By Theresa Pham
As Chicago’s very own 3 day long EDM only music festival, Spring Awakening draws tens of thousands each year. What might festival promoters React Presents' secret be? To start they get the best and most diverse group of EDM artists and pack them all into five amazing stages, create a super fun yet safe enviroment, takes place at Soldier Field which brought so many nice perks, and most importantly, was more than just waiting for the bass to drop.
Yes there were more fuzzy boots, flower crowns, Native American headresses and scandalously clad people than I could count, and I tried, but that can be expected at any music festival. Spring Awakening was surprisingly less drinkey and less claustrophobic than one would expect. Though the crowds are tight and you are more than likely to accidentally elbow someone while dancing, at no time did this 5' 3" shorty feel suffocated. Also, if you ask nicely, the tall 8 foot GIANT in front of you will be more than happy to let you stand in front of him! ... And if you're even luckier, you'll end up on his shoulders with the absolutely best view ever.
This probably is not a main concern for most, but BATHROOMS at music festivals are absolutely digusting. Glastonbury decided to invest in fancy new odor free portable johns because of the smell. Aside from the music, Spring Awakening's location near downtown, the abundance of clean line free bathrooms and array of water stations is what takes this awesome music festival to the next level.
Speaking of awesome things, I have never been to a music festival where the energy was THAT high nor as high for the entire weekend. Some of my favorites include, A-Trak (whom I saw twice because he was so good!), Tiesto, Midnight Conspiracy, Eric Prydz, Pretty Lights, DIPLO, Paper Diamond, Manic Focus, Milk N Cookies, Tommy Trash, Kaskade, Big Gigantic, Dillion Francis, Steve Aoki, Borgore, Carnage, Datsik, Kap Slap, Nervo, Ookay, and Porn and Chicken.
I also had a chance to catch up with Chicago transplant Manic Focus! Gnarly genuine guy who makes great music. Check out the interview below and make sure to see him live! He is playing a TON of festivals this summer.
The highlight of the entire weekend would have to be a threeway tie between Diplo's set at the Equinox Stage on Saturday, A-Trak's set at The Hangar on Friday, and Dillion Francis' set again at the Equinox Stage on Sunday.
Diplo has this ability to make anyone's hips shake with this music. As the second time I have seen Diplo, I will admit, the Theresa that comes out during his set is a 180 from the Theresa everyone knows. She is completely wild. Diplo has perfected the recipe to making today's hits his own while also engaging with the audience. Even if you are not the biggest fan of EDM, go to Diplo's show is he is in your city. I promise, you will not be disappointed.
The other artist whom I adore at the Equinox Stage was Dillion Francis. Dillion Francis represents the younger generation of dance music and is capable of mixing any genre. He is living proof of the internet's odd way of turning producers into overnight sensations. His following is religious and absolutely adore his humorous alternate personalities such as Rave Dad, Greg, Treva, and DJRichAF.
The Hangar tent was the underdog in my opinion. Most spent their time divided between the Bud Light Platinum Stage and Equinox Stage, but I was pleasantly surprised at how increidble The Hangar tent was. The atmosphere was always perfect and everyone in the tent, regardless of the time, always seemed to be having even more fun than I was.
I have always respected EDM, but never could wrap my head around the Rave community. After this weekend, I get it. Spring Awakening has shown me show enjoyable, friendly and fun EDM shows are and the people who attend.
I cannot wait to see who they bring in next year!