Festival season is basically upon us whether you are ready or not. It’s the time of year when we are all either off from school or feel like it’s acceptable to take a few days off from work. Finally, we will be able to breathe again and get in hours and hours of listening to our favorite artists live. But if you haven’t already, now is the time to lock in your festival schedule and snag up any tickets available. Festivals are announcing their lineups and you won't to want to miss out on early ticket prices.
Festival shopping is the hardest part of your season planning. It seems like every weekend has at least two festivals that you have to choose between. With tons of festival capitals, it’s even harder to decide what side of the country you are going to be on from one weekend to the next. But we, at Magnetic Magazine, want to make it a little bit easier for you this year and help your festival planning. While we love every festival capital from Las Vegas to Miami, we think that one city needs your attention this year, Chicago.
Chicago is arguably one of the strongest music cities in the United States and it is always continuing to grow. Chicago played a vital role in the formation of electronic music and its continued development. This year every festivals’ lineup is stacked with major players in the industry and new local artists that you need to hear. We have a soft spot for Chicago events and because of that, we have created a list of festivals that you need to get to this year.
Spring Awakening: June 8th- 10th
One of the best known electronic festivals in Chicago, Spring Awakening needs to be on your schedule this year. Ever since its beginning, in 2012, React Presents has stack the Spring Awakening lineup with major players in the industry. This year will be no different, with two headlining stages and multiple branded stages. You can stage hop from one amazing artist to another. Once again, with a huge lineup with artists such as Alison Wonderland, Getter, Kaskade, and so many more, the only problem you are going to have is how to divide up your time.
If you are a raver this is going to be one of the best festivals for you. A lot of the Spring Awakening community is the Chicago rave family. Everyone is shuffling along with the perfect vibes. The React team knows how bring on the production with the perfect amount of protechnics and lazers to keep you going all weekend. And if you need to release some of that energy, there are tons of carnival rides for you to scream your heart out.
One thing that we love about this festival is that every year the React team puts together hotels and rides for the Spring Awakening attendees. We love it because it means we never need to find the best hotel at the right price. Not only do they set you up with hotels, you even have the Spring Awakening shuttles to take you to and from the festival, you don’t need to worry about how you are going to find a safe ride; the React team has your back. In Chicago, you have so many of options between hotels and ride services that it can get super overwhelming fast if you aren’t familiar with the city. This year is no different, there are already two hotels that you can choose from and with a discount so no need to break the bank just finding somewhere to stay.
Spring Awakening is going to be one of the biggest festivals this year with tons of major artists that come from around the world just to play in Chicago at Spring Awakening. If you need a place to get your festival season started and started strong, Spring Awakening is where you want to be.
Mamby on the Beach: June 23rd & 24th
The reason why you need to go to this festival is in its name alone. Mamby on the Beach is the only festival that gives you get direct access to the water and swim while your favorite artist is playing. And to be honest, we really could just stop there. Mamby on the Beach is a little piece of paradise and tranquility in a busy city. This festival is for someone that is not looking for in your face production or intensity, but someone who is looking for a chill weekend. This year, Mamby has another impeccable lineup with Gorgon City, Whethan, Common, and so many more. We only hope that we get a surprise visit from Chance the Rapper for second year, to put the cherry on top.
Not only is Mamby a great place to get in touch with music, but the festival takes on educating its goers in health, wellness and just over all loving yourself, which we are definitely here for. Not only can you just be lay on the beach on day, but you can take a mid-afternoon yoga class, learn how to use and produce green cleaning products between artists’ sets, or even understand healthy relationships after swimming in Lake Michigan.
One of our favorite things about the Mamby on the Beach team, from React Presents, is their passion for Bronzeville community, the neighborhood surrounding Mamby’s home, Oakwood Beach. Only a few Saturdays ago, the React team and some dedicated fans plunged into Lake Michigan to raise money for West Point Missionary Baptist Church and the KLEO Community Life Center. The goal for the team was $5,000 and they were able to raise more than double that amount! Last year, the React Team began the tradition to raise money for the Bronzeville community and they have already achieved so much in the last to years through this charity plunge.
If you are looking to chill out on the beach with your favorite artists and your festival besties, Mamby is the perfect place for you.
