The clearest signs of summer are back in force: temperatures are rising, the days feel longer, and festival season is gearing up for one of the biggest years yet. For the next several months, invigorated music lovers and festival junkies alike will be traveling all over the country to catch the lineups they’ve been dreaming of since January. One of the most anticipated of the year is Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, GA. The three-day event attracts fans from all across the music spectrum, touting an enormous lineup full of diverse talents in rock music with something for everyone.
Founded by Tim Sweetwood in 2013, Shaky Knees has become the beacon of indie music festivals in the Southeast and it’s grown at an exponential rate over the last five years. The first festival was held at the Historic Fourth Ward Park and hosted around 9,000 attendees each day. Since then, Shaky Knees has outgrown venue after venue, finally settling into a rotation between Central Park and Centennial Olympic Park and now boasts a draw of over 40,000. In interviews, Sweetwood has reiterated his dedication to keeping the festival a manageable size with a sole focus on music for the sake of the fans.
While the numbers have yet to be tallied, 2018’s Shaky Knees in Central Park is sure to make a serious impression. The festival’s three main headliners this year are Jack White, The National, and Queens of the Stone Age. The National are making their return headlining 2014’s edition of the festival, whereas Jack White and Queens of the Stone Age are making their Shaky Knees debuts.
Shaky Knees also includes a series of late-night shows located in venues all around the city that will feature unique sets from groups playing the festival during the weekend. All of the late-night shows have been announced, as well as the individual day lineups and the hourly schedule music schedule, which can all be found on the Shaky Knees website or app.
On top of getting to see some of the best indie rock acts from around the world, festival goers will be treated to giveaways and drawings by several national brands. These events include VR demos, raffles, and much more, all serving as an excellent way to take a break from the bustling crowds and sometimes sweltering heat. Shaky Knees is also prepared with the food that everyone craves, ranging from delectable sweets to some of the best Southern comfort food the city has to offer.
In the end it’s all about the music and this year’s lineup is a good one.
Here are a few bands we’re really looking forward to seeing:
Courtney Barnett – Friday, 5:00 p.m. at Peachtree
Barnett’s laid-back style of sunny Aussie grit-rock will entrance you as her southpaw guitar strums will fill the always robust Shaky Knees sound system.
Japandroids – Friday, 8:00 p.m. at Ponce De Leon
Vancouver anthem-rock outfit Japandroids is sure to boost the energy levels at Shaky Knees with their upbeat brand of alternative punk rock.
Fleet Foxes – Friday, 8:00 p.m. at Piedmont
Back out on a massive national tour, indie-folk icons Fleet Foxes will surely bring the swaying vibes as they play from their deep catalog of whimsical songs, new and old.
David Byrne – Friday, 7:00 p.m. at Peachtree
Founding member of the classic American new wave rock band, Talking Heads, David Byrne brings years of genre-bending sounds to the masses.
Bully – Saturday, 2:15 p.m. at Peachtree
A unique blend of grungy surf-rock, Alicia Bognanno’s contrast of screeching and subtle vocals paired with a pleasantly raucous band, will have your head bobbin’ without effort.
The War on Drugs – Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at Peachtree
The airy sounds of Adam Granduciel’s guitar will shimmer in the Georgia sun as his voice echoes around the walls of buildings in downtown Atlanta.
Manchester Orchestra – Saturday, 6:30 p.m. at Piedmont
Veteran indie-rockers Manchester Orchestra play a special hometown set sharing their heartfelt range of alluring jams.
Alvvays – Sunday, 2:45 p.m. at Peachtree
This Canadian indie-pop band was included in several of our writers’ Top Ten lists in 2017 for their dreamy lo-fi rock infused album Antisocialites.
Lord Huron – Sunday, 4:30 p.m. at Peachtree
With their latest offering, Vide Noir, Lord Huron’s ever-evolving sound leans more towards a ’50s soul vibe which should pair well with the Georgia sun and a cold beverage.
The National – Sunday, 8:30 p.m. at Peachtree
Fresh off their own curated music festival, Ohio’s The National make a stop at Shaky Knees to close out the festival on Sunday night, which is sure to create some picturesque moments to cap off a stellar weekend of music.
Check out the full lineup and more on Shaky Knees Festival May 4-6 in Atlanta, GA.
Listen to our 2018 Shaky Knees Spotify playlist: