Well it has come to that time to start planning your 2016 Festival Season and from the looks of the festival line-up landscape… it’s going to be a great year for music. Especially for Atlanta’s very own Shaky Knees Music Fest taking place this May 13th-15th, 2016 in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. As in the previous line-ups, this year’s Shaky Knees is already off to an amazing start with Florence + The Machine, My Morning Jacket, and Jane’s Addiction (performing their classic 1990 album Ritual De Lo Habitual in its entirety) as their main headliners. Little known fact about this festival is that they got their name from the song “Steam Engine” by My Morning Jacket. This weekend looks to be an amazing time in downtown Atlanta with thousands of friends you’ve never met enjoying some incredible music.
This year’s lineup boasts a wide variety of rock that crosses many spectrums which include a re-united At the Drive-In (Pretty proud of this reunion happening in my town!), The 1975, Deftones, Young the Giant, The Decemberists, and Walk The Moon to name a select few. Believe me when I say that this line-up is stacked to the brim with so many good artists that I am afraid of the over-lapping to occur this weekend. To get you better acquainted with some of the undercard, I have composed my 15 artists to watch for at Shaky Knees below.
Artists to watch
- Baskery– I am pretty positive Baskery is going to impress the crowds at Shaky Knees. The band consists of three sisters; Greta, Stella, and Sunniva Bonesson from Sweden who formed the band in 2007 and has since released 3 LPs and 1 EP to date. Their sound has incorporated Americana folk, rock, and a little punk for good measures. Catch them now before they blow up on the festival circuit this year.
- Beach Slang– This very energetic rock/punk band formed in Philadelphia, PA (2013) and released their first EP the following year, Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken? If you like Diarrhea Planet or FIDLAR, definitely check out Beach Slang this year while they are not well-known on the festival circuit.
- All Them Witches– Don’t let the name fool you, this band is nothing short of being the next big thing in rock. They released their debut album, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, on April 20, 2015 to critical acclaim from many music critics. Not to mention they are based out of Nashville, Tennessee (2012), so this is sort of a southern homecoming for the hypnotic, desert rock band who will definitely put on a killer show this year. I hope they score a Late Night Shaky Knees event at the Earl or Terminal West as well… seeing them twice in a weekend would be a plus.
- Strand of Oaks– Timothy Showalter, a.k.a. Strand of Oaks, is a folk/rock project started in 2003 by the singer/songwriter. He has four LPs and one EP to date and I recommend his entire catalog if you have not already taken the time to get to know his music. His music is very enchanting and at times you get lost in the way he weaves his lyrics into a pattern of understanding and compassion.
- Son Little– Let’s break the monotony of rock with a little R&B/soul music from Aaron Livingston a.k.a. Son Little. Knowing a little about his background, his father was a preacher in Pennsylvania, one can hear the major influence of his childhood deeply rooted in his music. He will begin a tour with another great artist, Leon Bridges, starting this March. He also hits some other major music festivals such as Exit Zero Jazz Festival (New Jersey), BOTTLEROCK (California), Sasquatch (Washington), Nelsonville Music Festival (Ohio), Mountain Jam New York), and Firefly Music Festival (Delaware).
- Parquet Courts– First off, let me clarify that this is the same band known under the moniker Parkay Quarts and PCPC. Confused yet? Regardless of the name, the music is pretty amazing if you ask me. This New York based Indie rock/garage rock/post-punk band formed in 2010 and has released four LPs, two EPs, and one live album this past year.
- Kylesa– Well if you know me, then this band is no surprise at all. Savannah, Georgia based Kylesa has been a favorite of mine for many years. Formed in 2001 by Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants, this psychedelic, sludge metal band has made some wonderful albums like To Walk a Middle Course, Static Tensions, and their latest Exhausting Fire. Another unique characteristic about Kylesa is their utilization of dual drummers, Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez, and how they manage to create a sound infused with punk and Southern rock. (Edit 02/13/2016- As of 02/02/2016, Kylesa has confirmed they have cancelled some of their upcoming 2016 festival dates including Shaky Knees.)
- Baroness– What do you know… another Savannah, Georgia based band on the bill. If you’ve kept up on my last few articles, you would remember my review of the sold out show by Baroness at the Earl in East Atlanta. Well now we shall meet again my friends… one of the nicest group of guys to ever grace the stage and luckiest as well since surviving the bus crash (2012) that nearly killed them in the United Kingdom. Fresh off the release of Purple (2015), do not miss these guys or you may regret it. Plus, if you are a fan of their artwork check out John Dyer Baizley’s (lead vocals/guitar) array of art right here.
- Eagles of Death Metal– Show of hands, any Kyuss or Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) fans? Then you might be familiar with the history of this band formed in Palm Desert, California (1998) by Jesse Hughes (lead vocals/guitar) and Josh Homme (drums). Yes that Josh Homme from both Kyuss and QOSTA. With four albums spanning their 18 year career (most notably their recent LP, Zipper Down), these guys have been playing their unique brand of garage/blues/desert/alternative rock mixed with some punkabilly/rockabilly. Wait that means they aren’t death metal? Do not let the name fool you yet again.
- The Sword– Well here is another band that has been a personal favorite of mine for some time and just so happens to be playing this year’s Shaky Knees. Lucky me! This Austin, Texas based (2003) heavy/doom metal band has been making some really good conceptual albums since their first release Age of Winters (2006). These guys are always on my radar to catch when they roll through town regardless of the day. If you want to start with an album, I recommend Warp Riders (2010) or Age of Winters as a good starting point.
- The Black Angels– Another Austin based psychedelic/garage rock band formed in 2004 and has released four LPs and four EPs over their career. They take their name from a Velvet Underground song, The Black Angel’s Death Song. These guys are no stranger to the festival circuit as they have played Lollapalooza (2007), SXSW (2006 & 2008), and All Tomorrow’s Parties (2008) to name a few.
