The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Spring Awakening Day One: An excess of alcohol and satisfying sets

The demotivating blanket of grey clouds coupled with a light rain mist wasn’t enough to keep festival goers from attending Spring Awakening Music Festival this past Friday. As one of the largest EDM festivals in the country, hundreds of thousands of electronic music fans flock to Soldier Field annually to see some of the biggest DJs and electronic musicians from around the world.

Having been to a number of large music festivals over the last few years, I braced myself for the amount anxiety, frustration, and excitement that usually comes along with the experience. Practically anyone who took the CTA Red Line towards the Roosevelt stop could notice an influx of out the ordinary looking young adults.

Guys sported their crispest bro tanks and oversized sneakers while the girls donned tiny shorts, custom made flower crowns, and fresh spray tans. Eagerly chatting about the artists they anticipated seeing, the excitement radiating from this group could be felt tenfold; and the enthusiasm lasted as we began our long trek towards Soldier Field.

If Dorothy had to follow the yellow brick road in the “Wizard of Oz”, then those looking for the entrance to Spring Awakening had to follow the trail of empty liquor bottles, energy drink cans, and soda bottles that littered the edge of The Field Museum. Police and security were appropriately stationed at checkpoints throughout the trail, staunchly observing the rowdy crowd of attendees rushing to the entrance gates. Once at the gates, however, the anticipation quickly vanished at the sight of the long line that snaked around steel gates. This unexpected line was caused by a shipping delay, which left attendees with no choice but to pick up their wristbands at Will Call. Some admitted to waiting hours before making it to the front.

“We’re going to see Zedd tonight…maybe,” one disappointed VIP festivalgoer sighed to his friends.

Finally receiving my wristband, I strapped it on and headed inside the courtyard. The setup for Spring Awakening was experimental, as several smaller stages were scattered around the concourse with merchandise and food tents nestled in between.  Carefully weaving my way through porta-potty lines and group selfies, I arrived at the Equinox Stage to see Duke Dumont.

The British DJ had a surprisingly small but still lively crowd. Coating their shoes in thick brown mud by dancing in the soggy ground, the crowd mouthed along to nearly every word sung in Dumont’s mixes. One fan got a little too excited and bumped into me, spilling half her beer on my jacket and phone. She did apologize, but I felt even more sorry for her spending $10.50 on a beer. After this little mishap, I strolled inside the field to snag a good spot for the headliners of the night.

Taking advantage of the spacious 7-acre field, the setup of the Main Stage was easily the core of the festival. In the center of multiple columns that flashed LED visuals was a triangular capsule that served as a stage for the acts. Just a few feet towards the center of the field were a series of gigantic delay speakers, which made the booming bass essentially unavoidable.

Closing the night out on the Main Stage was Zedd. The German Grammy-award winning DJ, who’s responsible for some of pop radio’s biggest hits like “Clarity” and Ariana Grande’s “Break Free”, had one of the most intricate productions. Ear-splitting fireworks, colorful laser lights, and computer-generated visuals made for an over stimulating set but highly enjoyable set.

Amazed by the closing spectacle, satisfied fans gushed about their first day at Spring Awakening, fervently planning their lineup for tomorrow night.

More to Discover