More than 65,000 music fans celebrated the return of the CounterPoint Music & Arts Festival--Thursday, April 24-Sunday, April 27--and the debut of its new expansive and breathtaking 5,000-acre Kingston Downs festival grounds. The festival closed out on a high note with a Sunday night headlining set from hometown heroes Outkast, about which the ASSOCIATED PRESS (4/28) said, “…the energy was high for Outkast's performance in their home state at the CounterPoint Music & Arts Festival…[they] put on an energetic show that kept the crowd jamming in the late hours.” The festival weekend was also marked by peak moments with main stage closing sets from Pretty Lights on Friday and Foster The People on Saturday. The music didn’t stop there; each day, late night sets--Krewella (Saturday, 12:30 AM), Above & Beyond (Sunday, 12:30 AM) and Flux Pavilion and Tycho (both Sunday, 11:45 PM)--rocked the grounds until at 2:00 AM.
“We couldn’t be happier with this past weekend’s CounterPoint,” said Jonathan Fordin, Partner of MCP Presents. “Even with the Sunday rain, the feedback from our fans has been incredible and exciting to say the least!! We know what we did right, from sound to space, we know where we need to make some changes and we will work over the next year to make this an even better experience for all moving forward.”
Here’s some additional critical feedback on CounterPoint 2014:
“OutKast's epic run of festival dates brought them back to their home state this past weekend, for a headlining slot at Georgia's CounterPoint Music Festival. As Consequence of Sound points out, the reunited ATLiens played the exact same set as they did during Coachella's second weekend, but with one noteworthy wrinkle: Future-funk empress Janelle Monáe danced onstage while André 3000 performed ‘Hey Ya!,’ the deathless crossover hit from 2003's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.”
“…under a feverish swirl of spotlights and in front of a silhouette of an American flag, Big Boi and Andre 3000 took but a few seconds to slip into a groove that belied their near-decade apart…even those fans crammed in the back of the massive sea of people could feel how much Big Boi and Andre 3000 enjoyed performing for people who understood their stories about their early days of perfecting their raps while circling a table at Big Boi’s aunt’s kitchen in Atlanta…it was again apparent at how revolutionary Outkast has been in the 20 years since its debut, ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.’”
--ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION.COM/ACCESSATLANTA.COM, 4-28
“The music sounded crisp, the four performance stages were easy to navigate and the Friday night lineup spotlighted an agreeable mixture of EDM (Pretty Lights), hip-hop (Green Lantern) and indie rock (Matt & Kim)…
--ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION.COM/ACCESSATLANTA.COM, 4-28
“…the majority of festival attendees who turned the snaking car line into an opportunity to play football or bulls**t with their neighbors. That merry spirit carried over into the second year fest where organizers have efficiently set up CounterPoint like a baby Coachella of the southeast…”
“Music fans are flocking down Biddy Road off of U.S. 411 in Floyd County and back into the natural surroundings of Kingston Downs.”
--ROME NEWS-TRIBUNE/NW GEORGIANEWS.COM, 4-26
“ATLiens landed in the fields of Kingston Downs to witness the return of Outkast. Big Boi and Andre mad magic happen from 11 p.m. on into the night. Fans sang along to every word from every hit to every b-side. Guest appearances by Janelle Monae and Killer Mike brought even more Atlanta flavor to the set. Presented as a homecoming celebration, Outkast at CounterPoint will go down in the history books of live music in Georgia. Late night sets from Flux Pavilion and Tycho kept fans busy until 2 in the morning...it was the opportunity to have one last party before heading back to normal life the next morning.”
“As camp sites are still being packed up and production teams are tearing down the Blu Freedom, Hillside, Steeple, Underground and Silent Disco stages, the whole picture is coming together of what a milestone festival CounterPoint 2014 was in so many different regards. There was so much about CP14 that felt like Atlanta. From the eclectic line-up to the great food and southern hospitality that pervaded the camp grounds…”
“While in a different location this year than the original fest, CounterPoint 2k12 set the standard for music festivals in Georgia. The heavily EDM line-up from two years ago has translated to CP14, but keeping with the tradition, the artist list is widely diverse. Where can you check out trap music, dubstep, indie pop and chillwave on one festival ground? Right here y’all!’...Festival conflicts are always a difficult experience. The struggle is real real…to get the full festival experience, you have to be prepared to deal with just a little sleep deprivation. Music doesn’t stop at midnight here in Kingston Downs. Krewella and Boys Noize played on opposite stages until 2 a.m. and the crowed stayed up to party with them. Not ready to turn down at 2? No worries! CounterPoint has you covered with the silent disco. A stage that opens up at midnight and doesn’t shut down until 5 a.m. where you grab a set of wireless headphones and rage (silently) with a few thousand of your closest friends.”
