Festival Preview: Shaky Knees is Leaving me with Some Shaky Knees

by Alex Melnick
Arts & Life Editor

This semester seems like it’s lasting forever. From snow days to floods, the weather’s been booty and the sunny days are few and far in between. I know I’ve been counting down the days until summer, waiting anxiously to see what the season will bring. Millsaps College’s spring 2015 semester ends May 6, and most of you probably want to just go home or perhaps hang around Jackson for a while and get a head start on your summer. That’s lame. Don’t be Printlame.

Instead, consider going to a music festival like Shaky Knees to kick off your summer. Shaky Knees, taking place May 8-10 this year, is a fairly new festival located in Atlanta, Georgia.The festival is unique for also having “late night shows” after the regular schedule ends for the day, taking place in various Atlanta show venues. The proceeds from these shows partly benefit the non-profit “Songs for Kids Foundation,” which matches famous musicians to children who face severe illness or hardship. (This is the real deal—a cursory glance through the Songs for Kids’ webpage reveals photo galleries of fun. band member Jack Antonoff, the band sfk-main-logo-BLUE_PINK_YELLOW_WHITEBelle & Sebastian, and Janelle Monae all hanging out and making music with children.)

Look at it this way: if you don’t go to Shaky Knees, I’m not saying you hate happiness or children. It just looks like you hate happiness and children, since you refused to buy tickets to an awesome event that helps sick kids.

Shaky Knees is not a camping festival, but is conveniently located in a city that has a host of airbnbs and affordable hotels. (My partner and I are looking into booking an airbnb house—stay tuned for the ridiculous stories that this will undoubtedly bring to the Purple & White.)  Located in Central Park, Atlanta, Shaky Knees promises fun in the sun from noon to 11 p.m. every day for three days. There will also be foodtrucks, which is a main requirement for my music festivals.

But the reason I am so passionate (read: frighteningly intense) about attending this festival is the lineup. I’ve been going to music festivals since I was 16 (I have no idea why my parents thought this was an okay idea), and never before have I seen such an outstanding lineup. There’s something for everyone, from indie legends Neutral Milk Hotel (peep them in Jackson May 1!) to the Pixies, Mastodon, and Brand New, just to name a few acts. Old Crow Medicine Show of “Wagon Wheel” fame will be playing, so obviously no self-respecting southerner can miss that, and in addition, Trombone Shorty will be there. Where else can you see Trombone Shorty and then the Kooks or Best Coast at the same festival? Shaky Knees, that’s where.

Over the course of the semester, I’ll be blasting you guys with artist interviews, how-to tutorials, and a showcase of faculty picking their favorite songs and acts from the Shaky Knees lineup. It’s going to be great, and you’re going to love it. Since one small Arts & Life editor cannot convince a campus alone of the worthiness of this festival, I’ve included a few playlists in this article to more fully explain why you (yes, you) will be driving six hours and paying $200 to attend this festival.