The Spring Awakening Takeover 2019 [Recap]
Spring Awakening Music Festival returned to the Chicago area for another year of an electronic music takeover. The festival returned with yet another new location but had the opportunity to expand the weekend-long empire. This year’s headliners included Rezz, DJ Snake, Malaa, Destructo, Zedd, Illenium, Martin Garrix, GRiZ, and a ton more. Practically the entire festival was jam-packed with national and international artists that have headlined their own tours. Spring Awakening always brings the cream of the crop and electronic music lovers of all kinds were highly satisfied. The curated stages brought something for everyone while the main stages brought the biggest production we’ve seen from this festival in years.
The stages at the festival are something out of this world. The larger-than-life Solstice and Equinox stages seem to compete each year with who can outdo each other. Both main stages, they spread long and tall, towering over their audience. The Solstice Stage looked like something a daredevil would free climb with scaffolding that held building-sized LED walls. The Equinox Stage stretched long and had some of the hardest hitting headliners in the lineup.
The Corona Electric Beach returned to the festival with its signature dome and beach sand for the most chill of dance sessions. As with each year, the dome of the beach only allowed a small number of patrons, keeping the party intimate but tight. The Function and Hangar stages changed personalities each day of the festival with branded stage appearances from AMF, Bass Kitchen and Anjunabeats. Unlike the main stages, the Hangar and Function stages were under tents. This allowed for an amazing light show even in the afternoon sun. Entering these stages meant entering into another world, as was most of the festival.
Two of the smaller but most unique stage appearances came from the STFU Silent Disco and The Bus Stop. The Bus Stop was a white converted school bus with a fully functional stage on top equipped with full DJ decks and a canopy for any weather concerns. The builders of this stage spent years perfecting this stage and brought their talented friends along to play. The STFU Silent Disco continues to gather fans as people start to realize that silent discos are cool as fuck. Some of the best sets of the festival such as Wolfbiter came out of this silent gem.
The configuration of the festival brought a sort of carnival/fair vibe. It could have been the look of the vendor tents or the 2 Ferris wheels, but it felt festive in a unique way. Some of the sponsor tents were so odd and unique, they were a party in themselves. The KIA tent had a foam wash to get rid of bad vibes and foam away any troubles. The humidity over the weekend made this a really cool spot (pun intended). With the new location, the festival allowed for more space and therefore more people. Each stage was packed with people, but with enough room to dance. As with years past, colorful and highly decorated characters walked around the festival, bringing even more of a circus vibe to Spring Awakening. It was a joy to catch a photo with these personalities.
The short of it is that the music at Spring Awakening is always amazing. The festival is comprised of all electronic artists, but it’s festivals like this that allow each artist to show what sets them apart from the next. The sound quality at Spring Awakening is impeccable. Earplugs should be a requirement at all festivals, but especially with all the mind-blowing bass at this festival. From the roller-coaster ride of Illenium to the smooth beats of Nora En Pure, the music at Spring Awakening soothed the soul. Stand out performances came from Wolfbiter, Galantis, Illenium, Malaa, Rezz, Destructo, Dillon Francis, Alan Walker, What So Not, Nora En Pure, and GRiZ. Each artist brought something special to the table, from special live guests with What So Not to Destructo dancing in the crowd. Excision, Flosstradamus, and GTA switched things up a bit as well with special sets, unlike their usual selves.
It does not surprise us that award-winning national and international acts come to this festival with its flawless vibes and skilled production. While the sheer size of the festival does not compare to the likes of EDC, the music definitely rivals festivals of this caliber.
The only downside of Spring Awakening’s new location was the parking situation. At previous locations, the festival did not allow for on-site parking. For some, this was extremely inconvenient. However, the festival was closer to the city’s center, so public transportation was an easy option. This year, the festival was much farther out of the city, but on-site parking was available. The traffic getting into the parking areas was a bit of a nightmare and cost attendees more money on top of ticket sales. Parking was extremely well organized, but daunting and a 15-minute walk from the festival for GA parking. Following the festival, the bottleneck of people heading back to the parking lots got a bit out of hand and people jumped barricades to walk in the grass back to their cars. On top of all that, the lots all looked very similar. All gripes aside, the parking situation allowed for more people to attend the festival, as not everyone can afford to get a weekend hotel downtown for a music festival. We can only hope that the city of Hoffman Estates allows the festival to return for another year.
Spring Awakening is always filled with good vibes and amazing music. We keep returning to Spring Awakening for a reason, and we can’t wait to see what is in store for next year.
Photos credit of Spring Awakening Music Festival