The fifth anniversary of the mega popular Midwest electric music festival Spring Awakening has found its signature groove despite a slew of location setbacks. This year, the festival definitely did not disappoint for its anniversary celebration.
Past Spring Awakening attendees were accustomed to the stadium-size electric mecca at Chicago’s Soldier Field. With the move to the Addams/Medill Park on Chicago’s near west side community, Spring Awakening transformed the grass-laden fields into the best place in Chicago for electronic music.
With over one hundred acts performing this year, attendees were treated to some of the best artists in electronic dance music.
Closing off the first night were some of the biggest recognizable names in electronic music, respectively. Steve Aoki brought his crazy antics and energy filled set to the Windy City, along side with his signature cake throwing. Electronic music bad boy Deadmau5 stole the show though, with his progressive house music anthems and crowd pleasing set. We last saw Deadmau5 in his long awaited return back to Chicago at Reaction NYE.
There were many signature moments from other artists, including Dillon Francis, Borgore, Flux Pavilion, and Jamie XX. Francis later crashed the middle of Deadmau5’s set to add to the already existing friendly melodic environment.
At Spring Awakening, the catchy beats and emotionally charged songs were met with individual fans who, collectively, grooved together. In a closed off space, Spring Awakening was still able to feel more tight knit. The distance between the stages was closer than previous years. This helped festival goers witness all that the Spring Awakening had to offer when it came to visiting each stage, and festival attraction like the Ferris wheel or the large water slide.
Heavy hitters like Chicago’s own Kaskade, and a stable of electronic artists from Carnage, Nicky Romero, A-Track, and ShowTek all took over the second night of Spring Awakening. We also saw numerous memorable moments from the smaller branded stages throughout the three-day festival.
A-Track showcased his champion style of DJing and scratches that seemed nearly impossible. Due to an overheated laptop A-Track’s set was stopped abruptly as he to rallied up the crowd with friendly Chicago banter like not putting ketchup on hot dogs. He later thanked the crowd for not leaving while getting things started again.
With no other notable tech slip ups during the three-day festival, Spring Awakening held its own against the heat. The temperature played a factor during Spring Awakening weekend. With teasing reports of rain, Spring Awakening was prepared for the heavy heat by providing free water filled stations, CTA buses that were used for festival goers to cool off, and three tented stages that provided some much needed shade.
Acts like Above & Beyond, Chainsmokers, and Crystal Castles ended the final night on a high note. The well balanced lineup gave an opportunity for many to enjoy the different types of electronic music.
The final day saw a well-balanced mixture of artist from trap to even traditional house music. House legend Green Velvet had a special set that many festival fans will rave about for years to come. Velvet’s set was filled with throwbacks and classical house jams.
A touching display to note were the moments of silence that both the Chainsmokers and Above and Beyond held for the Orlando victims from the mass shooting that occurred just night before. This was a somber moment that, even during a three-day music festival, reminded its festival goers the human side of the issue.
Ending on a high note, Spring Awakening, despite its rocky first announcements and venue location change, was able to pull off another memorable experience for Chicago’s electronic music scene.