Friday, April 17th to Sunday, April 19th at

Location: Centennial Olympic Park

FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.sweetwater420fest.com/

By Liz and John Attaway

There is nothing more beautiful than the Atlanta Skyline at night with the lights a-glow, while the skywheel floats gracefully clock-wise changing from green to red to blue. What makes it even more wondrous is the unending sea of people covering a large amounts of muddied earth. They all sway in time to the beat, while the rhythmic lights from the stage cast shadows onto that sea of moving people. Just imagine this moment with the skyline in the background, and you stand watching Primus from the side of the stage taking it all in. Epic.

All the grounds were muddied from the Friday night rain, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the 420 festival goers. They seemed more excited and eager than ever before. While we were there, we didn’t even need a rain coat. Well, almost didn’t, and that was a miracle. Experience wise, our favorite was that we got to go through the VIP Big Fish area and Honey Hole and they were both worth every minute. We would highly recommend them to anyone who attends next year! They had everything from discounted food and beer to relaxation tents and a special VIP area to watch the show. On top of that, they had a back-stage platform, where VIP could watch any show from basically the front row. And even better was the VIP walk-way between the Big Fish area and the VIP watching area. You got to walk through the crowd and watch the front row enjoy the music. We got a lot of high fives. It made you feel like a celebrity!  <CELEBRITY ALERT> OR you can actually stand next to a celebrity, like Josh Hutcherson (Peeta in The Hunger Games)! Yes, that happened but we didn’t want to bother him. <CELEBRITY ALERT>

Now for the music. Cage The Elephant was hands down the best show of the weekend with lead singer Matt Shultz’s energy, and the well-known songs like “Shake Me Down.”  Matt couldn’t help contain his excitement to be performing by jumping multiple times on the guitarist Brad Shultz’s back. We’ve seen them before so I wasn’t surprised with how good they were and how much the crowd enjoyed the show. That being said, I wasn’t surprised when Matt jumped into the crowd and sang as he crowd surfed. The crowd went wild.

The Sunday headliner, 311 was that band from late high school and early college that was new, exciting, and different. They remind me of being young and innocent with my whole life ahead of me. They remind me of the people from my past, the old friendships, relationships, and going away to college. Needless to say that, they are a bit nostalgic to me. I don’t think I’ve seen them since 1998 Rock Fest that was held at the Atlanta Horse Park. It was a line-up of late 90’s bands that included Silverchair, The Offspring, and Live. A lot of time has passed since then, but what struck me about 311, was even though they have aged their music is still as fun as I remember. They started the set out with “Beautiful Disaster” and they played a lot of their greatest hits especially my favorite “Down.”  With every song, the crowd erupted with excitement and they seemed to love it and so did we. It was a trip down memory lane.

And like every festival, it must come to an end. With that, Sweetwater 420 Festival winded down and the crowd parted out of the green, iron gates of Centennial Olympic Park. All is quiet there, the stage and grounds are empty. The moon peers through the clouds and looks down on it knowing what a great weekend it was in Atlanta. It knows that all who attended will remember Sweetwater 420 in 2015 fondly and thinking, “until next year.”

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