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5 Reasons To Be Excited For Spring Awakening Music Festival

By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 13, 2013 6:00PM

With an inaugural Electric Daisy Carnival in the Chicagoland area already in the bag, this weekend Chicago's city dwellers get their first taste of a major music festival. Spring Awakening kicks off its second year tomorrow afternoon at Soldier Field. This year the electronic dance music-focused fest expands from two days to three from last year and we felt the decision needed to be justified. After considering what's in store for the weekend though, we're optimistic.

If you're ready to get out on the field tomorrow (or still need convincing), here are a five reasons you should be excited to attend this festival:

If you were born before 1995, you'll still have a great time. It's true, these dance music festivals tend to skew towards a younger crowd, but Spring Awakening's programmers (local EDM moguls React Presents) have pulled off a noteworthy amount of diversity with this year's lineup. For one thing, Moby is headlining on Friday night. Other influentials on the bill include Paul Oakenfold, Felix Da Housecat and Chicago's own Green Velvet—all performing Saturday.

The local talent is busting at the seams. Remember last year's Spring Awakening when Krewella were just a local, whisky-chugging, playful band of beat makers playing the side stage? Now they're getting national recognition, having their single "Alive" played on the radio what seems like every five minutes and playing the festival's main stage this Sunday. They're in good company too. Flosstradamus play Saturday, Orchard Lounge hit the stage Sunday and local party crew Porn and Chicken will get the space that they deserve this year with a main stage performance Sunday afternoon. Have we ever seen those guys in the daylight before?

It's still early in the summer. Truth be told, electronic dance music festivals pose a major drawback: When the goal of each artist is to spin the latest, greatest and hottest tracks you're going to have some overlap. How many times did we hear "Feel So Close" by Calvin Harris last summer? Spring Awakening's timing is perfect because it's still early enough that the "summer hits" are emerging. You won't be tired of hearing anything yet. Here Calvin Harris himself could possibly set the tone for the summer soundtrack when he headlines Sunday night.

This is not amateur hour. Five years ago when we thoughts of DJs, we usually thought of the bro-ed out guy in John Barleycorn spinning Ludacris songs with poorly timed scratches in front of a music video backdrop. Now that EDM is one of the most popular (not to mention lucrative) genres out there, it takes serious talent to shine through—best showcased at festivals like Spring Awakening. This year's performers like headliner Bassnectar, Wolfgang Gartner, 12th Planet, ATB, Zedd and others have put in the time and effort it takes to stay popular and relevant in a culture that's tastes change with every passing bass drop.

There are real bathrooms! A big part of what makes or breaks a festival experience is the venue. Spring Awakening is the only festival of its kind in Chicago in that it actually takes place inside Solider Field and on the surrounding grounds. You know what that means: no port-a-potties, shaded spots and actual seats facing the main stage for "old timers" like this writer.

Spring Awakening Music Festival runs Friday, June 14, at 3 p.m. through Sunday, June 16, at 11 p.m. at Soldier Field. Three- and single-day tickets are still available.