Last year, the Shaky Knees Music Festival returned to Atlanta’s Central Park – a location it experimented with back in 2015 before detouring to Centennial Olympic Park for its next two installments.
On May 3-5, the major indie rock gathering will be back at Central Park, with four stages and a lineup boasting Tame Impala, Beck, Cage the Elephant, Gary Clark Jr., Tears for Fears, Maggie Rogers, The Dandy Warhols, The Struts, Incubus and dozens more.
“It’s got a good park feel,” said Tim Sweetwood, the founder and promoter of Shaky Knees. “There is a lot more shade than the other (music festival) locations, and it’s relatively close to a MARTA stop. I think the urban piece of it is really cool.”
Last year, Shaky Knees attracted about 65,000 during the three-day weekend. Sweetwood said advance ticket sales this year are outpacing 2018, so he anticipates an uptick in attendance.
Despite the growth of the festival since its 2013 arrival in the muddy backyard of the former Masquerade location in Old Fourth Ward, Sweetwood has maintained not only his love of music but his desire to curate the eclectic lineup.
“The lineup never ends up being exactly what I planned, but it’s as close as I can get with the artists who are touring. I don’t try to just create an event with the latest, greatest acts. It really is a curation piece. I try to find old acts that influence the new acts, too,” he said.
To wit: this year’s “heritage act” slot, which brought Huey Lewis & The News and Third Eye Blind to previous Shaky Knees festivals, will be filled by Tears for Fears, a band Sweetwood has been trying to land for years.
He’s also enthusiastic about Los Angeles punk rockers Fidlar, The Oh Sees and Atlanta representation from the Black Lips and, making their first Shaky Knees appearance, Deerhunter. (Also on the highlight list this year – the return of local craft breweries, which Sweetwood said fans have requested.)
There aren’t any major changes to Shaky Knees for this installment, which suits Sweetwood. After all, there really only needs to be one focus at the fest.
“The star of Shaky Knees has always been the music,” he said. “That’s what has to excite people from year to year.”
Here are some tips to help you navigate the event.
DAILY CONCERT LINEUP:
11:45 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, May 3
Beck, Tears for Fears, Yellow Days, Foxing, Incubus, Oh Sees, Dashboard Confessional, Face to Face, Tash Sultana, Black Lips, Liz Phair, Peach Pit, Sharon Van Etten, IDLES, The Joy Formidable, Wilderado, Curtis Harding, Low Cut Connie, Devon Gilfillian, Duncan Fellows, Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones, Taylor Janzen, I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, Songs for Kids.
11:45 a.m.-11 p.m Saturday, May 4
Cage the Elephant, The Dandy Warhols, Gary Clark Jr., Soccer Mommy, Interpol, Japanese Breakfast, Fidlar, Pedro the Lion, The Struts, CHON, Jim James, Mipso, Bad Books, Jade Bird, Wallows, Natalie Prass, Mark Lanegan Band, Cleopatrick, Ruen Brothers, Walden, Julia Jacklin, Bones Owens, Lilly, Songs for Kids.
11:45 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, May 5
Tame Impala, Tyler Childers, Maggie Rogers, Deerhunter, FOALS, Calpurnia, Phosphorescent, Caamp,Grouplove, The Murlocs, HONNE, Lucy Dacus, Electric Guest, Slothrust, Welshly Arms, Demob Happy, Rayland Baxter, The Blue Stones, The Nude Party, The Inspector Cluzo, Illiterate Light, Songs for Kids.
WHERE: Central Park, 311 North Ave. NE, Atlanta.
TRANSPORTATION: The North Avenue MARTA station (on the red-gold rail line) is the closest option, but be prepared for about 15-minute walk. An Uber pickup zone will be located at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Pine Street.
PARKING: There are two lots within a half-mile of the festival, including the Atlanta Civic Center and locations at 121 Linden Ave. and 463 Peachtree St.
TICKETS: VIP tickets are sold out, but general admission and platinum tickets are available for $189 and $1,600 (three-day pass) and $99 and $750 (one-day pass), respectively. Children 8 and under are free (general admission) with a ticketed adult (no more than two children per adult). Tickets can be purchased at shakykneesfestival.com and frontgatetickets.com (1-888-512-7469).
BOX OFFICE: Located at the corner of North Ave. NE and Central Park Place NE. Open 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. May 1-2; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. May 3-4; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. May 5.
BAG POLICY: Bags will be restricted to small purses and drawstring bags and may not exceed 14” x 11” x 5.”
EXIT and RE-ENTRY: All attendees are allowed to enter and exit the festival as needed up to three times per day. You must be scanned upon exit at the gate in order to re-enter that same day.
LOCKER RENTALS: $18 daily, $45 three-day (general admission); $15 daily, $40 three-day (VIP).
SOME ALLOWED ITEMS: Blankets; baby strollers; non-professional cameras (no tripods, selfie sticks or monopods); two factory sealed bottles of water (up to 1 liter each); empty CamelBak water bottles; binoculars.
SOME PROHIBITED ITEMS: Firearms; pets (service animals excepted); backpacks and bags with multiple pockets; professional cameras or audio recording equipment; drones; hammocks; glass and metal containers; coolers; illegal substances; chairs; skateboards; bicycles.
MORE INFO: shakykneesfestival.com
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