Shaky Knees

Shaky Knees 101: FAQ, Where Is It, When Is it, How much

Event Track / Shaky Knees / Planning Guides / Shaky Knees 101: FAQ, Where Is It, When Is it, How much

Article Summary

  • Shaky Knees is a music festival that occurs in Central Park Park in Atlanta, GA every May
  • The lineup and ticket sale generally occur in early January, but there is a presale in December that let's you snag tickets on the cheap before the lineup comes out
  • The festival typically features mostly indie and alternative rock music
  • Staying in the Atlanta area makes getting to the festival easiest, but you can stay outside the city and take the train in or drive yourself
  • Atlanta is hot and humid so dress appropriately and be prepared to sweat

Music, good Atlanta food trucks, and a solid alcohol selection – what’s not to love about Shaky Knees? Whether you are thinking about going to Shaky Knees for the first time or you actually are going this is the place to start.  Our Shaky Knees 101 article has all the general information about the festival; everything you need to know to begin for your Shaky Knees journey.  It will go over all the basic questions one can have about going to Shaky Knees. 

What is Shaky Knees?

Shaky Knees Music Festival is a music festival held in Atlanta, CA every May.  It takes place in Central Park Park, near downtown Atlanta.  The festival has grown from humble origins in 2013 when it had only about 30 musical artists to a fairly large music festival that attracts the biggest names in rock.  The festival features nearly exclusively alternative and indie rock. As many festivals trend towards more EDM, Shaky Knees stays true to its roots and keeps bringing in the biggest names in rock. Looking for EDM? Check out their sister festival Shaky Beats!

Why is Shaky Knees popular?

Shaky Knees has really grown over the past few years for a few reasons.  The lineups are pretty awesome and they usually grab some unique artists.  A lot of acts do the festival tour and all play the same festivals, Shaky Knees usually grabs some big name artists that only play Shaky Knees or a few other festivals.  Shaky Knees also has really awesome food – the festival brings in some of the most popular food trucks from not just Atlanta, but also the South. Some food trucks come from as far as South Carolina.  Lastly, taking place inside the city of Atlanta is awesome.  Compared to other festivals you have a lot of lodging options, and its generally pretty easy to get to the festival. If you stay anywhere near the downtown area you are going to have no problem getting to Shaky Knees. It's also fairly inexpensive compared to most festivals. For example, in 2018 Shaky Knees presale passes could be had for just $159 for all three days.

Where exactly does Shaky Knees take place?

Shaky Knees takes place inside Central Park Park in the city of Atlanta, GA.  The exact location of the festival is 400 Merritts Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308. In years past Shaky Knees was held at Centennial Park, but made the switch to Central Park in 2018.

When is Shaky Knees?

Typically the festival is either the first or second weekend in May.  It can vary slightly but Shaky Knees has been fairly consistent with its dates. For example, in 2018 Shaky Knees will take place from May 4-6.

When do tickets for Shaky Knees go on sale?

Like many music festivals Shaky Knees sells tickets at two different time periods: there is a presale/advanced sale and there is a general sale. Let’s go over the early bird sale first. Shaky Knees gives you an opportunity to purchase tickets in advanced at a nice discount each year. Typically held in December, Shaky Knees has an early bird / presale for people willing to purchase passes before the lineup is released in January. You should sign up for their newsletter (or ours above) and you will get an email on when exactly the presale is happening. For Shaky Knees 2018 the early bird launched on December 6th, 2017. Typically Shaky Knees early bird will sell out, even the VIP most years. This is the cheapest opportunity all year to purchase Shaky Knees tickets, so if you definitely are going this is when you want to purchase passes. You can even use the payment plan at this time, so it’s a great time to snag those Shaky Knees wristbands.

Tickets for Shaky Knees general sale typically go on sale in mid January.  For example, for 2017 Shaky Knees tickets went on sale on January 10th. You can sign up for a newsletter on the official Shaky Knees website or like them on Facebook to get automatic updates. While the early bird sale passes will sell out fairly quickly, the general sale doesn’t sell out for awhile, if at all. Thus if you want early bird you need to be on top of it, but if you are going with the general sale you can wait a bit.

