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Atlanta is known for many things but it has never really been known as a town where big festivals are held (the Renaissance Festival notwithstanding). Way back in 2007 however the Echo Project, a tiny little music festival, was held in South Atlanta and groups like the Flaming Lips, the Roots, Cat Power, The Killers, Thievery Corporation, the Avett Brothers, Common and Phil Lesh all showed up to play and have a great time.
Unfortunately, the turnout wasn’t as good as it should’ve been for a lineup as awesome as that, but the fine folks that put that first festival together weren’t deterred and got back together, partnered with C3 Presents (who have been behind such awesome festivals as Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits Music Festival) and put together the Counter Point Festival in September of 2012. The festival was held on the 27th through 29th on 350 acres of riverfront property about 30 minutes south of Atlanta along the Fulton and Douglas County line near the town of Campbellton. That first show had an incredible lineup including Skrillex (who had recently won a Grammy award) as well as Bass Connector, Pretty Lights, Washed Out, Com Trues, Crystal Castles and Polica. As anyone who lives in Atlanta can tell you, it’s a city well-known for rap and hip-hop, and so Atmosphere, Big Boi, Wale, Theophilus London and others that are heavy in the rap scene were also at that first festival.
The first festival also had, in addition to music, an extreme sports demonstration featuring moto-cross, a beer garden presenting the libations of several local breweries (Atlanta is a growing micro-brewery city), local chefs, a food truck extravaganza and they even had a college viewing area so that people at the festival wouldn’t have to miss their favorite team during football season. (Here in Atlanta, college football is something you don’t want to mess with.)
This year the CounterPoint Music and Arts Festival has a totally new look as well as a spectacular new venue. It’s going to be at the Kingston Downs where, for the past 20 years, the Atlantic Steeplechase has been held, and is set for Friday, April 25 through Sunday, April 27.
Kingston Downs is a 5000 acre location that’s surrounded on three sides by the lovely Etowah River. With gorgeous views of the Georgia Mountains in the far distance, the rolling hills of Kingston Downs are perfect for a music and arts festival and, with perfectly groomed grass, people will be able to get very comfortable and have a wonderful time. The lovely town of Rome, Georgia, is only a short ride away, Atlanta is about an hour south west and Kingston Downs is close enough to some of the big cities in Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina that the trip can easily be made in less than three or four hours.
This year’s musical lineup includes Outkast, Pretty Lights, Foster the People, STS9, J. Cole, Major Lazer, Krewella, Big Gigantic, Flux Pavilion Above & Beyond, Matt & Kim, Thievery Corporation, A-Trak, Janelle Monae, Wolfgang Gartner, Sleigh Bells…and a whole lot more groups too. Of course there will be a lot of groups that call Atlanta home and, with the burgeoning music scene that includes a wide variety of genres from hip hop to country, rap, pop and world music, to name a few, you can expect their best to show up. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Usher.)
The festival is also marks the first time that Oukast will perform for their hometown on what’s being touted as their 40 festival comeback tour, something that festival organizers believe will bring out a huge amount of fans as the duo haven’t been on tour in quite a few years.
Organizers of the festival are hopeful that this year’s CounterPoint Music and Arts Festival will be big enough to catapult them to national fame the likes of Coachella, The Governors Ball and Bonnaroo, something that will go far in helping them to bring in even more acts next year.