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CounterPoint Festival ready to make its mark in Atlanta

CounterPoint organizers Jonathan Fordin (left) and Brett Keber take a ride about the festival site. Photo: Hyosub Shin/AJC

CounterPoint organizers Jonathan Fordin (left) and Brett Keber take a ride about the festival site. Photo: Hyosub Shin/AJC

Five years ago, Jonathan Fordin and Brett Keber had a vision – to bring a high-level music festival to 350 acres of sprawling property about 20 minutes south of downtown Atlanta with the Chattahoochee River as the backdrop.

The lineup for what was dubbed the Echo Project was stellar. The Killers, The Roots, Flaming Lips, The Avett Brothers, Common, Phil Lesh.

The turnout was not.

This weekend, Fordin and Keber, both Atlantans, are back on the land for the three-day CounterPoint Festival, a massive collection of more than 75 of some of the top names (Skrillex, Pretty Lights) and fledgling stars in the electronic dance genre, with a little hip-hop (Big Boi, Wale) thrown in.

“In 2006, no one saw the economy crashing, so when it was time to put the puzzle [of Echo Project] on the table, we took a big financial hit,” Fordin said. “In 2010 we decided it was time to start working on it again, and with the booming electronic scene with festivals like the Electric Daisy Carnival [in Las Vegas], it seemed like the right move to bring to Atlanta. We said, ‘It’s a unique market,’ and we knew this scene was exploding right now.”

Fordin and Keber are the founders of MCP Presents, a production, promotion and management company that specializes in large scale music festivals and events. They’ve partnered with C3 Presents, the team responsible for staging Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits Music Festival, to bring CounterPoint to the city.

“Not any other event in America is doing this, having the city vibe but being on remote property,” Fordin said.

Along with hours and hours of music, CounterPoint is also positioning itself as a traditional outdoor festival with art displays, a Ferris wheel, rock climbing walls and slew of local breweries and restaurants on site.

But it’s really the music, aimed at an 18-30 demo, which will set the tone for what Fordin and Keber plan to make an annual event, even though they might tweak the musical direction.

“The show is supposed to go with the times,” Fordin said. “If mainstream music is all banjos 10 years from now, then we’ll have what is mainstream.”

Ten.Sense (born Jake Deimler), an Atlanta producer/DJ with a residency at Buckhead’s Havana Club, is one of 24 DJs performing in the Silent Disco, an area where the crowd is given headphones and can choose to listen to one of two DJs on stage. Ten.Sense will share the stage with fellow Atlantan Ira G.

Atlanta producer/DJ Ten.Sense will perform at the Silent Disco Friday night. Photo: @335mm

Atlanta producer/DJ Ten.Sense will perform at the Silent Disco Friday night. Photo: @335mm

Ten.Sense is humbled by his inclusion at the festival, joking that, “it’s all a little surreal.”

But he’s also thrilled to have a 90-minute set on Friday, where he will live mix a mashup that takes several days to prepare.

“I really worry about the sounds and the tone and the overall story. For me it has to flow,” he said. “There has to be a beginning, middle and end. I focus on the sounds and the words and the samples.”

Ten.Sense also said that he thinks the timing is right for CounterPoint to be in Atlanta.

“Electronic music is in the middle of changing. There are a few genres like ‘moombahton,’ a fusion of funk, jazz, glitch-hop, hip-hop and techno and ‘trap music,’ which is associated with Atlanta, is coming back,” he said. “All of these things are coming from this region.”

Fordin and Keber have a 10-year permit to use the property and intend to stage CounterPoint on the site every fall.

“We don’t expect it to go anywhere for a long time,” Keber said. “This will be its home and launching point and allow us to develop the integrity of the brand.”

Added Fordin, “We’re here to stay.”

CounterPoint Festival

Artists include: Trench, Adventure Club, Beats Antique, Run DMT (Thursday); Atmosphere, Crystal Castles, M83, AVICII, Bassnectar, Alesso (Friday); Big Boi, Wale, Pretty Lights, Skrillex, Porter Robinson (Saturday).

Opens: 2 p.m. Thursday with final show 12:50 a.m. Sunday. Camping opens 10 a.m. Thursday and closes noon Sunday. This is an 18 and older event.

Tickets (no ticket fees): Single day GA $59 (Thursday), $89 (Friday) and $89 (Saturday). Single day VIP $169 per day Friday and Saturday. Three-day GA $185.