- Shakey Graves– Alejandro Rose-Garcia a.k.a. Shaky Graves made my must see of Bonnaroo (2015) and here we meet again. If you enjoy Americana roots rock like The Devil Makes Three, Shovels and Rope, and Dr. Dog, then you will love this talented songwriter from Austin, Texas. He is best known for his eclectic mix of blues, country and rock and roll while giving a very enthused and energetic performance for his fans. He has released four LPs, with Nobody’s Fool (2015) being the latest release. Graves has an amazing voice and he is a truly, talented song-writer.
- St. Paul & The Broken Bones– So I feel a bit torn featuring these guys on my list based on the fact that I think that they might not be an “under the radar” band to the majority. This Birmingham based (2012) Southern soul band has been blowing away audiences since their debut. With only one LP and two EPs, they do not have much material to catch up on if you are not familiar with St. Paul & The Broken Bones.
- Explosions in the Sky– Well what do you know, another Austin, Texas based rock band making my list. Formed in 1999, they have compiled seven LPs (The Wilderness being the latest release in 2016) and four soundtracks (most notably Friday Night Lights (2004) and scoring the soundtrack to Lone Survivor (2013). I have been curious for some time to check these guys out and now I am afforded the opportunity barring any major scheduling conflict(s).
- Wild Nothing– Going to close out with a Blacksburg, Virginia based indie rock/indie pop/dream pop/post-punk band (2009) named Wild Nothing. They have released three LPs (Life of Pause will be released February 19, 2016) and three EPs. I expect these guys to blow up big on the 2016 Festival circuit, so do not miss the chance to check them out before they get big.
To assist you as a festival goer, I have compiled some vital information to make your trip to Atlanta and the Shaky Knees Music Fest as easy as possible. Links to important information, admission information, location, accessibility, parking, and lodging will be discussed below.
Early bird 3-day tickets were priced at $154. General admission tickets ($215 advanced 3-day/$236 Regular 3-day ticket/$97 Single-day ticket-Coming Soon!) include a Shaky Knees Music Festival wristband which is used for admission into the festival. 75+ bands on five stages, a festival food court with many of Atlanta’s best restaurants offering some of their best fare, an art market with many local artists displaying their work, many sponsored attractions throughout the park, access to all bars, concessions, free water stations, cooling areas, and shade structures which will be displayed throughout the area.
Early bird VIP 3-day tickets were priced at $409. VIP tickets include ($614 advanced VIP 3-day ticket/$692 regular VIP 3-day ticket/$282 VIP Single-day ticket- Coming Soon!) unlimited VIP lounge access, access to a restricted viewing platform over-looking the stages, complimentary beer and water, access to a cash liquor bar, complimentary appetizers served twice daily, relaxed lounge seating, VIP air-conditioned restrooms, and access to all general admission areas on the grounds.
Location- 265 Park Ave. W NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Not driving your own car to the fest?
Get your first Uber ride free with promo code, tarynw59 or your first Lyft ride with, TARYN273.
MARTA- take the West Line to the Philips Arena/Dome/GWCC Station (W-1), or take the North Line to Peachtree Center (N-1), and follow the signs to Centennial Olympic Park.
From the Airport and the South- Take I-75/85 North to the Andrew Young International Boulevard exit (Exit 248C). Turn left onto Andrew Young International Boulevard. Turn left onto Centennial Olympic Park Drive. Cross Marietta Street and go past CNN Center and the Philips Arena. Turn right onto Andrew Young Intl, once you make that left the Deck will be on the Right
From the North- Take I-75/85 South to Williams Street (Exit 249C). Turn right onto Baker Street. At first traffic light turn left onto Centennial Olympic Park Drive. Follow Centennial Olympic Park Drive until you cross Marietta Street and go past CNN Center and the Philips Arena. Turn right onto Andrew Young Intl, once you make that right the Deck will be on the right
From the West- Take I-20 East to Spring Street (Exit 56B). Turn left onto Spring Street and then left on to Mitchell Street. After the first light you’ll make a right on Mangum Street. Parking in the GWCC Red Parking Deck will be on the right prior to the security gates at the bottom of the hill.
From the East- Take I-20 West to Spring Street (Exit 56B). Turn right onto Spring Street and then left on to Mitchell Street. After the first light you’ll make a right on Mangum Street. Parking in the GWCC Red Parking Deck will be on the right prior to the security gates at the bottom of the hill.
Since Shaky Knees Music Fest is not a camping festival, chances are you are going to need lodging if you are not an Atlanta resident.
If you prefer to stick to hotels in the downtown Atlanta area, Shaky Knees Music Fest has teamed up with select hotels in the area to offer discounted rates for their ticket holders. When you use this link, $2 per room night is donated to Songs for Kids Foundation. This offer is limited to a select amount of rooms per participating hotel, get yours booked before they are all gone. If you miss out, check out Kayak for some more great deals.
Get $20 off your first time using Airbnb by using this link.
This year’s Shaky Knees Music Fest is shaping up to be one of the best music festivals this year. You do not want to miss this chance to see all these artists in one weekend all while enjoying the lovely city of Atlanta, Georgia. And just think, they still have not announced who would play the Shaky Knees Nights which are normally held at various venues across Atlanta. This just means a few extra artists, who are normally not included on the main bill, can perform in addition to some intimate performances by some of the bands/artists already scheduled. Check out this link to my personal MyFest page of all of the artists/bands I am making sure to catch at this year’s Shaky Knees Music Fest. Don’t forget to follow ConcertHopper on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow my personal concert hopping on Instagram also. Hope to see you at a show or festival soon!