CounterPoint 2014 – Review + Photo Gallery
CounterPoint 2014 was the biggest thing going on between I-75 and Rome, Georgia, and had traffic controls and directions for the entire 15 mile stretch of road. This would be my first detail to share with you regarding Counterpoint for a reason – this entire festival is about attention to detail.
This festival, produced by C3 Presents (bringing you the likes of Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Big Day Out, Wanderlust, etc.) focused on the intricacies more than any other festival I’ve seen in a while. The winding path from I-75 to Kingston Downs, GA? They got you. Lasers shooting out across the campground? They got you. Elaborate art installations and a carnival fairway, as well as ass-loads of EDM? They got you.
CounterPoint had 65,000+ attendees so everything felt administratively mechanized. There were some kinks. Everyone was packed in on top of each other for camping, security was mildly invasive (allowed you to bring in propane, only later to find out that propane was actually impermissible when it was confiscated), but the volunteers saved this festival. Volunteers parking cars, handling issues in camp, and looking out for folks at the festival helped make what seemed like a draconian administrative process of marshaling tens of thousands of people into their respective right places the least cumbersome task it could be. Peace. Love CounterPoint.
A few points of measure, the festival was hot the first two days, and there was torrential on Sunday, delaying the performances of the headliners on the strongest day. The festival was on a wide-open horse track and its neighboring rolling hills. As such, you really felt the sun, and you really felt the rain. But, if you could find some shade to rest up a moment, the music was incredible.
This festival took quite liberally the concept of a pure EDM festival and integrated a lot more diversity into the mix. While there were plenty of DJs playing a myriad of sample-based, heavy dubstep-dance jams, (personal favorites were Pegboard Nerds, Wick-It the Instigator, and Ployd) there were also some fantastic spatially ethereal vocal driven ensembles with drum machines (Dan Croll, Rubblebucket, and a surprisingly spectacular live, Foster the People, to name a few).
Festival staples in any context, like funky bands with spectacular live drums (Big Gigantic, STS9, and new favorite, Papadosio) were spectacular breaks from longer stints of straight EDM, and contextually it still made sense. Some of the rappers (Run the Jewels, J. Cole) took note of the prowess of the EDM DJs and brought serious talent to back up their ensembles, making for a much better live show. Comparably, School Boy Q had one of the most lackluster performances because his DJ essentially just randomly cut the track and would play that loud alarm sound from DJ Khaled dance remixes. Again, attention to detail means everything.
As far as the music goes, it was mostly great. I would encourage the festival to space out bigger bands more. I had to dip out early on OutKast, because I still had law to sell on Monday and the delay was too much for this old guy, and as I was leaving I thought, “Sunday really is the strongest day for music in comparison to the rest of the festival.” I thought this as I drove by the rows and rows of cars whom presumably bought day passes for the strongest day to save a buck. Little did they know that the rain was coming, but even still. If those folks saw the value in coming all three days, by maybe spreading the Sunday schedule out a little more on Saturday and Friday, Counterpoint could’ve have that many more happy campers.
It was a great festival, I look forward to it next year and more from C3 Presents.
Check out Scott’s photos from the festival and view the full gallery HERE