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18 June 2018

Imagine Festival Organizers Reflect on Five Years of Challenges & Success

Five years ago, a rebooted Music Midtown gradually found its legs again. Rome, Georgia hosted CounterPoint at Kingston Downs for the first time.  And Tomorrowworld, the three-day event that took over CounterPoint's former home in Chattahoochee Hills, was the hottest ticket in town for electronic music fans.

(Tickets are on sale now for Imagine Music Festival.
Visit www.imaginefestival.com for details. Image Credit: Imagine Festival
)
Against that backdrop, Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand organized the inaugural Imagine Music Festival at Atlanta's Historic Fourth Ward Park. They lost money.

Those initial struggles did not deter the husband-wife duo. They learned from them instead.

"You never can stop learning," Glenn Goodhand said.

Now, as the Goodhands prepare for Imagine's fifth edition, the festival once seen as a mid-card act to larger shows is the big dog in town.

2018 marks the third straight year that Grammy Award-nominated artists booked their ticket to Imagine. Armin van Buuren, Kaskade and Paul Oakenfold --all past contenders for the recording industry's highest honors-- headline a slate that also features several local and regional acts like Midnite Panda and Reliquary.

Still, challenges remain. Glenn Goodhand agrees, especially when it comes to setting Imagine apart from an already crowded festival landscape.

"There are amazing events all across the country, but after a while, the lineups blur together, and it is hard to recall who is doing what," Goodhand said. "I think we distinguish ourselves from other events by not being a carbon copy of everything else that is out there, including previous versions of Imagine."

Goodhand and wife, Madeleine, often visit other festivals and clubs for inspiration.

They'll see something new and exciting they believe might fit with their event. The idea gets handed over to the production team, who then implements it in a way that is uniquely Imagine.

The festival's production team also plays a hand in observing the sound quality and sound levels.

Noise complaints often come from residents living near large entertainment venues. Music Midtown received a lot of them two years ago. Imagine Music Festival is no stranger to those concerns either.

Dustin Bixby, Atlanta Motor Speedway Director of Marketing and Promotions, said in a 2016 interview that the Henry County racetrack passed along community feedback to Imagine organizers.

Goodhand says Imagine provides a direct line of contact to nearby neighbors.

"We work with Atlanta Motor Speedway to send out regular communication to the community surrounding the speedway," Goodhand said. "This starts with actual postcard mailings alerting them to the event and continues with digital communication up to and through the event.

"Our onsite production team is constantly monitoring the sound levels to make sure we are staying within the acceptable range and are respectful of the community."

The fact that Imagine remains open, even as CounterPoint and Tomorrowworld both closed their doors, proves that Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand take lessons from every situation. Georgia's festival scene has changed. Imagine changed with it.

"Just when you think you’ve experienced every challenge and seen every success, a new one will come along that keeps you on your toes," Goodhand said. "Having a solid team around us has helped us take on these challenges and celebrate these successes in a way that will position Imagine for the next five years."