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2023 Imagine Music Festival Review && Flow of Energy

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

imagine music festival art
My Imagine Music Festival Review && Opinion

It's been over two weeks since I've returned from Imagine Music Festival and I have been avoiding writing my review of this fest like the plague. The procrastination stems from having inner turmoil on wanting to post a negative review of a music festival or not. I wanted to avoid negativity in my blog, but at the same time if I want to develop my "expertise" then that means I need to give my honest opinion on all matters. Especially music festivals.


I want to make it clear that I didn't have a bad time. I also didn't have a great time. This festival was "mid-tier" to me. Essentially I felt like I did not get my monies worth nor would I recommend this fest to people I know. I would recommend it to perhaps a local who doesn't have to spend as much time, effort, or money to attend this festival, but for those who need to make any sort of investment... I say it's a no-go.


My honest Imagine Music Festival Review && Opinion:

The Con's

  • I felt like it was a money-grab.

    • What did I pay for? No performers. Nothing interactive. No programs or curated activities included. Just a mediocre selection of shopping, horrible sound bleed, and meh food options. Stages didn't wow me.

    • They had two carnival rides that were not included so if you wanted to ride them that'll be another $5. I did not see people on them all weekend instead I just saw bored carnival workers standing around.

    • Want to go to the pool party during the day? That'll be another $80+. Glad I opted out.

  • They didn't care about the environment.

    • Generating excess garbage by sending everyone extra wristbands. I understand that technique, but it's at the disadvantage of a solo attendee like me. They do that to entice more people to come. It boils down to people like me who only wanted one wristband now advertising on the festival's behalf trying to sell the extra. Bonnaroo and Electric Forest you buy just the car camping pass and it comes with one decal. No wristbands. No extra garbage.

      • Note: I paid $321.99 for a "VIP Car Camping Pass" and that included 1 car decal and 4 wristbands. I was able to sell one for $80. In the end I paid $241.99 total so I may camp by myself, had to work to sell the extra wristbands through social media, and then the leftover wristbands going straight to the garbage.

    • No recycling or composting in the entire venue. This one shocked me. I am being honest when I say I think this was the first fest I've been to that didn't have recycling. Composting is rare so I understand that one... but no recycling?

    • Other fests like Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, Elements, and Electric Forest promote being environmentally conscious && educate patrons. I loved that every single day in the campground Elements had a recycling parade. They had music and handed out large garbage bags encouraging attendees to please recycle and clean up after themselves!

  • Dessert options were horrendous.

    • No ice cream or donuts to be found anywhere but 8" dildo looking lollipops so you can walk around looking like you're sucking a d*ck?! TACKY!! I didn't see a single person with one. They also sold vagina ones. If I was interested in this kind of stuff I'd go to a sex convention.

  • Restrooms were not adequate.

    • VIP Camping had about a 5 minute walk to the nearest porta-potty. This turned into people peeing around their campsites because the restrooms were "far." I plead the fifth.

    • Disco Inferno stage had 1 women's and 1 men's porta-potty for the entire VIP area. I waited about 10 minutes for the restroom.

    • I made a friend on the GA dancefloor who wore a poncho and just started peeing in the corner of a fence. She'd just squat down and the poncho was so large it just covered her entire body. Genius if you ask me... but I'm not doing that because I paid a lot to be here and I deserve a private restroom.

    • My first time experiencing people having sex in the porta-potty. Yah I shamed them as they came out. I was pissed and had to piss. Go have sex at your camp site please. I know this happens at a lot of other fests too, but I have to point out that this being my first encounter coincidentally happening at Imagine just made me not like Imagine even more.

  • Access to free water was not sufficient.

    • There was no free water in the vicinity of the house stage. I had to leave my shows and stage I wanted to be at just to get free water. Free water needs to be highest priority and easily accessible in all areas of the festival!

  • The festival felt unengaging and had no representation of host.

