CounterPoint Music Festival >> happened over three days in Kingston Downs, Georgia this past weekend.
The music festival began in 2012 and similar to Bonnaroo, is a modern gala having so specific genre and one of the bigger fests in the South. CounterPoint came about through another music festival in 2007 called The Echo Project. The Echo Project is known as the origin of CounterPoint because it took place at a privately owned 1250 acre farm near Campbellton and shares some of the same organizers. After a hiatus during 2013 due to scheduling conflicts at the same site with TomorrowLand, it is back with all the peace and love in a new location which can accommodate this great musical experience. The new venue is home to Atlanta’s Steeple Chase, so a breathtaking scenery is a given at this rural, secluded location where the prying eyes of a buzzing metropolis cannot interfere. This site presents 4 heart pumping stages, beautiful live artists making their masterpieces, culinary delights, great places to relax and a heaping douse of intriguing people watching.
The adventure begins with a scenic drive to Rome, Georgia. Once you reach the destination of Kingston Downs, a checkpoint awaits a little ways before heading onto the festival concert and camping area. Plenty of time to set up camp, check out other campers that have come and then at 4 pm the music begins. Peace, love and music feels the air as the day goes into the night. From the time the camp is set up until the camp is taken down on Sunday, it is an atmosphere of anything goes! PoolSide hits the Blu Freedom Stage at 4pm on Friday and soon after more artists are on all stages staggered times helps in making sure one can hit every performance. PegBoard Nerds hits the Steeple Stage around dinner time and brings a great performance to the crowd. Green Lantern is next up on the Steeple Stage at 8pm and everyone is dancing. Krewella on Steeple Stage and lastly on Friday night Boys Noize takes to the Underground stage to end and the fun loving atmosphere of the people dancing the rest of the night leaves a wonderment of what the power of music is.
The dawn appears and it is time for a wonderful day of festivities and music. The festivities to help wake one’s body up includes yoga, monkey chant and hula hoops! Talented hula hoop enthusiast not only provide a great exercise but are seen throughout the weekend using hula hoops while dancing to the amazing music. Morning yoga helps in providing exercise to release the aches and pains from the night before. It also provides a great meditation to begin the day, because Saturday night is the best night with no sleep. Yoga, meditation and monkey chant is the way to wake up at a music festival. Hula Hoops are spinning as the music begins at 1pm on the HillSide Stage with JMSN. This is not the only entertainment going on. The food area of the festival is probably one of the best set ups I have seen at a music festival and the pizza was awesome. That being said, everything tastes better with music.
As the music played on each of the four different stages, walking through the festival was hot and yet it didn’t matter as the afternoon sun beat down. The one thing I forgot-sunscreen. This was not a good idea as I found out on Sunday morning. There was a little market area included black light art for sale, around three of the festival markets were of natural made clothing and shoes, and of course there was a place to get flower headbands and beaded jewelry. There was even a small market to get a hula hoop ! The sun beating down was hot , luckily there was free water to patrons , it was simple just take a water bottle or water camel packs and get them filled. There were giant trees that , not only helped in a lovely scenery but gave shade. There were hammocks set up to lounge in and others just laying on blankets and towels enjoying the sun, shade and music.
During the afternoon, there was a dj project that taught how to dj, this experience was fun and exciting to many who took part. There was Zippo lighters who was set up and even had a limited edition collectable lighter for CounterPoint. There was cracker jacks, giving free snacks, which had a dunking booth set up and if the target was hit and the person was dunked, then a prize was given. I won wayfarer sunglasses. This helped in keeping the bright sun out of eyes. There were artists who were painting murals on the side of a large pyramid, in an area sectioned off to where one could watch the talented artists paint and even interact with them and ask questions about their painting they were doing. This made for an afternoon of fun festivities.
The atmosphere was one of listening to great music, having peace with one another, and all in all having a great time. The concert festival goers were dressed in everything from shorts to bikinis. Love was all around in the air, neon was all around , and dancing to the music was encouraged by all. The afternoon line-up included Midnight Panda, Shreddie Mercury, St. Lucia, and Five Knives. Dancing, singing along, just having the time of your life in this joyous place and beautiful land.
The evening turned into the beginning of more music, more dancing, and even time to check out the couple of carnival rides. Up, up, and away, not in a beautiful balloon but on a Ferris Wheel. This gave one an aerial view of the festival, activities, and the lovely landscape which let you see past the campsite and the festival. The Floozies took to the Underground stage to continue the party into the evening. Kill Paris made new fans when on the Steeple Stage during the evening. The energy from the crowd had you anticipating the late night to come. This view also gave to a surreal experience to be able to see the 4 stages concurrently and their magnificent lighting effects created an unreal visual experience.
At this time the crowd started to pick from the revelers returning that stayed to the end of the previous night to add to this party because it was closing in on near the time of the headliners to take the stage for the night. The dancing continued from stage to stage, people from all walks of life enjoyed the party. Getting the party started was easy for the night with XXYYXX on the Underground stage and STS9 rocking on the HillSide Stage. During these sets the bass was hitting so hard you feel it in your chest, arms, legs and could be seen in the water bottles with the water bouncing. The crowd of festival goers went from stage to stage dancing all the way, enjoying the beats coming from all of the artists. There were groups of the crowd setting off Chinese Lanterns into the air, which began to illuminate the nights sky. Along with these lanterns, the night was illuminated by the glow coming from glow sticks, bracelets, necklaces, and hula hoops. The energy of the crowd intensified during Foster the People who played the Blu Freedom Stage at 10:45 pm. This is only the beginning of the night. The beats from SHPONGLE completed the night and went on into the early morning.
Sunday came and the morning was once again filled with the rituals of yoga, monkey chants, and hula hoops. The music once again began at 1pm for the day. For the first part of the day and afternoon , the crowd was a bit smaller, considering the party the night before this is not surprising. Ployd, Real Magic, and Kap Slap filled the afternoon with music for the festival goers who were out and about still dancing from stage to stage to the beats being played. The weather was a beginning to fade from sun to clouds, maybe it knew the fun would soon come to an end. Riff Raff helped in the evening with a slight sprinkle of rain. This short sprinkle gave new life to crowd that kept getting larger and larger as the afternoon an evening went. Phantogram and Cashmere Cat took to the stage in the later evening to give the larger crowd more music to dance from stage to stage to. The last night will be one to remember. 9 pm came and Major Laser took the party to another level of rave. Flosstradamus and Thundercat performed to the energetic crowd who was in anticipation for OutKast who were last to play. OutKast came on and there was a roar from the crowd. This is truly what the crowd wanted and needed , a great note to end the weekend festival on.
This festival is truly going to continue to evolve into something truly amazing. All the major factors are there: the proper organizers, a breathe taking large open venue, tremendous music acts and most importantly an amazing community of attendees. While there, I heard a lot of talk about people already planning their return to CounterPoint. With this being the events (technically) second year and its first in this location it felt very well put together and like it belonged. So, till the next CounterPoint turn that bass up and dance till you drop and I hope to see you their cause you won’t want to miss it.