Shaky Knees will celebrate 10-year anniversary in Atlanta this weekend in epic fashion

By Cameron Lee

May 4, 2023

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Shaky Knees first started in Atlanta. In its inaugural year back in 2013, the festival founded by former Masquerade promoter Tim Sweetwood, boasted a lineup featuring Dr. Dog, Gary Clark Jr, Kurt Vile, Band of Horses, and Jim James at Historic Fourth Ward Park. Influenced by Jim James’ (My Morning Jacket) lyrics “…and god damn, those shaky knees” from “Steam Engine,” the festival has a lot in common with the song about mindfulness and connection. In many ways, that’s what separates Shaky Knees from most large-scale music festivals– the ability to focus on the music through a carefully curated lineup and topnotch sound and production. 

Shaky Knees music festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. Courtesy of Shaky Knees

While the location has changed over the years, from Historic Fourth Ward Park to Atlantic Station to Centennial Olympic Park and now Central Park in the Fourth Ward West neighborhood, the music has always been integral. Each year, the lineup features a vast range of rock goliaths, indie up-and-comers, folk, punk, new wave, metal, and recently, a little more hip-hop. This year’s lineup will be headlined by The Killers, Muse, and inaugural Shaky Knees performers, The Lumineers. In between the tepid streets and grassy hills at Central Park will be bands like New York indie art-rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs, synth-pop outfit Future Islands fronted by the buoyant Samuel Herring, and hometown rapper Killer Mike, who will be filling in for Manchester Orchestra. 2023 will also see some special album-specific sets like The Flaming Lips performing their critically acclaimed 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Cypress Hill’s classic Black Sunday, and Digable Planets groundbreaking debut, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space). 

2023 Shaky Knees lineup

In celebration of the 10-year anniversary, downtown Atlanta will also be bustling with late-night shows at venues like The Earl, Masquerade, Center Stage, and Terminal West. 

Here are a few of our most-anticipated sets and everything else you need to know about Shaky Knees 2023: 

Digable Planets 

Many rap groups have attempted to cohesively fuse jazz and hip-hop over the years, but none quite like Digable Planets. Their timeless debut Grammy Award-winning album, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), introduced a new style of poetic rap with masterful jazz sample-ladened production and the playful wordplay of Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler, Mariana “Ladybug Mecca” Vieira, and Craig “Doodlebug” Irving. A rare hip-hop performance at Shaky Knees, this is one that is sure to delight. 

The Walkmen 

Recently reunited, the Hamilton Leithauser-fronted post-punk revivalists, The Walkmen, will play an extensive set from their seven-album catalog. This will be their first performance in the South since reuniting, coming off a five-night run at Webster Hall in New York and three nights in Philadelphia. 


South London post-punk rockers of Shame make their Shaky Knees debut, performing on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Their highly lauded debut album, Songs of Praise, introduced the five-piece rock band to the world with their angsty, sometimes glimmery, sometimes gloomy brand of music. Having recently released a new album, Food for Worms, Shame is sure to bring the high-energy head-banging rock show festival-goers have grown accustomed to at Shaky Knees. 

Cypress Hill 

The Ponce De Leon stage is sure to be aromatic as West Coast hip-hop legends Cypress Hill take the stage on Friday night, performing their multi-platinum sophomore album Black Sunday. The set will certainly be a nice change of tempo from the rock-heavy lineup prior to The Killers hitting the main stage. 

Yeah Yeah Yeahs 

Coming off their first album in nine years, Cool It Down, which was nominated for two Grammys this year, frontwoman Karen O is sure to dazzle on the Piedmont Stage. The festival is the second stop in the band’s spring/summer tour, and they’re expected to play a mix of songs from their five-album catalog including hits like “Heads Will Roll” from 2009’s It’s Blitz!, “Maps” from Fever To Tell, and “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” from their latest release.  

Future Islands 

Hopefully by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday a cool breeze will waft through the field at the Peachtree stage to accompany Future Islands’ danceable emotive synth-rock stylings. With Samuel Herring’s animated gyrations and fist pumps, the set is sure to rejuvenate attendees on the last day of the festival who may be worn by the beaming Georgia sun. The North Carolina natives are coming off an extensive international tour run, so this will be somewhat of a homecoming. 

Music Schedule 

Festival Site Map

Late Night Shows 

Food Vendors

Tickets are completely sold out for Shaky Knees 2023, but you can purchase verified re-sale tickets from their official website. 

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