    • Staff and volunteers seemed non-existent. I saw security at the gates and entrance to VIP. I felt like I was just at a large party instead of a festival. Where are the friendly smiling faces that work here? Having these types of people spread through out the grounds ensures a better experience for attendees. I love love love Insomniac's Ground Control program. They are constantly checking on patrons in every sense - their wellbeing and happiness.

  • You have to pay to Volunteer.

    • When I originally looked up Imagine I was interested in volunteering to save some money. Unfortunately they use a 3rd-party called Shift Happens that requires volunteers to pay $35 for a non-refundable application fee. I don't agree with that at all. Volunteers should not be paying for application fees considering they are giving free labor. I understand overhead, but take that from the music festival that is obviously generating money. Volunteers typically don't have money and that's why they are volunteering.

  • The stage where they featured house music got the short end of the stick.

    • I spent most of my time while I was inside the venue posted up on the literal southern most part of the entire festival against a fence like a wall flower. Why? The sound bleed was SO BAD I had to be next to the speaker. The dubstep and bass music at the next stage over was blaring. It was so bad I was genuinely concerned about the artists I was trying to watch would get distracted. I also couldn't even be in the VIP area because it was just drowned by bass music. There were people watching the bass show in the house music VIP stage! Come on!

    • That area felt like a second thought. There wasn't free water, adequate restrooms, or any food vendors except a funnel cake stand (which was the only other dessert option I saw besides the penis/vagina lollipops). I can't believe I'm saying this... but I was actually hungry on Saturday night and didn't eat for hours because I was stuck at Disco Inferno stage. I am extremely sensitive to music and I cannot be around artists like Zomboy, Sullivan King, Ganja White Night, LSDream, and most of all Subtronics. All of that music makes the hairs on the back of neck stand tall. It makes me uncomfortable. I get irritable. That was mostly the type of music they were playing at the Oceania Stage. I felt blocked in and trapped. If I wanted to get food or free water I would be subjected to that type of music. So I just spent my Saturday night posted up against the wall until the fest was over. Sad I know. Made me not return for Sunday.

Here are some images I screenshot from their app of the festival map. From (L) to (R) First image you see is the overall music festival map. Second image is the location of where I spent most of my time while inside the venue. I paid for VIP and I couldn't even be in that area because of the sound bleed from the other stage. Last photo is my rendition of how I believe the sound waves Oceania (blue) pointed directly at the Disco Inferno (red) carried across the grounds.


Due to this layout I did not return to the festival on Sunday. Yep. Waste of my money. My issue was that I was going to have to walk to the complete opposite side of the fest to enjoy one show that I was going to have to leave early anyways because they were having Svdden Death playing at the exit. I DO NOT WANT TO LISTEN TO THAT MUSIC. It's all about death and gore... where's the PLUR?! So on Sunday I sat my ass at camp and created a comfortable space for myself with music I knew I'd enjoy. To be honest I had a great time and glad I did what was best for me and my wellbeing.


Want to know the most ridiculous thing ever? I almost considered bringing headphones and walking into the fest with them on so I could walk straight to the Disco Inferno Stage and not be subjected to bass or dubstep music. Please don't judge me and my opinion on those genres. I look at it like ice cream. We prefer different flavors. I respect that you like your flavor but it tastes horrible in my mouth.


The Pro's

  • The shows I caught.

    • John Summit - John Summit "brought it" as usual. I honestly think I liked this set a tad bit more than the one I caught at Elements. It was so funny when I asked my new friend what she thought of his set when it was over because this was her first time catching him and she was super excited for the show. She was responded with a mere "Ya...I enjoyed it." and then a minute later John comes back on stage to play "What a Life" and she starts screaming on the top of her lungs "MY FAVORITE SONG!!!" We both then went crazy and had a magical last dance of the night. I then asked her again what she thought of the set a second time and was just ecstatic. HUGE smile on her face and completely out of breath from all the jumping. That surprise last song really gave her, me, and everyone the feels.

    • Sofi Tukker - Love the vibes. Sofi looking gorgeous as always. They even brought their dancers and made it work in such a small space.

