area from the outside astounded us and only sparked more curiosity as to what we would find on the inside.
Two tarps, one tent, and one canopy nailed into the ground later, our campsite was all set up and we had already broken into the snacks. Once it got dark the area started to come alive. Glowing string lights illuminating colorful tapestries and various sounds of bass emitting from speakers at almost every campsite around (as few as there were). A miniature preparty for the weekend was about to commence.
We walked through the strangely uncrowded stadium entrance, knowing we wouldn’t see it like this for the rest of the weekend. The corridor that lead from the outside of the stadium to the inside in the direct middle of the thousands of bleachers was like walking through a tunnel that lead to a whole other universe. We were instantly greeted with flashing lights, glitter and fishnet covered bodies, and bass that physically vibrated the entirety of the all of the metal bleachers. At the only open stage in the center, the Disco Inferno stage, a back to back throwdown with Sullivan King, Kai Wachi, and Kompany was underway. Although not packed, there was still a pretty decent sized crowd there preparing themselves to rage face for the rest of the weekend. To close out the party, Space Jesus went it and gave the crowd a small sample of incredible and complex sounds and lights that set the tone for the next 3 days.
Written by Gabrielle Lasater
Photos by DVPhotoVideo