How much do Shaky Knees tickets cost?

Like most festivals, Shaky Knees has a few different tiers of tickets.  There is an early bird sale offering where you can get the tickets at their lowest price of $159 plus the additional processing fees.  Once the early bird passes for Shaky Knees sellout you will need to buy the standard general admission passes.  For 2017 the general admission passes are $185 plus fees.

Does Shaky Knees sell out?

Not really – there is a risk as the festival becomes more popular that it will sell out, but right now it is a low sellout risk. Passes go on sale in January and I would say you should pretty safe until about April for the passes not selling out. Clearly this could change year to year if Shaky Knees comes out with a monster lineup, but generally it doesn’t sell out.

Shaky Knees Layaway Plan 

Does Shaky Knees offer a payment plan?

Yes, Shaky Knees offers a payment plan assuming you purchase before February 10th.  The payment plan breaks down the passes to three payments, whether you purchase general admission passes or VIP passes for Shaky Knees.  On the day you make your purchase you will owe 40% of the Shaky Knees passes costs.  Then on February 10th and March 10th you will owe the remaining 30% of the passes.

When does the Shaky Knees lineup get announced?

Perhaps the most anticipated date of the year for Shaky Knees fans is the announcement of the lineup.  Shaky Knees generally announces their lineup in early January.  This is a popular time for festival fans as Shaky Knees, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Governors Ball and other festivals all release their lineups in this early January timeframe. Shaky Knees is usually one of the earlier festivals to release their lineup.  For example, in 2017 Shaky Knees released their lineup on January 10th.  Below you can see the dates Shaky Knees has released their lineups the last few years.


Day of Lineup Announcement


January 15th   


January 14th  


January 11th


January 10th

Shaky Knees Map

How is Shaky Knees set up?

The map above is a couple years old but the festival follows the same general setup each year.  Inside the park are multiple stages with everything you need setup in between.  There are plenty of places to grab food or an adult beverage throughout the festival.  The main entrance into the park is on west side near Pine Street.

How do I get to Shaky Knees?

My advice would be to stay in Downtown Atlanta. This way you can walk or bike easily to Shaky Knees. If you stay far away you can easily take the train to downtown and walk from there. However, I find it just easier to stay near downtown as this really cuts down on your transportation time.

Where should I stay for Shaky Knees?

This is a personal choice.  If you can afford it staying within the city of Atlanta that would be the ideal option for Shaky Knees.  You can not only enjoy all the festivities of the city, but it also makes it easier to take advantage of the public transportation.  Of course you can still stay in the surrounding areas of Atlanta, you will just have a longer trek to Shaky Knees.  Of course you can get all of your Shaky Knees hotel needs at our Shaky Knees page at our Shaky Knees Hotel page. We also have written a full article on where to stay in Atlanta for Shaky Knees.

Can I camp at Shaky Knees?

No, there is no camping at Centennial Park for Shaky Knees. 

What hours does Shaky Knees run?

The festival gates will open at 11:30 with the music beginning at 11:45 am. Shaky Knees will run until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday night. On Sunday night Shaky Knees ends a little earlier at 10 pm.

When does Shaky Knees announce set times?

One of the most anticipated things once the lineup is announced are the set times.  Some festivals, such as Coachella or EDC, wait until a couple of days before the festival to release the set times.  Shaky Knees is a lot better than this as they typically give you the set times about three weeks in advance.  For example, in 2016 the set times were released on April 14th and the festival began the second week of May.  This at least gives you plenty of time to figure out who you want to see at Shaky Knees.

How long does each artist play?

This varies a bit but artists on the lower lines usually get about 40 to 50 minutes.  Headliners will get about two hours to perform.  You can see a sample schedule from last year below.

Shaky Knees Set Times

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