    • Elderbrook - Will you marry me? I love his artistry and visuals. His voice makes me melt. Someone give this man a Grammy or two already!

    • Dombresky - Bless Me with house music.

    • Telykast - I didn't really know much about this duo except that I've seen some of their music pop up on Sirius XM subscription in my new Jeep Wrangler and remember not changing the channel. I gave them a shot and it was a good show!

    • Dom Dolla - This set was magnificent. He included a lil drum n' bass at the end which was fun. I danced so hard during this set. I felt like a new person after.

  • The lasers.

    • The Oceana Stage had legit lasers for Dom Dolla.

  • Art.

    • You could watch artists painting on a hill. I find that calming and interesting.

  • The People.

    • The reason I continue to go to music festivals is I love interacting with new people. I enjoy making new friends and bonding over music. I met a lot of people over the weekend and I am grateful for all my interactions. I am extremely appreciative of the PLUR group that adopted me Saturday night. They were super sweet and I unfortunately did not get their contacts so they now just live in my memories. See last pic below of the group looking faded AF. 🥸 We didn't even ask for a picture to be taken as some random person came up to us and asked if we wanted one because we looked so cozy together. How nice was that?!



 

Saturday night was a challenge for me. Essentially I was floating on cloud 9 in complete bliss and radiating after Dom Dolla's set. His music had transcended me to higher states of consciousness. I saw so much light and beauty. I felt surrounded by love. After the show ended I sat in my festival chair to rest for a bit before figuring out what I was doing next. Within a few minutes all of a sudden I just hear the most irritating, screeching, and deafening noises.


Enter Zomboy.


I had never experienced such a HORRIBLE and absolutely horrendous transition of music in my life. It was so contradicting. I felt flipped upside down. WHO MADE THIS DECISION?? I would like to have a long conversation with whomever curated the set times and decided that these artists should be playing on the same stage and in that order.


I RAN.


That music was dragging me to the depths of hell. It felt heavy, muddy, and just overwhelming. No rhythm or beat. I covered my ears as I ran out of there. That's when I started crying.


It didn't take me long to understand that music is a flow of energy. It needs to be curated as such. I should have been taken on a lovely journey. Instead I felt like I was in a car crash. A damn trainwreck honestly. I felt hurt. I was in a beautifully transcended state and then ripped down from the heavens.


This is where I really started understanding that flow is part of the divine. It is where energy lies and is harnessed. I also started making the connections mathematically and using the fundamentals of fluid dynamics. When designing water pipe networks (all the pipes that are currently underground your home and bringing you water to your tap) designers typically avoid 90 degree bends (check out this video and only watch from 0:40 to 1:05 for a visual representation & explanation) for pipe connections and/or changing direction. Water has a more difficult time turning that 90 degree corner versus say an 11.25 degree bend. That's why friction factors are much higher. Those correlations led into me making a connection astrologically... a trine between two planets (120 degrees apart) is more harmonious than a square (90 degrees). Angles, energies, flow, water, mathematics, fluid mechanics, music, and astrology. Synchronicity at it's finest.


I felt like Dom Dolla to Zomboy was like going through a 90 degree bend. Instead of a smooth transition of one type of music to another it was an abrupt sharp turn. There was no ease. It did not flow.


Overall, I have no regrets going to Imagine. I am very grateful I got to attend the music festival and it providing me with many lessons learned. I want to promote all music festivals, but I find it pertinent that the foundations of these events be rooted in some sort of purpose and passion. Yes- we are gathering for music, but what else is this event bringing into my life? Growth I hope.


 



Music festivals are supposed to be safe spaces. For some of us music is our religion. It is our church. It is a sacred ground and a place where we connect with Higher Power. We find love and grace in the tender soothing vibration of sound waves that make our body move. We then flow to the beat and find movement in dance.


This video touches my soul. So beautifully breathtaking. I am in love with love. Elderbrook... FR I'm single.


xo,

Elektra


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