This year’s Shaky Knees was my first time attending all three days of a music festival, and it was a spectacular experience. However, there are some things I wish I had known before attending, so here’s a bit of advice for those thinking about hitting up next year’s Shaky Knees:
Don’t Bring Anything You Care About
Sunglasses, expensive shoes, etc. Don't mind it. I lost a pair of sunglasses and snapped a pair of prescription glasses in half. I saw lots of people roaming around multiple pits with broken glasses, lost shoes, and even broken cell phones. They do have a lost and found, but oftentimes if you’ve lost something it’s already been stepped on and crushed. Just be careful.
Bring A Hydration Pack!
Staying hydrated is key to having a fun weekend. These days are long and hot, and if you haven’t had enough water, you will not have enough energy to keep moshing as hard as you want to. I bought a pretty cheap hydration pack online and it worked perfectly for the whole festival. There are water stations you can use to freely refill your pack with cold water as often as you need, so it’s a no-brainer to keep one on you.
Dont Forget Your Ear Plugs
These speakers are LOUD! Even when you’re far away. Protect your ears! I saw so many people walking around without them, and I don’t know how or why you’d do that to yourself. Your ears are going to be ringing for days and you’re going to feel like you’re underwater as soon as you leave the festival. Just get some cheap foam ones from a pharmacy or something. Bring extras in case a pair falls out in a mosh pit!
Bring A Portable Charger!
Pretty self explanatory. You don’t want your phone to die. You’re at an outdoor festival all day, so it’s smart to have one on you.
Plan Out Your Schedule
Make sure you know which bands you want to see and which stage they are playing at before you get to the festival. If you care about an act, get to the stage early! This will make your weekend so much easier, and you’re more likely to see everyone you want (with a pretty decent spot.)
Be Prepared To Spend A Lot Of Money
The food is good (mostly), but it is incredibly pricey. You’re going to be spending $16 on a burger and fries. It’s just how it is. Come prepared. Maybe eat beforehand so you only need one meal there, but make sure you eat! Without food, you will not have the energy to keep going. You don't wanna pass out, you’ll miss out on too much fun!
Have An Entry And Exit Strategy
There isn’t parking at the festival, so you’re going to need to figure something else out. MARTA is your friend. The closest station is only about a 15 minute walk to and from the festival. Super cheap and easy.
This year, I got injured in a mosh pit on the very first night. I was able to push through on the following days, but it definitely could have gone smoother had I better paced out my weekend. I’d honestly say it was worth it, but still, don’t go too crazy right at the beginning. Be smart.
Check Out New Music!
Don’t just stick to what you know! If you have an hour to just chill and eat food, do it while watching someone you’ve never heard of perform! It’s worth it; you might just find your new favorite artist! This year I consistently arrived mid-afternoon, and I’d probably want to get there a bit earlier next time to get the full Shaky Knees experience, from beginning to end.
Obviously. This shit is unreal. Go see all the bands you’ve been wanting to see for years. Go discover new music. Go mosh your body into mush. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! You’ll never see this same lineup of artists at this same point in their careers again! Cherish every moment, and take a step back to think about how awesome it is that you’re here. I am so glad live music is back, and Shaky Knees was such a fantastic way to celebrate.
This show is all over the place. Punk, pop, electronic, rap, various duck noises; you never know what you're gonna get, so there's bound to be a little something for everyone! (except for my grandfather, who hates all of it)