It was through the sounds of deep bass coupled in intrinsic beats of hi hats that awakened us out of our winter comas and brought us out into the sunlight. Mass crowds convened with exhuberance of musical energy that encapsulated all that was good and exciting in this world. The Gods of music swept their hands over Medill Park and proliferated a gathering in celebration of the future of festivals.
There were many recognizable and beloved acts that made it out. Honestly, almost too many to name in one article. Some acts included Kaskade, Dillon Francis, Flying Lotus, Zeds Ded, Steve Aoki, Dead Maus, Datsik,Flux Pavillion. Newcomers of course such as Axillon, Hexes, and many more.
As we entered the park we were greeted with bold letters of Spring Awakening. There were really almost two sides of the festival; one being during the heat of the day and the second coming to life within the imaginations of the night.
During the day, the park filled with short shorts, bikinis, and muscle shirts. Temperatures that hit the weekend sky rocketed but the park was still piled with musical junkies. The bumping music spiraled into our ears as it massaged spots that the auditory cortex has never been touched before. Radical cells began to fire into a conscious experience of music. We walked from stage to stage as beats excited an ensemble of feelings within us.
There were three tented stages that fit comfortably under the shade whilst the two main stages were surrounded with structures of something resembling the hellish black widow spider. I was immediately gravitated towards this stage and as the night lowered its dark cape over the park- the stage began to pirouette in radiance of the LEDs that garmented the surface. The large pedipalps of the hybrid spider came down over the stage; each leg flashed musically synced screens displaying visuals developed uniquely for each artist’s act. The structure sparked to life with high end spectrums of color that began dilating our pupils in its excitement.
From under my vigilant watch I could have sworn to have seen this structure crawling renegade from where it was fixated. It was almost as if it could have smashed through buildings taking torment over the city in a sort of cartoon like fantasy. Police stood by shooting it down but nothing could penetrate the shielded metal of its cephalothorax. It spewed out fire into the skies kissing our skin with heat from its fury. Bright spot lights stood flagging down alien life from beyond the dimensions of the attention of the human eye. Laser beams smoldering human from left to right as we all scattered to safety. The park was in utter chaos and thrown in the middle of the battle of laser beams and the black widows fiery destruction.
Abruptly, I was pulled out of my day dream whilst my group urged me near the stage within the crowds of dancing feet. Machines bounced harmoniously throwing us wildly through the waves of sound. A man in a monkey/ astronaut suit was quite humorously lifted from within the crowd standing proudly during the Zeds Ded set. Everyone, guys and girls danced without hindrance. A true momentous feeling captivated the crowd as we celebrated this beauty of living.
What was all the more interesting about this festival besides the complexities of performance; was the fact there was not one unhappy person. I can’t estimate for sure how many people attended if I counted but surely I couldn’t even count one who wasn’t having the time of their life! Festivals are magical like this. It can take anyone out of their shell; out from the darkness. The artists were amazing of course; but as I stood taking in the fest moment by moment I couldn’t help to think that it was art in itself. The life that swarmed here, the clothing, the personalities- a living and breathing amusement park built in the grace of music.