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The last time that I attended Spring Awakening was in 2014.

Back then, the festival had an all ages standard but now it’s 18 and up. I think, in part because of this, React Presents was able to find a more mature lineup as well as a more cultivated, and diversified, crowd.

Also in 2014, the festival was held at a different venue. The fifth year anniversary called Addams/Medill Park in Little Italy its new stomping grounds with first day highlights including Troyboi, Dillon Francis, Borgore and Gramatic. Troyboi is a personal favorite; the audience was in an uproar as he dropped originals and fan favorites.

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Spring Awakening Music Festival Deadmau5Half of the fun, though, was people watching.  I love seeing PLUR in action, outrageous outfits, and the music community in general coming together to vibe. On day two, The living legend DJ A-Trap surprised with a set that spanned genres and decades. 

We closed our day out with Zeds Dead and surely nobody was disappointed. The duo completed day two with a rioting sound of dubstep accompanied by heavy bass and unreleased tracks with NGHTMRE and Diplo that made it a memorable evening for Chicago’s devoted crowd.  

Throughout the entirety of the event, the branded stages hosted intimate experiences for a mix of die-hard fans. From Borgeous to Datsik to Claude Vonstroke, they all dazzled in their own rights. Some of my favorite sets in the tents came from Alison WonderlandAutograf and Pete Tong. Ghastly utterly killed it as well.

You can dislike funk to rap to indie, perhaps even dislike EDM, but after the stunning performances from Spring Awakening Music Festival, it was impossible to hate music itself.

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