Counterpoint Round 3: Shaking Things Up
In late September of 2012, festival-goers rounded up their squads and gathered in Fairburn, GA in the scenic Chattahoochee hills, anxiously awaiting their entrance through the front gates of the first ever Counterpoint Music Festival. Scorching temperatures and treacherously long lines plagued patrons as everyone watched vehicle after vehicle slowly but surely make their way into the camping fields. Campers found salvation through posting up next to their cars parked in line, cracking open a cold one, and blasting music to ease the festival security line pain. Some travelers had been driving for hours on end with little to no sleep until they entered the festival. But, the moment everyone arrived and set up camp, despite how sleep-deprived and weary some people were, absolute madness ensued. Blissful, crazy, wonderful madness that included some of the most stupendous musical performances one could ever dream of. After that first year ended, I knew it was imperative that I return to those same lush, green hills that served as our stomping grounds for a weekend for yet another dose of Counterpoint loving the next year.
And now, here we are in 2015, approaching the third year of Counterpoint and all of its glory. The festival’s inaugural year occurred at Bouckaert Farm in Fairburn, only an arms length from the Chattahoochee River, and included a massive lineup that turned heads in the EDM community with names like Bassnectar, Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Laidback Luke, Big G, Ghostland Observatory and Crystal Castles, and that’s just to name a few.
The immense success of the first year made it certain that the festival would be returning for another round. However, the Bouckaert Farm location became occupied by Tomorrowworld, which took place in the same time slot as Counterpoint the previous year. CP was postponed for quite some time, until its highly anticipated return was announced to occur in a new location during late September of 2014. Kingston Downs, GA, became the fresh new home to the festival. The wait for the second Counterpoint was painstaking and patience was running on end, but when the lineup came out, excitement was instilled yet again. A new home made way for some slightly different musical styles, with names on the lineup including Outkast, STS9, Foster The People, and Thievery Corporation, but the festival continued to cater to a predominantly EDM enthused crowd with a headlining set from Pretty Lights and Big G just like in 2012, along with additional sets from Flux Pavilion, Krewella, Above & Beyond, GRiZ, Wolfgang Gartner and more.
Both 2012 and 2014 Counterpoints offered a plethora of extra attractions aside from amazing music all weekend long (and late-night campsite parties) such as unique merchandise vendors, art displays, flow art gatherings and yoga/meditation classes. Not to mention two phenomenal years of very successful silent discos, for those partiers who weren’t quite ready to rest their dancing feet after the mainstage music concluded, including a mind-blowing set from GRiZ and Michael Menert during last year’s Sunday silent disco.
Counterpoint Music and Arts festival will return to Kingston Downs this Memorial Day Weekend. When the crew over at MCP Presents released the initial lineup for 2015, it received a vast amount of attention due to its content, which slightly diverged this year in comparison with the first two years, with bands such as Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, The Roots, Rebelution, and Lettuce, as well as 2-hour sets from Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee and Papadosio. The lineup also continues to stay in touch with its electronic roots with producers like Zedd, Knife Party, Dillon Francis, Kygo, Zeds Dead, GRiZ and Tipper.
There was a slew of negative comments that bombarded the Counterpoint community from those dissatisfied with the lineup, which some viewed as “unconventional” for the festival because of its dominantly electronic upbringing, and previous years that generally included a larger ratio of DJs/producers to live groups. However, there is an abundance of former CP attendees and those eager to attend their first Counterpoint that have embraced the diversity and affluence of the live music scene that continues to thrive within this inspiring community.
As the countdown to Counterpoint 2015 dwindles, I can hardly contain my excitement for another year immersed in the beauty of the Kingston Downs venue, frolicking around the hills experiencing great music, creating new memories to add to previous Counterpoint adventures, and sharing stories with campsite neighbors late at night. This year is sure to please crowds from all over and bring together a multitude of musical and artistic cultures to create another magical festival experience for all attendees, just as CP was intended to do. A limited amount of advanced 3-day GA passes are still available, as well as single day passes, on the festival’s site here.