Since SFX Entertainment acquired React Presents in early 2014, we have been promised bigger and better production in this year’s edition of Spring Awakening Music Festival. Expectations were high, but in my opinion React not only hit the mark, but exceeded some of my expectations.
Though the Festival layout was the same as years’ past with a Main Stage, The Equinox Stage (acting as a second main stage), and 2 additional stages; they all experienced significant upgrades.
The Phoenix Stage located near the North entrance of the festival, transformed from a small, hot, and sweaty tent to become a much larger open air structure with air flow. A LED wall in front and in back of the DJ booth were set up making the notoriously overlooked stage feel like more up to par with the rest of the festival.
The Equinox Stage looked the same, but it grew in size and gained more lights and an outline of LEDs around each display screen.
The Equinox Stage
The second tent closer the South entrance into the stadium now called The Hanger was replaced by what I can best describe is a smaller “mega structure”. The elevated stage had a wall of zigzagging LED strips climbing from behind it, up to the ceiling, and over the crowd along the ceiling of the structure. It was the perfect stage to be curated by different artists and EDM genres all weekend long; and easily my favorite stage this year.
The Main Stage towered on the North end of Soldier Field with massive beams forming triangles branching off from the centered DJ booth. The biggest upgrades to the Main Stage were the additional of 3 speaker towers behind the sound tent. This allowed for much deeper bass and eliminated the crowd’s complaints about the main stage not being loud enough in the back of the crowd from last year. However it did bring out the stupid in people as several people were caught climbing the towers for their 15 minutes of internet fame.
Spring Awakening always showcases the most popular artists in EDM and this year was no exception, as Jack U made their Midwest debut on Saturday night. When Jack U came on thousands frantically rushed the main stage by climbing over seats, jumping down to the field and avoiding security trying to keep things organized. Flosstradamus performed that same night which contributed to the rowdiest and largest crowd of the festival weekend, and quite possibly the largest crowd I have ever witnessed at any Spring Awakening.
Jack U Crowd
No matter what your opinion of React or Spring Awakening is, you have to admit that this is our premier EDM festival and it puts Chicago on the map nationwide. We are privileged to live in a city with such a vibrant EDM scene and Spring Awakening weekend is always a weekend everyone circles on their calendars.
>>> To check out all of our pictures from Spring Awakening just follow this link. <<<
See you next year.