An Interview with Atlanta Festival Creator, Tim Sweetwood
Just one year after making a splash on to the festival scene, Atlanta, Georgia’s Shaky Knees Music Festival has a lineup that indie rocker’s dreams are made of.
The initial poster featured names like The National, Modest Mouse, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Foals, to name a few, and then organizers added The Alabama Shakes and The Replacements.
While the roster features these indie stalwarts and many more rockers, the diversity that was present in year one is again present in the Exodus version of Shaky Knees. By the end of the third line of the poster, every good music fan should have a handful of acts they want to see, no matter which genre that connoisseur pursues. We caught up with Shaky Knees’ creator Tim Sweetwood before the inaugural festival and we were able to do so again this week. Here is our conversation about the new location, the late night shows, booking The Replacements and much more.
BLANK: Why did you make the location move? What can folks expect from the new spot?
Tim Sweetwood: We moved to Atlantic Station because it is allowing us to sell more tickets and add an additional stage. We believe it will flow really well and there are great parking options and it will be easier to get into the festival. The backdrop of midtown/downtown Atlanta should be really cool as well.
BLANK: What do you feel like the most successful part of last year was and what are the new additions or amenities to the fest?
TS: This is always an easy one, the music was the most successful part, and it will be the same for this year’s festival. We have more bands this year and the lineup is a little more diverse. And who can’t love the addition of The Replacements?
BLANK: How many stages and how will they be set up? According to the map the fest will take place in two areas. Atlantic Station and I’ve heard the other place called the 12 pad?
TS: (There will be) 4 stages this year, with 2 stages playing at a time. The two biggest stages will be setup a little old school, side by side going back and forth all day. So, a really cool aspect is that you could grab your spot and stay there all day and see at least 10 kick ass bands including the headliner, without moving. A detailed map will come out in early April, but it is all the same area, don’t worry about anything you have seen listed out there, just trust the source.
BLANK: What will the VIP experience be like?
TS: It will be great again, the people that purchase these tickets always seem to be happy. They receive free food and beer, with an exclusive cash bar. They have special viewing areas (really nice for the two main stages), as well as separate private bathrooms, and a few more surprises, too.
BLANK: Will the headliners be unopposed again?
TS: Yes, there will be no one playing at the same time as the headliner each night.
BLANK: How do you recommend people getting there? Bus/Marta/drive? Also, is there a lodging program or anything like that?
TS: We always recommend people take mass transit or taxis/Uber. You can get off at the Arts Center – Marta station and busses take you very close to the front door. The W is the sponsor hotel and we will have regular shuttles going back and forth to the fest.
BLANK: This lineup is an indie rockers dream. And you were able to put a cherry on top with The Replacements. Can you talk about the lineup a bit and booking The Replacements in particular?
TS: Thank you so much, I work hard to book a solid festival that separates itself from other indie festivals. The Replacements were on my bucket list, and they are about to get checked off. We had always discussed putting them on the festival but couldn’t quite get the deal done by the time the lineup was announced. We had a hole to fill and we were able to get the deal done before single day tickets went on sale. They will put on a killer show. Definitely going to be a Shaky Knees moment in history.
BLANK: Can you talk about the late night shows a little bit and what they add to the festival? Are the festival hours the same as last year and will the overlap with late night shows?
TS: The late night festivities are a great addition to Shaky Knees Festival for many reasons. First, it allows people to keep the party going. Once the main festival is over they can go experience more music until about 2AM. Second, we want to be involved with the city of Atlanta more in general and support the “indie” music scene here, so this gives a chance for us to bring people to other local venues that we really enjoy.
There won’t really be any overlap, as the majority of the late night shows don’t start until 11:30pm even though doors are listed earlier. The general festival will end at 11pm each night so you should have time to get to your late night spot.
BLANK: Is the lineup complete and when can folks expect a schedule?
TS: The lineup is complete and the specific schedule should come out about the 2nd week of April. Look out for an App as well.
BLANK: How happy were you with the festival in its first year and what does the future hold?
TS: Year one of Shaky Knees was a dream come true and I never thought I would be able to expand on that dream, but I think we have this year, and I hope that continues in years to come.
Tickets and more info can be found at http://shakykneesfestival.com