Imagine Fest returns

Homegrown EDM blowout goes big at Atlanta Motor Speedway

No value assigned“Enchantment under the sea” is a theme that dominates dance parties from the prom in Back to the Future to Atlanta’s EDM (electronic dance music) blowout Imagine Music Festival. An aquatic theme has defined Imagine Fest since taking over Historic Fourth Ward Park and Masquerade Music Park in 2014. “I’ve always loved mermaids and things like that, so we just kind of stuck with the theme,” says Imagine Fest’s co-owner and president Madeleine Goodhand, who runs the nightlife promotions company Iris Presents with her husband and Imagine Fest CEO Glenn Goodhand.This year, the show of bass drops, laser lights, and an arsenal of DJs spinning into the night goes NASCAR big, as Imagine moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway. It’s a necessary step up from Fourth Ward Park’s 17-acre greenspace to Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 887-acre facility, organizers say. “Each year we’ve experienced almost 100 percent growth,” Madeleine says. “We told ourselves if we’re moving this festival, we aren’t moving again. With Atlanta Motor Speedway, we’re keeping growth for the next five years in mind.”In 2014, Imagine hosted more than 15,000 attendees over Labor Day weekend. The following year, 25,000 attended. This year, they expect to host from 30,000 to 40,000 attendees over the weekend.Mighty High Coup rapper and producer Ricky Raw hosts this year’s Imagine Fest. His plan of attack: less is more. “I’ll give the talent a warm welcome and let the music do its job,” he says. “I’m really just filling in the gaps, but filling in the gaps is fun when you’re standing in front of 30-40,000 people.”

The festival’s landscape will be defined by pool parties, carnival rides, circus performers, and seven stages packed with modern and old-school DJs and producers such as Caspa & Rusko, who are considered by many to have created dub step. Swedish electronic music icon Steve Angello also makes a rare U.S. appearance. Local acts such as Los Angeles transplant Leah Culver, aka MK Ultra, crunk hip-hop superstars [https://twitter.com/yingyangtwins?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author|Ying Yang Twins], DJ/producer Eddie Gold, and more will fill out the underwater weekend. Imagine Music Festival. $99-$419. 3 p.m. Fri., Aug. 26; noon Sat., Aug. 27 and Sun., Aug. 28. Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1500 Tara Pl., Hampton, GA.

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