Music News

Official SAMF After Movie Released

Spring Awakening Music Festival returned to Chicago at the historic Soldier Field for the third year in a row, with over 100,000 people in attendance over the course of three days. SAMF brought together some of the biggest names in electronic dance music, with Tiesto, Pretty Lights, and Kaskade closing out each night, along with Knife Party, Diplo, Big Gigantic, Steve Aoki, Flux Pavilion, Eric Prydz, and many more.
The festival also showcased the most influential labels in dance music taking over The Hanger Stage, including OWSLA & Fool’s Gold Records with Kill the Noise & A-trak, Dirtybird & Cajual Records with a rare back-to-back DJ set from Claude VonStroke & Green Velvet, and Buygore Records & Dirty Dutch with Borgore & Chuckie!

Music News

CMF Forest Gathering this Sunday

Don’t have any plans this Sunday? CMF presents Forest Gathering at Busse Forest off of Higgins Rd. (Higgins Rd. and Arlington Heights Rd, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 Grove #1) 2pm-Sundown. Free and all ages event. Come meet new people and dance to some good music!CMFFORESTGATHERING copy

Music News

Sincerity – The Theme of Electric Forest

Sincerity – The Theme of the Electric Forest Experience
Electric Forest in Rothbury, Michigan is as much of a social experiment as it is a music festival. If there is one thing that it proves, it’s that human beings, by nature, are overwhelmingly positive and good to each other. The key words here being, “by nature.” And that is what Forest provides each and every one of its some 40,000 attendees.
EF 2014 was my very first camping festival experience. And even before that, my traditional music festival pedigree was pretty slim. For the record, I am a 24 year old male, two years removed from state university with a 9-5 corporate job and bills to pay. In the real world like many others out there, I have suddenly found myself shuffling through life and doing my small part to maintain the “machine” of a society we’ve created for ourselves here in the states. Simply put, we live for the weekends.

Our Group for EF 2014
Our Group for EF 2014

My small group of four festival goers arrived in Rothbury, Michigan on a warm Thursday afternoon to smiles and high-fives from the crew working the event and searching the vehicles. Strangers don’t usually act this kind. The uplifting aura set in immediately as we were ushered into the campground and directed to our home for the next four days. In line with several other vehicles, we pulled into our row, parked, and began to unload camping gear. Cue a mad dash to setup the chillest campsite on the block. The competitive nature of the real world that we had just left behind was shifted to a collaborative mindset. Every individual around me had one focus, and that was to enhance everyone else’s experience with an open door policy on our now completed temporary village. Within the hour, our neighbors all felt like close friends and we proceeded to crack open some celebratory adult beverages and toast to our first accomplishment together.
Showing Chicago Support at our Campsite with a Blackhawks Flag
Showing Chicago Support at our Campsite with a Blackhawks Flag

Before ever stepping foot into the venue, it was at this point that I realized why people travel from around the world to attend festivals – and I hadn’t even caught a live show yet.
Upon finishing our drinks and gathering our things, we agreed it was time to head into the venue and let the real magic begin. A stroll through vendors selling an assortment of tapestries, custom glass, decorations, paintings, and delicious food lined the campground’s main walkway which led to the queue into Sherwood Forest. I am confident this queue only existed for the high-fives and the cheers that you got when walking through it. This final connection with other fellow foresters was enough to pump everyone up like a team running out of the tunnel for the opening kick-off to Monday Night Football. That’s how electric this place was.
Lasers Lighting up the Forest : Photo Credit: Anna Volkova
Lasers Lighting up the Forest : Photo Credit: Anna Volkova

Suddenly I found myself inside of Sherwood Forest in the midst of a crowd. It’s daytime, sky is blue, trees are green, and overall it’s exceptionally ethereal. The bass was reverberating through my sandals and to find a person not bumping to the music or walking with that hop-dance funky two step thing people do as they navigate a crowd during live music was completely impossible.
Good. Fucking. Vibes.
The hippie stereotype was alive and strong with the crowd showing off plenty of skin and a seemingly endless ocean of tie-dye and bright colors hypnotically swaying to the groove at the big Ranch Arena stage. Amid the masses, a pink shirt worn by a cute girl that read, “You Can Sit With Us” caught my eye. As the girl smiled at me and walked by, I knew she meant it. And we all knew that everyone else felt the same way. It was comforting.
Good Vibes in the Forest
Good Vibes in the Forest

