A sea of neon swarmed onto Soldier Field this past weekend for Spring Awakening, a festival solely dedicated to electronic dance music. The venue witnessed more color than the usual blue and orange clad Bears fans, to say the least. Attendees displayed their excitement with vibrant fishnets, perky tutus, glitter, and every neon hue of the rainbow imaginable. Their ensembles were intricately assembled to fit the vibe of this electronic world that has become the newest trend in music.
These excited, high-powered fans ranged from tweens to baby boomers. Each day consisted of 10.5 hours of music emanating from four different stages. The energy stayed high through the wee hours and fans did not cease to head bob aggressively. Grooving was optional.
From Saturday morning to Sunday night, every DJ that performed had a distinct sound and stage presence. LoBOUNCE’s enthusiasm had him singing along to his own mixes while Gun Love sampled one of my favorites, M83’s Midnight City. Porn and Chicken had a vivacious entourage on stage dancing wildly. And by the end of Saturday, Skrillex’s light beams emerged during a patch of rain as he DJ-ed from a futuristic spacecraft structure.
On Sunday, the NERVO duo performed to a packed tent with fans trying to squish in for a glimpse of the lovely and spunky twin sisters. Datsik went old school Snoop Dogg when he cleverly mixed Gin and Juice (pun intended) and Diplo’s set immediately followed changing the mood with tribal accents by throwing in some Major Lazer tracks. The night ended with Dutch DJ Afrojack playing his catchy hit songs while the crowd simultaneously fist pumped and sang along.
The production of the fest ran smoothly with the fastest set changes I have ever seen and a sufficient amount of security scattered throughout festival grounds. The weekend lived up to its potential and fully satisfied its passionate crowd.
Photo Credit: Thank you so much to the wonderful Sam Callahan for taking amazing photos this weekend. You are extremely talented and we are so grateful for your contribution!
Special thanks to Mike Musto for all your help as well!