Pitchfork: July 20th-22nd
Ever since 2005, Pitchfork has made it’s long reigning stand in Chicago’s Union Park. The festival brings in over 60,000 every year and continues to grow. We are very into going to festivals where we can see artists from many different genres and because of that we put this on our list of festivals you need to see in Chicago. Pitchfork focuses on finding artists in hip-hop, rap, electronic, jazz and alternative rock. There is no need to worry whether there is something for you at this festival, you may even find a new artist that you like. Every year, Pitchfork puts out a quality lineup. Pitchfork team has some great talent scouts on their team and see to always have the newest budding artist in their lineup.
Pitchfork makes a huge effort to be a festival that does not break your bank. The festival scene has grown so large and due to that many production companies have taken this chance to raise ticket prices to ridiculous amounts. This team understands tickets are not the only things we have to pay for and because of that, give a huge break in their prices; making this one of the most affordable festivals.
What brings us back to this festival every year? The people. Pitchfork has the best crowd, every year. Every person you run into becomes part of your family. There are no bad vibes at Pitchfork and that is due to all the amazing people that come out for this festival.
If you are looking for a festival that doesn’t break the bank but still has the best vibes, all we have to say is Pitchfork.
Lollapalooza: August 2nd- 5th
Now let me just start off by saying, if you haven’t been to Lollapalooza in Chicago at least once, you should really just go. It is one of the most famous festivals in the nation and draws people from around the world. Many artists kill to be apart of Lollapalooza and it shows with only the top artists of the time reaching the lineup. Lolla prides itself on drawing multiple genres in one space. You can see anyone from Paul McCartney to Diplo in one day. This year is another stacked lineup with people such as Travis Scott, Rezz, and Bruno Mars.
Every year, the festival is held throughout Grant Park, right in between the city and Lake Michigan. The festival rocks the whole cityscape and flows down the blocks creating this amazing energy on every corner. The most magical time is when the sun finally goes down and the light from the festival bounces of the surrounding skyscrapers. It creates a picturesque landscape of the city and the festival just right underneath, that it’s hard to not just stare.
I don’t know about you, but food is one of my top priorities. Usually, production companies choose the best local vendors and renowned chefs to bring us amazing food to eat in between dancing. Lollapalooza has no shortage of amazing food to choose from. One of our favorites is the lobster corn dogs Graham Elliot. You are not going to go wrong with any of the food stands at Lolla, the only problem you’ll have is deciding on which one to go to.
Lollapalooza has a rich history in the festival scene and Chicago, making it a staple in Chicago festival season and really the nation. Because of this it is really hard to ignore that you need to go once in your life.
North Coast: August 31st- September 2nd
If you are looking for eclectic this is going to be your stop. North Coast prides itself on including artists from multiple genres such as hip-hop, jamband, and electronic. Every year we are amazed at the types of artists on the lineup. This is another one of those festivals that you really have to divide your time up strategically to get in everyone that you want to see. Sadly, we still have to wait for the lineup for this year, but judging from last years packed list, I think we will be fine. This is one of the last festivals in Chicago during the festival season and if you are looking to end your summer right, this is going to be your festival. It sucks when summer really ends because you already start to miss the long warm nights, but North Coast makes it a little bearable to say goodbye.
The worst part is when a festival is hard to get to or leave from because of its location. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about this at all with North Coast. This is one of the easiest festivals to travel to from anywhere in the city, because you hop off the train and right at the bottom of the steps is the entrance to the festival. No reason to worry about traffic or finding a safe ride. Get on any line, transfer to the green or pink line, get off at Ashland, and walk a few steps right into the festival, that easy.
There are tons of reasons why we put this festival on our list, but one of our favorite reasons to go to North Coast is the overwhelming amount of art from local artists. Everywhere you turn there is an art installation or one being created before your eyes. The best place the get your dose of art is in the silent disco. You are given a set of headphones when you arrive and you can choose between two different Djs’ channels. As you are listening to music, you can watch as multiple artists create larger than life murals inspired by Chicago and the same music you are listening to.
If you need something to feed all of your music genres hunger, North Coast is the festival for you this year. Or maybe you just need to find a perfect way to end your festival season, this is your last stop you need to make in Chicago festivals.
There are tons of festivals to choose from and more popping up every year. This year make sure you stop by Chicago on your festival schedule! What festivals are you most excited for this year out of Chicago? Tell us in the comments below.