We are only a couple weeks away from Chicago's annual Spring Awakening Festival. React Presents made its grand entrance in 2012 at Soldier Field with a stacked lineup of heavyweight artists headed up by Skrillex and Afrojack. While many things have changed for this festival, one thing remains the same: the lineup always includes a great mix of festival favorites and emerging artists on the verge of blowing up. Each year, the festival grows stronger. This year should be no different.
While React's proclivity to pick the perfect artists for Spring Awakening has remained constant, the festival production has changed drastically. In 2012, we were given the opportunity to experience Solider Field in a different light. For the first time we heard Chicago's favorite acts, such as Dillon Francis and Diplo, in the home of the Chicago Bears. And every year since React has had something new up their sleeve. The last five years have been filled with special performances and additions to the festival grounds. The festival quickly grew large enough to move beyond Solider Field's walls and added a Silent Disco. Prior to Spring Awakening, silent discos at festivals were not common. However, after witnessing the popularity Spring Awakening's, they've become a staple at all festivals around the Midwest.
In 2016, we saw another major change in the festival. React moved the entire operation from Solider Field to Addams/ Medill Park in order to host the largest Spring Awakening in its history, boasting over 100 acts on five stages. While this was received with a lot of push back at first, the new location grew on the festival goers. It was disappointing that the festival would not be in its historic home so conveniently close to Chicago's center and the allure of the festival being inside of the Bear's stadium was lost, as well. However, the first year at Addams/Medill proved the need for the festival to move to another area. The sprawling, grassy area allowed festival-goers to roam from one stage to another with ease. It was so easy to create an amazing day of seeing your favorite artists and learning about new up-and-comers just by taking a couple steps over.
The new location also provided much improved access to the festival. At Solider Field, you had to contend with the usual festival traffic as well as the headache of the notoriously bad Chicago traffic around the city. By pushing the festival further away from the city center, getting to the festival was phenomenally easier. Ubers knew where to find you, taxis could weave through the streets with ease, and buses were readily available. React Presents also partnered with popular hotels to bring shuttles to the festival goers so all they had to do was roll out of bed and get to the festival safely and more importantly, home safely.
This year will be no different! The line-up is bigger than ever and Spring Awakening is expanding the festival grounds even further than last year. You will have even more space to move around. And sound bleed, which has been a issue in the past, will be greatly reduced. More importantly: more room to dance.
React knows how to get its festival goers hooked. Thier attention to every tiny detail has made them a Chicago success story. One of the best things at any festival is the food. And React must have a true culinary genius on their team because the food is always stellar. Vendors from all around including some of Chicago's most dear restaurants, spend the weekend with us serving up delectable delights. Recently, Chicago was named the best restaurant city over Los Angeles by Condé Nast Traveler and the food vendors at Spring Awakening exemplify that. Don’t skip out on eating at this festival, you will regret it.
On Monday afternoon, we finally received news about the always highly anticipated after-parties. React has partnered with the hottest night clubs in Chicago including the Mid and PRYSM. Festival goers will have a wide variety of venues and acts to choose from, ensuring that there will be a little something for everyone who wants to keep the party going after the festival grounds shut down. The only problem will be choosing between all of these stellar lineups. Scheduled for the weekend are: Marshmello , Martin Garrix, Excision and so many other saught after artists. Any after-party you choose this year will be a banger, as long as you can deal the inner struggle of who you want to see more.
Every year, React gives us something incredible to look forward to. The big day is creeping up and we are starting to get those nervous festi jitters. If you haven't already now is the time to buy your official tickets before they sell out. Don't sleep on Chicago's best way to kick off the festival season.