The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

ARC Music Festival: Festivalgoers share the feeling of house music

Blazej Zalewski
“Tale of Us” brings the ARC Music Festival to a close with deep house and techno.

As the summer season winds down in Chicago, ARC Music Festival kicked off its third iteration with a bang over Labor Day weekend.

ARC took over Union Park with a jam-packed lineup of house and techno DJs. The festival featured a wide range of performances, with some artists debuting new tracks and others captivating the crowd with holographic shows. 

The festival featured a lineup of Chicago house music pioneers such as Derrick Carter, Gene Farris, DJ Lady D and many more. Chicago native John Summit also headlined night two of the festival, marking his first career headlining festival performance in Chicago.

However, the festival served as more than a celebration: It symbolized the convergence of two cities, Chicago and Detroit, both renowned as the birthplaces of house and techno music.

Karina Cuzmar, a festival goer from Maryland, says that house and techno music are a perfect contrast and blend of Chicago and Detroit.

“Don’t get me wrong, the cultures of Chicago and Detroit are very different, but it’s nice to see how house and techno mix and bring people together,” Cuzmar said.

According to Britannica, house music can be described as a “style of high-tempo, electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s.” 

“House music hits the soul,” Cuzmar said. “It’s liberating. It’s connecting not just with other people, but with yourself.”

Techno is a genre of electronic dance music known for its “fast beat and synthesized sounds, usually without vocals or a conventional popular song,” according to Merriam-Webster. This distinction sets techno apart from house music, which often includes vocals and mixes into its songs.

For many attendees, especially Maria Rodriguez, 24, the lack of lyrics is not a problem because the music is all about feeling it. 

“If you don’t already listen to this music, you should,” Rodriguez said. “It can really lift your mood when you’re feeling down, and it makes you enjoy life just a little bit more.”

Thousands of people attended ARC over the holiday weekend, including Dallas resident Booh Hoenshell, who says ARC was a festival he needed to attend.

“All the good vibes are here, and this festival isn’t like other festivals,” Hoenshell said. “This is where the music listeners are at.”

“Everyone’s here for the music,” Rodriguez said. “Compared to other festivals, many people go to enjoy the food and attractions, which is fine. But here at ARC, people appreciate the music. We feel it, not just listen to it.”

ARC offered an immersive experience that included art, production elements during each set and four different stage environments.

At each set, festival goers could anticipate anything from fire to confetti to screen hypnosis.

The festival posted on Instagram, “House came home this weekend. Thank you for an incredible third year of ARC. We’ve already got 2024 on our mind,” hinting at its return for its fourth year.

“ARC is for the music, ARC is for the music, ARC is for the music,” Roriguez said. “That’s all I’ve got to say about this festival.”

To stay up to date on ARC’s fourth year or any updates, check them out on Instagram at @arcmusicfestival.

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