10 Surprises at CounterPoint

Now that CounterPoint is over and all we can do is replay our favorite memories in our minds or on YouTube, I wanted to share with you the 10 things that surprised me the most at CounterPoint 2014! Some of the surprises were wonderful and some of the surprises were a bummer. But over all CounterPoint was a blast. The crew of CounterPoint made a fantastic festival, it had everything that I could have asked for (yet still looking for that lazy river…). Even despite the thunderstorm destroying my tent and everything in it, I couldn’t have had a better weekend.

1.Exceptional Crowd

When I was first preparing for CounterPoint, I wrote a 10 Reasons to get Excited About CounterPoint post that mentioned the greatness of making friends and the hospitality at music festivals in the south. I obviously knew that I was going to make friends and that the people were going to be great, but I didn’t know how great.

CounterPoint attracted the best type of festival attendees. CounterPoint’s people were open minded, responsible, caring, friendly, adventurous, creative, crazy (in the good way), and finally a united family.

My crew started off with six and right from the start we began accumulating new family members. We met this older Phish couple, for example, with whom we instantly clicked. They were probably the raddest older couple I’ve ever met. They were so open to our different vibes and they were game for any adventure thrown their way. They even followed us to Major Lazor on the last night to see what the hype was about. I’m not sure if they are now about Major Lazor, but they were dancing and joining in on our dance circles.

All in all, the CounterPoint crowd included everybody you’d ever want to party with.

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Shout out to Jacob, Austin, Billy Rebecca, and Jay

2. Balanced Stage Sizes

Sometimes when you go to festivals (especially ones with EDM) they emphasis the magnitude of the main stage. And while the epicness of all the lights and the glory of the stage production is mesmerizing, the main stage sometimes overshadows the greatness of all the other stages. Which sucks, because by favoring main stage acts many equally great acts are left with fan less stages. You could blame the fans for not supporting the artist, but I would blame the festival for not supporting the artist.

CounterPoint, on the other hand, didn’t show favoritism creating a balanced lineup where small band performances could compare to big acts. There was hardly any difference between CounterPoint’s various stages; they were basically the same stage with different background tree scenes. It was great, because regardless of music genre, no performance was forced to play on the “forgotten stage.”

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3. Smaller Festival

I was really surprised about how small the festival was. I went to the original CounterPoint in 2012 and I remember it being twice the size of this year’s festival.

Maybe it was because they had had twice the land and all the same headliners like Skrillex, Bassnectar, and Zedd that could easily pack any venue. But, honestly, I think this year’s size was for the best.

During the first night of CounterPoint 2012, I couldn’t find my tent until the sun came up. 2012’s tent city was bigger than my college town! With tents scattered everywhere, cars parked in every which direction and so many people in costumes (who I thought I recognized), there were just too many things going on. It was madness!

This year was the exact opposite. The people in charge of CounterPoint had everything perfectly planned. Checking in was easy, camping was easy, and roaming from stage to stage was easy.  The smaller size of this year’s festival allowed everything to go very smoothly.

Most importantly, I had space to boogie! Have you ever been in a crowd that is so tight that no one can actually get low during the drop without sitting on the person’s lap behind you? (Ultra) While I love making new friends, I’m not so into meeting my new friend’s boners… CounterPoint did a great job at keeping the festival a comfortable size.

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4. Perfect Bands (showing up the EDM artists)

CounterPoint picked their bands amazingly. I, like most EDM fans, would usually prefer to go to an all EDM festival. But even so, sometimes a real guitar, a real drum set, and a real singer is needed.

At CounterPoint I was really impressed by RubbleBucket, an indie band out of Brooklyn, who gave an amazing performance. They had trumpets, a badass girl singer, and the classic hipster Brooklyn style. At one point in their performance they jumped into the crowd, painted peoples faces, rode on fans’ shoulders and started a parade. Live bands are seriously the way to go for day performances. I’d even go as far to say that some of them — like RubbleBucket — outshone some of the EDM performances.

Other surprising bands to check out:

-       Janelle Monae

-       Foster The People (not a newbie, but still a goodie)

5. Mat Zo

I was SO excited to see Mat Zo. I have recently started really appreciating his music, especially with his last album release, Damage Control. His song Lucid Dreams is essentially what I believe the sound of happiness is. I’ve always found that people have had a hard time describing Mat Zo’s music. People have told me it’s like sweet trance, or it has dub tendencies, or house vibes. I really had no idea what to expect for his CounterPoint performance. His performance was hands down one my favorite sets at CounterPoint. Basically to try and describe his set in one long word; tranceskrilldubdeepsurprisehappiness- in a bottle. I realize that that’s not an actual word, but for some performances you just can’t simply describe its greatness.

6. Krewella Lip Syncing?

I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy, but this piece is on things that surprised me and one of them is Krewella’s ridiculous performance. I am a die-hard fan of Krewella; I know every word, every drop, and basically everything about them.I’ve seen them a handful of times and I have to say I’ve never seen such a ridiculous performance. It wasn’t that the performance was terrible; most people thought they were killing it — jumping around, slamming things on the ground, getting the crowd pumped.

But what irked me was that when they took the microphone away from their mouths the singing didn’t stop… Maybe because one of them was sick… maybe because Rain Man wasn’t there and DJ’ing and singing is too hard. I’m not sure why they felt the need to lip sync, but its makes me question their future performances.

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7. Krewella’s Acoustic

Although, Krewella may have lip-synced a few songs, they did surprise the crowd with an acoustic version of their hit song Human. So they indeed can sing. I know a lot of people weren’t too into the emotional song, but I thought it fit in perfectly with CounterPoint’s mix of jam bands, rappers, and EDM. Krewella was doing something different than just regular EDM and I think they did a great job at appealing diverse crowd.


8. Worldly Food

CounterPoint got really fancy with its worldly food selections. They had everything from caprese sandwiches to Aussie pies to grilled PB& J with fried bananas and Bacon sammies.

I was lucky enough to try their all-natural smoothies that were a perfect counter balance to all the Natty’s I had been drinking.

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Check out Elektro’s photo collection! It will have you drooling for next year’s foodie surprises.

9. Surprise Performances – Silent Disco

I’m finally able to say that I can check silent disco off of my raver bucket list. After the stage lights turned off for the night, and most festivalers turned in, only the night owls continued to party. And despite the fact it was three in the morning, and I was exhausted and longed for my bed, my friends and I made it our mission to try out silent disco.The entire concept of a silent disco is hilarious. For people who are participating it’s like watching a 3D YouTube video. For people who are standing in line it’s like being at a gym without your headphones and hearing all the people on the machines breathing. But what was really cool was that Griz decided to do a surprise performance at the Silent Disco for the real night owls. The nights at CounterPoint never really seemed to end once the lights turned off.


10. OutKast’s Amazing Performance

Although, OutKast’s performance was not really a surprise; I just had to mention how great it was.  It seemed like all of ATL had come out to see OutKast’s performance on the last night of CounterPoint. The main stage was packed from fence to fence. The crowd just added to the great vibes that OutKast were singing out to the crowds. It was almost like OutKast had never taken a break and we were all right back in the 90’s listening to our favorite jams. They were so quick with their lyrics and so passionate about their performance. Although, I only knew their radio hits, the crowd sang every word with them and echoed through Kingston’s Downs Hills. The entire performance was just a 90’s dream come true.

Can’t wait to return to CounterPoint one day! 

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