This weekend I attended Counterpoint Festival, a three day event that collide live music, carnival rides, and enough food, clothes, and entertainment tents to keep your attention for 72 hours straight. You know it’s real when camping on the ground is an option. My first two days at the festival were a depressing series of unfortunate events that would inspire Lemony Snicket to write another novel. Still, that left me one more day to fully enjoy Counterpoint and see why it has been held in high regards as one of the biggest Electronic music festivals in the world.
Counterpoint is deep in the forest of northern Georgia, imagine a huge camp ground filled with the hippest hippies, and a Ferris wheel – perfect place to play music at ear bleeding levels without the worry of the elderlies trying to ruin a good time. 4 stages spreaded out wide-oh your legs were burning as you walked up hill, downhill to travel from tent to tent attempting to see what was going on. I floated around anticipating Big Boi from Outkast performance more than anything and my god was it everything one can imagine and then some3. There are few people in hip-hop that can completely hold the attention of a crowd as he performs music from the year 1994 up to 2012. Every single, every word, hit likes a punch from Ali, nothing but haymakers were thrown as Big ran through a discography that can be deemed legendary stature. Despite missing ½ of Kast, the live band brought new life to records you’ve heard countless times, only making the experience that more riveting.
I missed Wale set because I was busy snapping pictures of Big Boi and Skrillex back stage, and I’ve seen the MMG poet twice already. The crowd sounded please. The sun is setting and Counterpoint transforms from a festival until the biggest rave I’ve ever witnessed. Everything glows, glasses, hats, body paint, the real characters have crawled from the camp ground, shaking off yesterday’s hangover ready to rage one last time. The people are what really made it memorable, you truly saw it all before you left the camp ground.
I spoke to a guy at the PlayStation experience truck about why it was held far away from society, and I realized because only in this nature can people truly be in-touch with the music. Electronic music is a genre that isn’t bound by rules and laws. Techno, House, Dub-Step, there is no right or wrong, make the people move is the only goal. Counterpoint allowed you to embrace freedom without being judged, mollies were popped, alcohol was consumed, babies were probably made; shoot even people were streaking, and who was there to stop them? Not a soul. Look into the eyes of anyone and you knew that there was a non-verbal agreement, what happen at Counterpoint stays at Counterpoint. A hipsters utopia.
Its 8:30, fifteen minutes before Skrillex set. Skrill is one of the biggest names in the dub-step movement and restlessness is in the air. For once the darkness didn’t swallow the world as light illuminated from everyone; the moon looked dim compared to what I was witnessing. I enter the photo-pit shoulder to shoulder with over 30 photographers, this is where the competitive spirit is at its highest, and we all want that money shot. Skrillex sits upon a platform high enough to kiss the stars- a platform that’s fit for a king. He looks down knowing that he controls the world at this very moment. Once that first beat blazes out of the speaker, souls are ignited with fire and chaos takes control. This is the closets I’ve ever felt to being in the Vietnam War. There was smoke, screams, lights flashing, it was no time to think, and you just had to attempt to capture a moment. We in the trenches, barricades are the only thing separating us from the energetic fans behind.
Then I realize while mashing the trigger, I’ve failed as a photographer. Stuck in the middle of all this madness, I knew I was unable to immortalize my surroundings. Too much was happening; the speakers are so loud my hat rises and hits the ground, as the woman squeals and the men fist pump in complete glee. No lens is wide enough, no zoom is long enough, and no flash is bright enough to truly capture what happen during that set. It was a magically trance that fell over the thousands of by standers their bodies moved, and I mean moved without questioning why.
It was a clothed orgy where every time the beat dropped they climaxed, again and again, the energy that was radiating held your soul captive and wouldn’t let go. Beautiful insanity; this is what had to inspire the creation of Project X, Counterpoint was Project Triple X. The only rule was to never stop moving. Drugs, Booze, and Music was its allies, and fatigue the only enemy. To all the name-less faces it was great indulging in the festivities. See you next year. I recommend you to step out your comfort zone to join and attend different events, namely Counterpoint in Atlanta.