Location: Along the Chattahoochee River, about 15 miles west of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport near Campbellton. For driving directions, visit

Parking: Free on site. Camping fee is $15.

Shuttles: Depart from Sheraton Atlanta Hotel (165 Courtland St., N.E.) at 4 and 6:40 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Return from festival at 12:15 a.m. Friday and 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Info: 1-888-512-7469,

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

23 comments Add your comment

david c

September 26th, 2012
7:49 am

Two more promoters who don’t give a damn about music. “Let’s see, here is the flavor of the month. The kids’ll eat it up and we’ll make money!”


September 26th, 2012
9:02 am

$185 to listen to a DJ? I don`t think so.


September 26th, 2012
9:59 am

its not just one dj theres like 75 different djs playing in the 3 days


September 26th, 2012
10:21 am

This thing is going to be amazing, finally something that caters to the EDM fans in Atlanta!

Veruca Salt

September 26th, 2012
11:15 am

How can you even remotely entertain the idea that Meat Camp Productions doesn’t care about the music? That’s insane. Have you ever been to one of their festivals? They only do this because of how much they LOVE the music.

Average ticket prices for the artists individually:
Bassnectar: $33.42
Skrillex: $36.01
Pretty Lights: $31.74
AVICII: $41.56
Ghostland Observatory: $31.92
Zeds Dead: $23.74

If you only go see these 6 artists, you will get more than your money’s worth. This is an excellent deal and the festival is going to be done right. No overflowing port-o-lets, overpriced food or passed out wooks!!! :-)


September 26th, 2012
12:11 pm


September 26, 2012 Headlines | TalkGA

September 26th, 2012
12:24 pm

[...] Counterpoint Music Festival: Its Coming. Tagged with Boy Scouts of America Casey Cagle cello Counterpoint french horn North Georgia State Fair Public Service Commission Scary Movie 5 Steve Oppenheimer ← Previous [...]


September 26th, 2012
12:29 pm

M83 is worth the price of admission for Friday alone

JCB in Dunwoody

September 26th, 2012
1:02 pm

Howza bout a big fat Bauhaus reunion, guys?


September 26th, 2012
1:12 pm

Everybody check out Ninja Flash @ counterpoint. ATL’s best DJ.


September 26th, 2012
3:14 pm

@skydog good! Keep your cheap ass at home! We don’t need any Debbie-downers at the show whining about everything.


September 26th, 2012
3:43 pm

Stokeswood will be there, and they will be live, go have fun! Skydog will miss all the great shows…

huge fan

September 27th, 2012
9:45 am

Check out PVilla too! He is amazing!

rooks v. wooks

September 27th, 2012
10:53 am

@Veruca Salt: not only will you get passed out wooks, since they are the roaches of the festi world and will find a way, you’ll also get dehydrated and drugged out 16 year olds dropping like flies.

who got my glostix and heady h20?!


September 27th, 2012
8:27 pm

To book any of these great artists for your next event, contact the pros at East Coast Entertainment, home of the 100% markup. East Coast Entertainment, where the music is just as nice at twice the price!

EDM News Roundup: Week of September 28

September 28th, 2012
12:07 am

[...] Festival began in Seattle on Wednesday and continues through Sunday. While not as long-running, the CounterPoint Festival is the first of its kind in Atlanta, bringing together bigger names with independent acts and some [...]

[...] from Bonnaroo, that they wanted to make sure they got to town in plenty of time to get to the three-day EDM festival on a 350-acre piece of land about 20 miles south of downtown Atlanta. Ashley Francis and Daniel Sydney came to Atlanta from [...]


September 28th, 2012
9:35 am

Does anyone know if the property the festival is held on is private or public, like a state park? And if so what it is called?? Thanks


September 30th, 2012
12:00 am

YOU HAVE GOT to be kidding me….$185, 3-day pass? $640—Platinum VIP—to stand in a Grass Filed, listen to house, dub-step—stuff belongs in a 300-person club? FFS…..boys gotta dream though…


September 30th, 2012
2:41 pm

this was so amazing!!7!! sincerely, even a TOOL junkie


October 1st, 2012
2:39 am

It is kinda disappointing that the promoters are not actually people who care about the electronc music scene, but rather ones who want to fill their wallets. What should i expect though? this is america.


October 1st, 2012
7:07 pm

The festival was awesome! and turned out amazing!! so glad I went, and am anxious for one next year!

Joe Joe

October 2nd, 2012
9:43 am

I loved IT!!!!! Got my grove on to ice ice baby