Focusing back on the show, I couldn’t help but laugh as I enjoyed Paper Diamond’s set while the sun drifted under the tree line. People flowed in and out of my group’s zone and almost everybody initiated a conversation, or at the very least, wanted to dance. Some people even opted to enjoy the music from the ground while lounging on moon mats and blankets. But whether standing or sitting, people expressed simple and genuine curiosity about their fellow men and women here. I loved to see it, and nobody was avoiding eye contact or staring into their smartphones. How refreshing. Questions like, “where are you from?” “how are you feeling?” and, “is this your first Forest?” became common in every encounter and most are eager to hear your story and then tell their own. The unity of the crowd was infectious and everybody looked to be in their element. No hidden agendas, no lying, no cheating. There was no hierarchy here.
Sincerity, in its purest form.
By this time, darkness was rapidly approaching. The sweat began to dry and all of the sun-kissed necks and shoulders were welcoming of the cool, dropping temperatures at Sherwood Forest. It was now dark. The mood immediately changed from an incandescent blast of positive energy, to an otherworldly sexy and seductive sensory overload that everyone had fully accepted as their new reality moving forward. At this stage in the night, the Glitch Mob began to perform and the music was like voodoo magic in command of the crowd which was bobbing and weaving and dancing and screaming to their performance. Glowsticks and neon totems bouncing to each bass drop might as well have been hypnotism; it was obvious this crowd had just been elevated to a new level. As they say, the place was going wild.
More Chicago Representation in the Forest
More Chicago Representation in the Forest

Each music set I adventured to in the forest felt like a unique one hour dramatic theatrical production. No two shows carried the same flavor or premise. Each taught new lessons and brought crowds to new places. Intros and rising actions and climaxes complete with all the ups and downs of any great book, play, or movie were all prominent. Not to mention the storybook setting. It was all on display for the crowd at Electric Forest and it just goes to show how far these artists and production crews have advanced with their ability to tell a story through music. This is why I believe the popularity of EDM and jam bands continue to rise at an astonishing rate. And when the laser light show is illuminating a pristine forest all around you, you’re bound to experience something at Electric Forest that you simply can’t find anywhere else. Once The Glitch Mob ended, Zeds Dead took over and brought the crowd through yet another moving set leaving everyone begging for more. Eventually, the music subsided. Everyone danced and chanted in unison into the glowing and mysterious forest on their way back to their campsites. Eager as I was  to do it all over again.
Hammock Chillin' : Photo Credit: Anna Volkova
Hammock Chillin’ : Photo Credit: Anna Volkova

The magic lasted four entire days. There are so many ways to experience this festival, with the best experience having a little bit of everything. Campsite pow-wows with strangers late at night into the early morning, chill sessions in a tangled web of hammocks amongst the trees during the day, impromptu dance-offs at the silent disco, endless amount of sharing what you have to offer with anyone out there willing to stop by, and finally all of the strange realizations and life lessons you will encounter that you will most certainly take home with you stored deep within your soul. Electric Forest was more akin to a spiritual awakening or epiphany than just a concert. For me, it was a lesson on the potential good within all of humanity. For many, it’s an eye opening realization of inherent positivity that most people possess, and maybe some people even learn of a new positivity that they themselves can harness and use moving forward. Above all of the spirituality and deep-rooted meanings that people love to discuss, Electric Forest is just really just fun to be a part of. And it feels bigger than you.
Trees within the Forest

Speaking back to the music at this festival, after all, that is what it’s all about, the variety was amazing. From the jam bands to the huge EDM names, every show that I caught sounded great. There were  4 hour jam sessions with The String Cheese Incident, there was a melodic tropical house set from Kygo with beach balls floating through the sky amidst trees and sunshine,  Zedd melted everyone’s face on Friday night, Umphrey’s did their usual thing, Schoolboy Q turnt everyone up, and then Tycho and Emancipator turnt everyone back down. Each individual show was worthy of its own full review. So I in turn wanted to focus this piece on putting the experience as a whole into words by describing what it feels like to be at Electric Forest, and not just discuss the music itself. If an average guy like me can find a new home and a new escape from the “machine” in a place like Forest, then it really can be a special place for anyone to enjoy and cherish. It’s not just about the music; it’s the community, the camaraderie, and the sincerity of everyone in attendance.
Beachball at Kygo
Beachball at Kygo

My friends and I are already planning our return and yes, we’re bringing way more hammocks. Electric Forest, thanks for the memories, and until next year.
Check out more photos from Electric Forest here.

Events Festivals Music News

Forecastle Festival

Forecastle Festival Lineup!

Music News

North Coast Music Festival Official After Parties

CHICAGO – North Coast Music Festival is thrilled to announce the official after parties for 2014, including STS9, Nicky Romero, MK, J Phlip, Adventure Club, Dada Life, Lettuce, & an All Star Super Jam Yacht Party featuring members of The Allmann Brothers, Trey Anastasio, The Meters, Lettuce, Nth Power, Dumpstaphunk, Pretty Lights, Break Science, and more, with special guest Talib Kweli!
In addition to the after parties, Talib Kweli, Youngblood Brass Band, Hilltop Hoods, as well as some of the Midwest’s finest local talent have been added to the lineup. Full list of after parties below. More after parties TBA!
Tickets for the after parties are on sale now at Tickets for the festival are available now through!


