Shaky Knees Festival – Atlanta, GA – 5.4-6.2018
Shaky Knees brought the heat to what has been an unreasonably cold spring this past weekend. Festival-goers from all over the country gathered in Central Park in Atlanta to celebrate a weekend of fun, food, and of course, music. Located in the heart of the historical Old Fourth Ward district, the venue offered great sights for an even greater way to spend the weekend. People all around were able to immerse themselves in a totally relaxed environment, whether they were there for the food, music, or just for fun.
With summer just around the corner, the outdoors lent Shaky Knees one last glance at perfect spring weather. The looming threat of a Saturday storm didn’t stop fans from having a killer time. Even during the eventual Georgia (read: 20-minute) downpour, the crowd was still as lively as ever. The sun was out the rest of the weekend, which allowed festival-goers to enjoy their time outside with maximum comfort. The perfect weather at Shaky Knees proves that a music festival in the spring just makes sense.
Shaky Knees is still going strong in its sixth year of operation, and gave fans the ultimate lineup. Ranging from headliners like The National and Jack White to pop-punk rockers All Time Low to alt-soul artist Jacob Banks, the festival provided a source of entertainment for everyone. Every artist laid it all on the line and gave the audience a performance to remember. Tenacious D stood out from the crowd (pun intended) with a super upbeat performance where they interacted with the audience and got them all revved up with their banter. Bandmates Jack Black and Kyle Gass cracked jokes throughout the set and had just an overall fun time.
Just like last year, the schedule was meticulously planned so festival-goers could watch a little of every set if they didn’t mind some walking. There were interactive pop-ups all over the festival to keep people engaged and entertained no matter where they went. Notable pop-ups like the Malibu stand and Crown Royal van gave fans the ultimate festival experience by offering fun and interactive experiences like volleyball pong and cornhole. And with food trucks meticulously placed around the festival, there was no way to miss the music, even while eating lunch.
Speaking of food!!! Aside from the music, the food is for sure my favorite thing about Shaky Knees. Food trucks provided a huge array of different types of food so even the pickiest of eaters can be satisfied. The variety of food boasted tacos, burgers, dumplings, and even Indian food (okay, yum). Depending on which side of the festival you were on during dinner time, the fan favorite was Island Noodles or Roti Rolls (last year’s fan favorite), and they always seemed to have a line long enough to make anyone curious. Atlanta’s own King of Pops had multiple carts set up around the festival to keep fans cool throughout the weekend. They even had a limited edition Rick and Morty pop, which was green tea lemonade flavored.
Central Park provided tons of space for festival-goers to relax. They could play frisbee, dance, or even just relax under a tree and still be able to listen to and jam with the music. The copious space was perfect for just relaxing and setting out a blanket on the grass and gave the festival an open feeling, and we all know it’s never fun having to push past 70 people just to move five feet. Fans could even lay out their blankets on a hill to get a great view of the main stage while staying in the shade. Some festival-goers even climbed and sat in trees to catch a sweet view in the full shade at the intimate Criminal Records stage.
Shaky Knees does not cease to amaze. This festival is just so much fun all around, and always relaxed. This year’s lineup was even more kickin’ than last year’s (and it was pretty hard to beat), and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for next year.
Personal favorites at Shaky Knees:
Bands: Tenacious D, Fleet Foxes, All Time Low, Circa Survive
Food: Bhojanic’s samosas with chaat, The Pickle’s black bean and spinach quesadilla, Nectar’s vegetarian hearts of palm panino, King of Pops’s chocolate sea salt pop
Featured Shaky Artists:
Parcels: Hailing all the way from Berlin, Germany, electro-pop band Parcels introduced themselves to the Shaky Knees family by way of the Piedmont stage. The band broke out last year with their single “Overnight,” which was co-written and produced by Guy-Manuel De Homem Christo of Daft Punk. Their most recent single “Tieduprightnow” gives off a summery retro vibe that’s hard not to jam to, with more music coming in the fall with the release of their debut LP.
*repeat repeat: From the far-off city known as Nashville, TN, *repeat repeat are fronted by a husband and wife duo, and create surf rock music to chill out to. They opened up the weekend for the Criminal Records stage and put on an energetic performance that gave the rest of the weekend a reputation to live up to. “Of all the festivals we’ve played, this one was the one we were most excited about. It hits closest to home,” says Jared.