“Outkast Delivers Killer Performance at CounterPoint Music Festival…April 26th, 2014 marked the 20th Anniversary of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Outkast’s debut album. What better way to celebrate than by performing for a sea of fanatics in the duo’s home state of Georgia. Their performance at CounterPoint Music Festival quickly…reinstated the veterans as one of the best Hip Hop groups to hit the stage. Outkast didn’t miss a beat and neither did the fans as we found ourselves creating cypher circles with fellow fanatics we had never met but were suddenly kindred spirits as we recited every lyric to every song while reminiscing mentally on how that was once the soundtrack of our lives growing up in Atlanta…Welcome back Big Boi and 3000. More importantly, welcome home.”
“This weekend, we had the pleasure of attending what will undoubtedly go down as a LEGENDARY festival. Counterpoint 2014 in Kingston Downs, GA did not disappoint whatsoever. The 3-day festival was highlighted by the return of Outkast to Georgia and the 20th anniversary of their debut album! “Over 60 artists were in attendance, with well over 20,000 people each day all unifying over bass pounding EDM, soulful R&B, and hard hitting lyrics…The festival grounds were absolutely humongous. It felt like we were in a secluded city. The excitement was palpable as we walked through the parking/camping grounds. Friday night was highlighted by the likes of Pretty Lights, Krewella, SchoolBoy Q, and Rich Homie Quan...With Outkast’s 20th anniversary celebrated over the weekend, and a great collections of artists and performances, I realized I just watched something special.”
“This past weekend (April 25-27, 2014) tens of thousands of young music lovers abandoned Atlanta’s bustling city life to travel to a more serene atmosphere in Kingston Downs, GA to experience Counter Point Music Festival featuring four stages offering a mix of indie, rock, hip-hop and electric soul performances…There was something for everyone, with music performances going on simultaneously, on the go hot eats, art tents, a cracker jack’d dunking booth, bed head hair styling tent and a colorful ferris wheel in the middle of the venue.”
“Over the weekend, thousands of fans came together at Kingston Downs in Rome, Georgia for the annual CounterPoint Music Festival. The three-day festival featured more than four stages and over 50 artists including Pretty Lights, Major Lazer, Flux Pavilion, A-Trak, Above & Beyond, and Krewella. If you were lucky enough to attend, you were treated with a beautiful outdoor venue and some absolutely incredible performances.”
“Every music festival is different and is known for different things, and CounterPoint 2014 certainly was no exception to that rule. This year's version was filled with what I'll just describe as an ‘eclectic’ mix of ravers, wompers, wookies, hipsters, and, of course, ATLiens…”
“Just when I thought CounterPoint couldn’t top itself from its introduction a year + a half ago, there it goes exceeding expectations. The second time around, the festival switched up locations providing more space for upgraded stages, restaurant style food options (chicken pesto sandwich anyone?), + even some psychedelic hammocks for people to take a load off between sets. With acts ranging from J. Cole to Tourist to Foster the People, nearly every genre was represented for everyone to enjoy.”
On the art side, the goal with the CounterPoint art installations was tonot only enhance the natural beauty of the festival site, but to also serve as an interactive, creative experience for the participating artists as well as the festival-goers. The Heineken House--a multi-sensory experience featuring a Live Art Pyramid as its core --served as the center point of the festival’s art scene.
CounterPoint also teamed up with Front Gate Tickets--one of the world’s leading providers of turnkey, end-to-end ticketing, fulfillment, marketing and RFID wristband solutions--to debut Front Gate Tickets’ brand new service, called “FestiPay.” The service allows music fans to gain instant access to the festival site, as well as the ability to buy drinks, food and other necessities with a quick tap of their pre-registered wristband. Beyond reducing wait times at concession stands, “FestiPay” provides a number of benefits to both fans and festival promoters. Fans have the convenience and added safety of leaving cash and credit cards off-site, which is particularly relevant for camping festivals. And “FestiPay” gives promoters better insight into the purchasing habits of fans, empowering them to offer more of what they want on festival grounds.
The festival featured extensive camping options, the Georgia Eats Food Court, bars throughout the festival site (including the Point Draught House, presented by Bell's Brewery), the CounterPoint Cares Non Profit Center, carnival rides, the CounterPoint Arts Village, the official CounterPoint Merch Store, and the CounterPoint Game Point. CounterPoint also had a strong greening initiative, with free water stations throughout the grounds. Attendees filled their own bottles, saving more than 65,000 plastic bottles of water over the festival weekend.