  • Official NCMF Pre-Party w/ Chet Faker & Mount Kimbie – Concord Music Hall | 18+ – Tickets


  • Lettuce | BADBADNOTGOOD – Concord Music Hall | 18+ – Tickets
  • Future Rock | Orchard Lounge – House of Blues | 18+ – Tickets
  • What So Not | DJ Funk | Zebo – The Mid | 21+ – Tickets
  • Keys N Krates | PHNM – Bottom Lounge | 18+  – Tickets
  • Closed Sessions w/ Allan Kiingdom, Alex Wiley, Saba, & More – Cobra Lounge | 21+ – Tickets
  • Nicky Romero | Nathan Scott – The Mid | 21+ – Tickets
  • Adventure Club | Milk N Cookies – Bottom Lounge | 18+ – Tickets
  • FiyaWerks Boat Party w/ Talib Kweli & More – 18+ – Tickets
  • The New Deal | Cosby Sweater | Autobody – Concord | 18+ – Tickets
  • Chicago Afrobeat Project w/ Tony Allen – Double Door | 21+ – Tickets
  • Prob Cause | Itylyon | Ghosthouse – Schubas | 18+ – Tickets
  • Grandtheft | Midnight Conspiracy – Evil Olive | 21+ – Tickets
  • STS9 – House of Blues | 18+ – Tickets
  • Dada Life – The Mid | 21+ – Tickets
  • MK | Kevin Saunderson | J.Phlip – Transit | 21+ – Tickets
  • Ookay | Wick It the Instagator – Bottom Lounge |18+ – Tickets
  • The Nth Power | Van Ghost – City Winery | 21+ – Tickets
  • NCMF Closing Party w/ Porn and Chicken – EvilOlive | 21+ – Tickets

North Coast Music Festival is thrilled to announce the 5th Annual Toast of the Coast! The organizers at North Coast Music Festival are always looking to foster the best local and regional talent, and this is the perfect opportunity for you to show us what you got!

North Coast Music Festival

August 29th – August 31st, 2014
Union Park
Chicago, IL 60607
All Ages
Friday: 3 PM – 10 PM
Saturday/Sunday: Noon – 10 PM

Music News

Summer Set Music & Camping Festival single day line ups announced

Summer Set Music & Camping Festival (SSMF) is thrilled to announce the single day line ups for 2014! Single day tickets are on sale now at!

The Disco Biscuits | Chromeo
RL Grime | Danny Brown | Figure
Break Science | Luminox | Treasure Fingers
ExMag | Moon Boots | Manic Focus
Gemini Club | Heatboss | Russ Liquid | Tugg
Useful Jenkins | Menage Quad | Boombox Cartel
Antics | Strange Names | Duenday
Flux Pavilion | Schoolboy Q
Cherub | Cults | Twin Shadow
The Chainsmokers | Claude VonStroke | Caked Up | Isaiah Rashad
Passafire | Soud Remedy | Twiddle
Autograf | Big Wu | Teknicolor
Sonny Knight & the Lakers | Steez | Metabaque
Soap | Real Magic | Bokken
Umphrey’s McGee
Chance the Rapper | Datsik | Flying Lotus
Aer | Cedric Gervais | Green Velvet
Myon & Shane 54 | The Floozies
ProbCause | Fringe Character | Kids Like Us
Main Squeeze | Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Ras Movement | Cities of Gold | Velvo

Music News

Riverwest Music Festival Photos

Photos from Riverwest Music Festival can be viewed on our Facebook page. Below are some of our favorite photos. Riverwest Music Festival IMG_5793 IMG_5810 IMG_5824 IMG_5983 IMG_5852 IMG_6003 IMG_6039 IMG_5863 IMG_6051

Events Music Music News

Phish comes to Chicago for 3 days in July!


Phish will kick off its 2014 Summer Tour on July 1 at XFINITY Center in Mansfield, MA and celebrate the Fourth of July with a three-night stand at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY (July 3-5). There will be numerous waterside dates – including the band’s first shows on New York City’s Randall’s Island (July 11-13) and at The Amphitheater at the Wharf in Orange Beach, AL (August 1) and a return to Northerly Island (July 18-20), with its stunning view of the Chicago skyline. For the fourth consecutive year, Phish will wrap up its summer outing with a trio of Labor Day weekend shows at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (8/29-8/31). No additional east coast dates will be announced this summer or fall.

An online ticket request period for the tour is currently underway at and will end on Sunday, March 23 at 11:59PM ET. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Thursday, March 27. For complete ticketing details or to view the official Summer Tour 2014 announcement video, visit

 Phish 2014 Summer Tour

7/1 XFINITY Center, Mansfield, MA

7/3 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

7/4 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

7/5 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

7/8 Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA

7/9 Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA

7/11 Randall’s Island, New York, NY

7/12 Randall’s Island, New York, NY

7/13 Randall’s Island, New York, NY

7/15 CMAC, Canandaigua, NY

7/16 DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI

7/18 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, Chicago, IL

7/19 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, Chicago, IL

7/20 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, Chicago, IL

7/25 PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, NC

7/26 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

7/27 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

7/29 nTelos Wireless Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA

7/30 nTelos Wireless Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA

8/1 The Amphitheater at the Wharf, Orange Beach, AL

8/2 Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Birmingham, AL

8/3 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA

8/29 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

8/30 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

8/31 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO