Heading to Shaky Knees for the first time? First, I suggest you read our Shaky Knees 101 page, which goes over all the basic information you need to know about Shaky Knees. This article isn’t going to go over the same, generic information about Shaky Knees. This is our insider tips page, things I wish I had known before going to Shaky Knees for the first time. Think of this as passing information/pro tips to the next generation of Shaky Knees first timers. I hope after reading this and our Shaky Knees 101 article you are absolutely, positively 100% ready to head off to Shaky Knees and have a blast.
I strongly suggest booking in either downtown or midtown Atlanta. We have a full guide on where to book an Atlanta hotel, which goes over all the details. The short version is if you stay in either of these locations you can use the MARTA (public transportation) to get to Shaky Knees no problem. There will also be lots of restaurants and bars around you, so even if it is a bit pricier I would recommend staying in one of these areas to make your Shaky Knees weekend awesome.
I’m not saying it definitely will have crappy weather, but you definitely shouldn’t be shocked by it. Summertime in Atlanta is notorious for major weather shifts. It can go from being sunny to a thunderstorm quite quickly so go to Shaky Knees prepared. If you go in expecting it it’s a lot easier to deal with. Bring some sunblock and a camelback to stay hydrated in case it’s sweltering out and also a poncho in case it is down pouring. There are limited stages that have shade, so don’t expect to find a lot of coverage from the rain. You can rent a locker and store your stuff for the day so you don’t need to carry it around.
Yes, eating at festivals is expensive and overpriced. Shaky Knees makes it worth it though by bringing some of the best food and food trucks from not just Atlanta, but the entire South. Shaky Knees brings in food from as far away as South Carolina so be sure to try out some of the great food at Shaky Knees.
They post good stuff like where official after parties will be held in the city, don’t miss out. It's also a great way to get notifications when tickets go on sale, when the food vendors are released, etc.
Like everything in Atlanta, Shaky Knees can become quite crowded. Thus, if you really, really want to see a particular act you are going to need to show up at the act before (or two acts) before that act. For example, if you really wanted to see an act at the main stage at 9 p.m. you likely need to show up to the Main Stage for the act going on at 8 at the latest. After each act a good amount of people leave so you will be able to move up. Don’t expect to even be able to show up a half hour before a big act at Shaky Knees and get a spot, let alone a good one. If you don’t really care about securing a good spot this isn’t as big of a deal, but if you do have a favorite artist there be sure to go early!
Shaky Knees ends at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night. If you want to keep the party going after Shaky Knees you could check out one of their late night shows. Each year Shaky Knees puts on additional shows throughout the Atlanta area. Typically these shows are $20-$30 (not included in your Shaky Knees passes) and take place throughout the city. These shows feature Shaky Knees artists and offer a great opportunity to see an act you missed because of a conflict, or to see your favorite act again. Check out the Shaky Knees 2017 late night parties here.
Like most festivals Shaky Knees provides free water for festivalgoers. Be a cool guy and support the environment by bringing your own bottle to fill up daily. You can also bring a camelbak instead of a water bottle. I actually suggest going this route as you will have more time at the shows and less time refilling your water supply.
Even if there are no music acts you want to see early in the day you should still check out Shaky Knees early a couple days. Use this time to get acquainted with the festival grounds and check out some of the activities they have set up around the festival. You also never know what bands you may discover – check out someone you hadn’t listened to before. It’s nice being at Shaky Knees early as it’s not so crowded and you can move around very easily.
I used to not get a locker to save some money, but once I got one I won’t go back. It’s just nice to have a place to stash your stuff for the day, or even throw your sunglasses in at night. As I mentioned before it’s also really nice to store a poncho just in case it floods.
Check the weather before you go and be sure to dress properly for the temperature. It could be in the 70s or in the upper 90s in Atlanta. Also wear comfortable shoes! This is my biggest wardrobe tip. You are on your feet a lot at Shaky Knees, so make sure you are comfortable. Also make sure you don’t mind ruining these shoes as they are likely to be in rough shape after Shaky Knees.
Unless you like paying 700% rates to sit in traffic do not Uber home from Shaky Knees. Check out our guide on coming and going from Shaky Knees and find a better route home.
Easy to forget when you are partying and having fun but be sure to drink plenty of water! As I already mentioned, Shaky Knees has free water stations setup through the festival so be sure to find time to hydrate. I highly recommend investing in a camelbak if you don’t have one already. If you go to any other festivals or do any outdoor activities like hiking you are sure to use it again. They are fairly inexpensive nowadays and let you spend more time at the stages and less getting water. I can’t recommend these enough, they are great (This is the one I use).
You can fully expect shitty service at Shaky Knees. As your phone struggles for that elusive 1 bar you can expect the battery to get drained really quickly. This makes connecting with your group, calling a Uber, or looking up directions home at the end of the night a real challenge. Having a portable charger or a battery case can be a lifesaver at Shaky Knees. I highly recommend snagging one before you head off to Shaky Knees. This is the one I have had for the iPhone 7, 6/6s, or just a good portable one.
Hopefully after reading this you are feeling ready for Shaky Knees! Follow the tips above and you are sure to have a blast at Shaky Knees, and if you discover any other tips while there be sure to let me know (Contact@EventTrk.com) and I will add it to the list for future generations.