Music lovers rejoice! It is almost your favorite time of the year; festival season. Many of us have been counting down the days till we are finished pulling all-nighters, attending lectures and arguing who should make the Google doc for group projects.
With the end of the school year comes summers filled with friends, family, food and music. Last summer I attended four music festivals so you can say I have some experience when it comes to concert festivals. Regardless of your music preference, there is no better place to be this summer than Chicago. A wide variety of performances will be stopping by the windy city and captivating audiences at one of many premier music festivals in the area. So that being said, here is a guide to the best music festivals in Chicago for college students and young adults.
Spring Awakening – Soldier Field/ June 13-15
• When it comes to EDM lineups no other festival in the Midwest can match Spring Awakening. And when it comes to venues, Soldier Field is hard to beat. Before people could only dream of stepping foot on Soldier Field. Now, you and 100,000 other EDM lovers can rage to some of the world’s biggest DJ’s on the same field the Bears play. Diplo, Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Kaskade, Tiesto and Knife Party headline this year’s event.
Pitchfork - Union Park/ July 18-20
• Pitchfork has always been know for having a lineup filled with up and coming indie artists, but this year they have really stepped their game up. If you live and breathe hip-hop this is the year to go. This year’s festival added the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, the Death Grips, Schoolboy Q and many more.
Lollapalooza – Grant Park/ Aug 1-3
• Lollapalooza is Chicago’s premier festival and is also one of the most
recognized in the world. Lolla boasts the most diverse lineup of any Chicago festival and consistent manages to book the biggest names. The headliners for the 2014 edition are Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, Artic Monkeys, Skrillex and Calvin Harris. In addition to those names acts such as Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Foster the People, Zedd and Nas will also be in attendance. This is one of the best Lolla lineups in years. 3-Day passes for the concert sold out in under an hour and I was one of the unfortunate souls who was left idle on the standby page and ultimately missing out on my chance to go all three days.
North Coast - Union Park/ Aug 29-31
• This Labor Day weekend music is a great way to end off your summer. North Coast artists span numerous genres including hip-hop, electronic, indie, and rock and roll. North Coast is constantly expanding and I was actually in attendance for the first one in 2010. Back then there were only two stages. Now, you have to map out your day to make sure you don’t miss anything walking to the various stages. Last year Passion Pit, Wu-Tang clan, Afrojack, Mac Miller and Nas were just some of the headliners. If last years lineup is any indicator of what is in store this year, we should all be pretty pumped.
Coincidentally, Pitchfork and North Coast are both held in Union Park, which could bring back old memories and a little bit of deja vu attend both.
Riot Fest – TBA/ Sept 12-14
• Not really a fan of either hip-hop or electronic music? Riot Fest might be for you. Riot Fest is the perfect combination of independent and mainstream rock and roll, punk rock and indie music. Last year, the festival held in Humbolt Park featured bands such as Blink-182, The Replacements, Fall Out Boy, Motorhead, AFI, All Time Low, Blondie, Taking Back Sunday, Sublime with Rome and Rancid just to name a few. The teenage version of you would have pass out if they saw a lineup like that and would spend all of their birthday and Christmas money on a 3 day pass. This year’s lineup has not been released yet but the promoters for Riot Fest rarely disappoint.
Even if you are only able to attend just one festival this year, I can guarantee that you will leave with a ton of crazy stories that will top off your summer.