After it's inaugural happening last year at Historic Soldier Field, Chicago's premier EDM festival Spring Awakening upped the ante and brought down the house for three consecutive days! Fueled by an all star lineup featuring some of EDM's biggest names (Moby, Bassnectar, and Calvin Harris to name a few), Spring Awakening's sophomore year at Soldier Field was an electro-infused party Lollapalooza will have difficulty trumping.
Trentino @ Da Equinox Stage
Three stages surrounded the perimeter of Soldier Field, with a Silent Disco just inside. And the Main Stage, towering over the Bears' playing field, was a destination some people never ventured away from - and with good reason. With performers playing back to back, the music never stopped. No quiet delays with your ears ringing and your body wondering why the hell you stopped dancing - nope, none of that. From Panty Raid poppin' champagne, to Nero's sunset performance, the senses were never left wondering what to do with themselves. And when Moby finally took the stage to close out Day 1, amongst the fireworks, lasers, and thousands of people dancing, those who'd waited all day for this moment had finally arrived in electo-paradise. Moby's set hit a lot harder than I had expected, and to my surprise, managed to top his (what I thought at the time was) epic set at North Coast, last summer. The weekend was off to a great start, with no signs of slowing down.
Bassnectar @ The Main Stage
Mother Nature managed to behave herself for the majority of the weekend, except for the end of Bassnectar's set, Saturday night. But then again, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's down for a little dancing in the rain every now and then. One of the advantages of a festival like Spring Awakening, or say North Coast, is that you get to go home at night. There's no sleeping in tents, waking up in the rain, or any of the sort - which don't get me wrong, is awesome in its own right, but urban festivals like these are a little more inviting to the masses. So when it does rain buckets you can go home, shower, sleep in your own (or at least someone's) bed, coming back the next day fresh, and good to go for another all-nighter.
Fans in the trenches @ The Main Stage
As Sunday rolled around, it seemed as though the crowd continued to grow (probably due to people hearing about how much fun their friends were having). And with over a dozen local artists on Sunday's schedule, local fans (including Jimmy Butler) were turning out to see their favorite hometown heroes. From Red Bull National Thre3Style Champion Trentino, to everyone's favorite dubstep turned radio stars Krewella, Chicago is clearly not just home to some of the industry's best festivals, but most talented rising stars, as well.
Wolfgang Gartner @ The Main Stage
As the sun set Sunday evening, and everyone made their way to the Main Stage inside Soldier Field, it was never more evident how much Spring Awakening had grown in just one year. The field was almost completely covered with fans of all ages, all walks of life - compared to what felt like a crowd half the size last year. We sat down for the first time all weekend to take in the final moments of yet another incredible experience at Spring Awakening. One of the coolest parts of the weekend was right then and there - with spotlights above, fireworks just beyond the stadium, lasers errywhere, and fans holding flashing LED lights all up in the first couple dozen rows. Calvin Harris played a heavy set featuring nearly all of his recent hits, and in between heavy drops we reminisced about the weekend - the eclectic people, stimulating lights, decorative art displays, and, of course, great music that made the weekend so memorable. Spring Awakening is not just an incredible musical experience, but a testament to Chicago's essential role in the electronic movement.
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