Imagine Music Festival planned for Chattahoochee Hills canceled due to rain

Celebrants en route from across country commiserate
Scenes from the 2019 Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 2020 incarnation was canceled. Now the 2021 version has also been called off, due to bad weather. DV photo video

Credit: DV Photo Video

Credit: DV Photo Video

Scenes from the 2019 Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 2020 incarnation was canceled. Now the 2021 version has also been called off, due to bad weather. DV photo video

Imagine Music Festival, metro Atlanta’s largest electronic dance music event, was canceled Wednesday due to predictions of rainy weather, just a day and a half before it was slated to begin.

“We are devastated to share this news, however, mother nature leaves us no option with the remains of Hurricane Nicholas causing severe weather throughout the region,” wrote the festival organizers on its Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Some 30,000 to 40,000 EDM fans were expected at the 8,000-acre Bouckaert Farm in the tiny Chattahoochee Hills community this weekend, planning to be entertained by Adventure Club, Excision, Griz, Illenium, Kaskade and dozens of other EDM acts.

Three-day tickets, starting at $250, were sold out.

The Midtown Music Festival is also planned for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18-19, on four stages at Piedmont Park. Scheduled acts include 21 Savage, Miley Cyrus and Megan Thee Stallion.

This would have been the first time the Imagine festival was staged at the Bouckaert Farm, having begun life seven years ago at the Masquerade Music Park, and then at the Atlanta Motor Speedway facility.

Plans for last year’s festival were scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers Maddy and Glenn Goodhand were optimistic about this year’s event.

“Overwhelmingly, even the experts are saying we’re likely to be at a point (with vaccines and case numbers) where we can put a bunch of people outside in early fall,” Glenn Goodhand told former AJC music writer Melissa Ruggieri earlier this spring. “It’s tough, but for the most part, I think everyone wants to start getting out there, and we want to make sure it’s safe to do so.”

Now those fans are grousing on social media about the last-minute cancellation. “Spent thousands to get here and you say rain or shine,” said one on Facebook. “Where the heck is it ok to cancel less than 24 hrs of opening. I want my money back now so I can get home instead of spend the rest of my time here doing nothing.”

The Imagine Music Festival in 2019. The event was postponed for 2020, but will return at a new location in Chattahoochee Hills for 2021.

Credit: DV Photo Video

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Credit: DV Photo Video

Old hands remember the disaster of the huge TomorrowWorld festival, held in the same location in 2015. An event that attracted 150,000 the year before was marred by rain and bad planning in 2015, stranding thousands without food, water or transportation.

The result of the TomorrowWorld debacle was the bankruptcy of the organizers and the end of Atlanta’s version of the festival.

“As someone who was at TomorrowWorld . . . this is a smart decision,” wrote another commenter, on the Imagine Music Festival Facebook page.

This year’s Imagine Music Festival, ironically named “An Aquatic Fairytale,” would likely have been similarly muddy, and more aquatic than the planners wanted.

The refund policy listed on the Imagine Music Festival’s website specifies that there will be no refunds.

“If the Event is canceled in whole, or in part, due to a Force Majeure Event (as defined below), You will not be entitled to a refund,” says the policy.

“Force Majeure” is defined to include severe weather, along with terrorism, tsunami, flood, strike or other labor action.

The terms and conditions can be seen on the organizer’s website.

The Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee was canceled last month, two days before it was set to begin, due to severe weather from Hurricane Ida.

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