Why Does Spring Awakening Music Festival Drop in June?
Spring Awakening Music Festival has grown to be one of the most attended electronic music festivals in the Chicago area. Held at the legendary Soldier Field Stadium downtown, the fest brings some of the most well-known artists and DJs from around the world. The festival is held the second weekend in June…but then why is it called Spring Awakening? Turns out, the history of Spring Awakening dates back a few years before the festival we know and love today emerged.
The first Spring Awakening was held on March 21st, the first day of Spring, in 2008 at the historic Congress Theater on Milwaukee Ave in Chicago. Headliners were ATB, Benny Benassi, and Above & Beyond. Electronic music had started to make a huge comeback and the event sold out in advance. In 2009, ATB and Infected Mushroom sold out the event even quicker.
By 2010, Benny Benassi and Above & Beyond sold out the event in record time. The Congress Theater used to be the top destination for electronic music shows in Chicago. Due to immense and extensive fire hazards, the Fire Marshall shut down the venue in April of 2013. Because of the high demand, the event had to rethink its direction, the Congress’s 4,800 person capacity clearly wasn’t enough. React took 2011 to figure out the logistics of the situation, and Spring Awakening fell dormant that year. They finally scored the ultimate venue for the event, the home of the Chicago Bears (Soldier Field) for 2012. But with the stadium being an outdoor venue, Chicago’s often chilly weather at the end of March wasn’t the best time of year. So, they moved the festival to a warmer month, June. The second weekend of the month has been the set date for the festival ever since.
Spring Awakening 2012 expanded the fest exponentially, going from “event” to full-on festival. They kept the name because the idea never changed; encourage people to embrace the changing of the seasons by grooving to talented electronic artists. Moving from its small 4,800 cap the first few years, now tens of thousands of people could flood the stadium and dance it out. Skrillex and Afrojack headlined that year and it was an epic resurgence. In 2013, SAMF expanded to 3 days and held over 90,000 people over the weekend, it became the electronic festival in Chicago. Last year, React took it a step farther. With Kaskade and Tiesto headlining the fest, attendance jumped to 100,000!
This year, surprise headliner Jack U (Skrillex & Diplo) will be gracing the main stage, making their Midwest debut at the festival. There is no such thing as an opening act at this year’s Spring Awakening. All of the names on this year’s ticket have headlined their own shows, if not sold them out. It’s impossible to predict just how big this festival will get. From it’s humble beginnings at a rotting theater, to selling out a football stadium, Spring Awakening will continue to mean Summer time, regardless of its name. The festival is 18+ and 3-day general admission passes are still available.