Concert promoter Tim Sweetwood staged the first Shaky Knees Music Festival in 2013, and just two years later it grew to over 80 bands performing over three days on five stages in Atlanta’s Central Park. Sweetwood’s success with the rock-oriented Shaky Knees was so strong that he started a second festival in 2015 focused on country music, Shaky Boots Festival, which takes place in Kennesaw north of Atlanta. Both events required a general counsel who could juggle multiple legal challenges simultaneously. Sweetwood turned to Arnall Golden Gregory attorney Matthew Wilson to accomplish the job.
Among the bands that played at Shaky Knees in 2015 were The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, Wilco, Pixies, Social Distortion, and Ryan Adams. The Shaky Boots performers included Blake Shelton, Braid Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Rascall Flatts, Dwight Yoakam, and the Old Crow Medicine Show. The strong lineups drew tens of thousands of music fans, most from outside Atlanta. But before any of the music started, Mr. Wilson worked with the promoter to (1) negotiate and finalize contracts with key participants: venue operators, performers, vendors, staff, security, sponsors, contractors, and more; (2) oversee various production, technology, media, and logistical matters; and (3) provide counsel on a continuing basis to the promoter and his team. Arnall Golden Gregory also advised on tax issues, trademark protection and branding, and regulatory and permitting requirements.
Shaky Knees continues to win accolades for its consistently strong, culturally relevant and cohesive lineups. The influential music blog The Consequence of Sound named Shaky Knees the second best music festival in the country. Importantly, Mr. Sweetwood is often quick to refer to Mr. Wilson as, “first and foremost, my friend, and equally, if not more, important, my lawyer.”