Heard It Here First’s Top Ten Acts of Chicago’s Spring Awakening Music Festival 2019

Spring Awakening Music Festival has been a staple in the Chicago EDM world for almost a decade. They’ve brought some of the biggest electronic acts in the world (Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Bassnectar, Afrojack, Moby, NERO, Benny Benassi, A-Trak, and hundreds more) to Solider Field, Medill Park, and now, Poplar Creek park. The festival is known for its top-notch stage production and fireworks, and it’s 2019 lineup boasts one of it’s best yet. The three-day fest is being held from June 7th to 9th in Hoffman Estates, IL.

We put together our top ten acts we’re planning on hitting at SAMF 2019, accompanied by a little taste of that artist with a mix or a festival set. Hope to see you at some of our top ten shows, we’ll throw some honorable mentions at the bottom. Check out the full, daily lineup and grab your tickets here.

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1788-L: Saturday, June 8th

2018 was a breakout year for midtempo Bass producer 1788-L, who released his first EP, Sentience, in August. He also collaborated with Rezz for the song “Hex”, an undeniable staple on the fest circuits. Frenetic tempo changes, glitch-powered drops, and experimental song structures keep things interesting, while his large-scale show production is well-known to blow your mind. His sophomore EP is coming out next week through Zeds Dead’s Deadbeats label.

Space Jesus: Friday, June 7th

Space Jesus is slowly and surely becoming one of the biggest artists in Bass music. The Wakaan label heavyweight is known for his lumbering drops and mind-shattering visuals. As insane as his Temple Of Noom tour has been, his show is even cooler to see on the big festival screens. Bigger festival means bigger production, this will be a serious plus for Jasha Tull’s case. DO NOT miss this show.

Malaa: Saturday, June 8th

The Confession label second-in-command always throws down at his many impressive festival appearances. Malaa is constantly being booked by the biggest festivals in the world. His cult following and heavy, infectious House music aren’t going anywhere, so be sure to go turn up with some of the best fans in EDM come Spring Awakening.

Virtual Riot: Friday, June 7th

One of the many monster names of the fan-favorite Disciple Records, Virtual Riot is starting to stand out as one of the biggest names in Dubstep today. His Preset Junkies EP was massive, and he continues to throw down time and time again as one of the heaviest and craziest live sets in the game. Let’s not ignore the fact that the German DJ/producer is only Twenty Four. Check out his b2b with fellow distinguished labelmate, Barely Alive, below.

What So Not: Saturday, June 8th

Chris Emerson, fka Emoh Instead, is the man behind the What So Not project. Originally a duo with fellow Aussie producer Flume, the two crafted some of the biggest bangers in Trap music to date. Emerson now takes the project under his own reigns and crushed his last few releases post-Flume-departure. (“We Can Be Friends“, Not All The Beautiful Things, and both his Gemini and Divide & Conquer EPs. All his projects are must have in your library, and if you haven’t seen his set, honestly, you are missing out. WSN usually plays alongside his touring guitarist, who absolutely SHREDS.

Rezz: Saturday, June 8th

Space Mom is hypnotizing the world, show after show. Her cult of Rezz following is EVERYWHERE. After some scummy college kid chirped at SAMF for booking Griz, Illenium, and Rezz as headliners for the festival, Rezz snapped off at the troll and gave us some big facts about her success. If this is gonna be your first Rezz show, get ready to get hooked! Her set is sure to leave you in an awe-struck trance, check out her hour-long mix for MixMag below!

Dombresky: Saturday, June 8th

Dombresky has booked tons of festivals for 2019, which is probably due to the massive amount of yams he’s been cranking out. Last summer, he teamed up with Noizu (he’s also playing SAMF on Saturday) on “Rave Alarm“, and it was one of our favorite House tracks of the year. More recently, Dombresky brought us “Soul Sacrifice“, a brass-fueled tune and a half that is sure to tear up the fest circuit this summer. I’m trying to catch the French producer as many times as possible this summer.

Peekaboo: Sunday, June 9th

Peekaboo is THE breakout name to have on your radar. His G-Rex collab “Babatunde” might have been the Festival track of 2018, will continue to be of 2019, and his Wrecking Ball EP off Deadbeats is absolutely fuego. He also just appeared on Bassnectar’s new EP on one of the best tracks of the project. Peekaboo’s massive fanbase is gonna keep growing rapidly, be sure to catch him before he’s one of the biggest acts in the country!

Excision Detox Set: Sunday, June 9th

Excision is year after year the biggest name in western Dubstep. The Canadian founder of supergroup Destroid and festivals like Lost Lands & Bass Canyon, Excision is bringing his signature Detox set to Spring Awakening. In his own words, “Over the years of scouring the earth for the best Bass music I could find, every once in a while I would come across a gem that was extremely dope, but didn’t quite fit the high energy vibe of an Excision set. I definitely wouldn’t call Detox a “chill set”, it’s more a chance for me to push creative boundaries with everything ranging from weird, experimental, heavy, vibey, and underground songs. Detox isn’t just a chance to show a different side of me that I wouldn’t otherwise get to share, it’s also a chance for me to support artists that are expanding boundaries and help give them the attention they deserve.”

Illenium: Friday, June 7th

Illenium has quickly become one of the biggest names in EDM over the past couple of years. He just sold out his multiple Red Rocks shows and is about to sell out Madison Square Garden. His live show features on-stage support from KJ Sawka (of Pendulum and Destroid fame) on drums, Dabin on guitar, and a couple other noticeable faces like Said The Sky and Daye. The bedroom producer turned EDM superstar and his army of Illenials are out to prove that feelsy, emotional anthems can also be turn-up bangers. Below, we have his unreleased 2018 edits mix, which is jam-packed with staples from his live shows. With his headlining slot and his Chicago roots, this might just be our number one show of Spring Awakening Music Festival. Can’t wait to see you all there!

 

Honorable Mentions

Friday: Brohug, Shiba San, Zomboy, Ghastly

Saturday: Liquid Stranger, Matroda, Moksi, Droeloe

Sunday: Griz, Rusko, Troyboi

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