For the first time in its eight-year history, Spring Awakening is moving to the ‘burbs where it can expand the stages and space for the popular weekend, which has become known as the Midwest’s largest electronic music festival.
This year welcomes 90 artists on five stages and will be held June 7-9 in Hoffman Estates at the “Poplar Creek At 59 And 90 Entertainment District” — a dedicated festival site that is adjacent to the Sears Centre Arena and at the former site of the famed Poplar Creek Music Theatre.
The location will offer 27 acres of land (double the capacity of last year’s edition at Addams/Medill Park in Chicago) allowing for more activations, larger productions and plenty of space for hula hoops and flags — both of which are allowed, according to the festival website. Here are more of our tips to make the most of the weekend and 5 acts you can’t miss:
Take Metra: This year’s site location presents a few more challenges, especially if you’re used to riding the CTA to get to the event. Producers have announced that free shuttles will be provided from nearby Metra stations — options include the Union Pacific Northwest station in Barrington and a station in Elgin that’s part of the Milwaukee District West line. Also for the first time, there will be ample parking if you want to drive to Spring Awakening — prices start at $20 for daily parking and $50 for weekend parking.
Don’t bring these items: While Spring Awakening is loose on policies for hula-hoops and flags, there are some curious items they prohibit. In addition to the usual prohibited culprits like no weapons or illegal substances, you’ll also want to leave your Native American headdresses and paint at home (that includes paint markers and spray paint) as well as stuffed animals, dolls and pacifiers. See the longer list of unallowed items at springawakeningfestival.com
Look out for after shows: Like most festivals, Spring Awakening will also present a series of after parties to keep the music pumping well into the night and after festival doors close at 10 pm. Check out the list of shows here.
Catch these acts: Here are five of our top picks for not-to-miss sets at Spring Awakening:
After being discovered by electronic heavyweight Skrillex, this Canadian talent was signed to deadmau5’s Mau5trap label, which has supported her dark, moody beats that become almost cinematic at times (her latest singles “Witching Hour” and “Hex” would be perfect for horror movies). Rezz also brings much needed diversity to the field of EDM as a Persian-Ukrainian woman.
If electronic music makes you feel this close to heaven, Space Jesus is the man to open the gates. The Brooklyn beat slayer (aka Jasha Tull) claims to “explore the electronic auditory universe” and does so sticking to a formula of hip-hop, heavy bass and psychedelia with strong sci-fi themes.
The pioneering trap artist Curt Cameruci hails from Chicago where he has worked alongside other accomplished locals like Kid Sister (the sibling of his former Flosstradamus partner Josh Young, who went on to a solo career). Some of his most famous tracks are remixes of artists such as Major Lazer and Rihanna.
Another talent born and raised in Chicago (the birthplace of house music after all), the DJ also known as Nicholas Miller is perhaps most noted for his remix of The Chainsmokers’ hit “Don’t Let Me Down.” His progressive house-dubstep style has also led to collaborations with Zeds Dead and Seven Lions.
One of Spring Awakening’s best headliners, this Michigan DJ is known for adding live instrumentation to his sets, usually playing the saxophone to add more ambiance to his electro-soul brand he describes as “future-funk.” His latest sings, “A New Day” and “Find My Own Way” are furthering his exposure with guest appearances by Matisyahu and Wiz Khalifa, respectively.