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Festivals

Five must-see acts at Chicago's Spring Awakening Music Festival

By Lauren Salm
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Last year, Chicago was given the gift of its first all-electronic dance music festival, Spring Awakening. In its inaugural year, the festival hosted 50,000 fans all eager to catch a glimpse of headliners Afrojack and the Grammy award-winning leader of the dubstep pack, Skrillex, all outside and within the walls of the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field. Now back for its second year, the festival has expanded to three days, and has even added another stage. With headliners like Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, and a wide array of youngsters and veterans, Spring Awakening is sure to be another historical hit. From those newcomers, we’ve chosen our own top five artists that we think will blow everyone away, even if they aren’t headlining the main stage. And by the way, they are all from Chicago.

Trentino
Over the years, Trentino has become more than just a local celebrity. Not only has his music made its way onto MTV, VH1, ESPN, Oxygen, and Style Networks, among our very own Beatport charts, but the recent Red Bull Thre3Style Champion has perfected the art of turntables. Since the beginning, Trentino has treated the turntables as his weapon of choice—and it shows. Check the video below for proof.


Porn and Chicken
Porn displayed on TVs, chicken served up right, naked girls, and loud music all await you during your normal Monday night in Chicago—now that’s what we call a party! Over the past few years, Porn and Chicken has successfully rooted itself as Chicago’s Monday-night hotspot at Evil Olive. Now this this talented group of DJs and artists bring that live spectacle to Soldier Field.


Stratus
Twenty-two-year-old producer Patrick Stratton (aka Stratus) has received massive support from the dubstep and bass crowds in Chicago over the past few years, so much so, in fact, that the artist recently signed to Ultra Records and released his hit track “Alarm” this past February. If you like insane energy, perfectly placed drops, and the vibes of Krewella, Adventure Club, and Zeds Dead (all of whom he’s opened up for before), then you won’t want to miss Stratus.

Robots on the Run
Robots on the Run was formed in 2010 when Chicago-based DJs PDA and Daniel Jay decided to combine forces. Since then, the two artists have been hitting venues like Spybar and the newly renovated Palladium nightclub at Castle. Now the duo is gearing up for festival season, with slots at most of Chicago’s largest summer events, including their second year at Spring Awakening. If you’re looking for a refreshing spin on all the electronic mania, these are your guys.

Bisharat
Bisharat is quickly becoming a favorite among the impassioned fans of Chicago’s nightlife scene. With residencies at places like Spybar and YBar, and opening up for the likes of Mark Knight, Claude VonStroke, and Miguel Campbell, we only expect to see bigger things from the Windy City local this year. One thing is for sure: you won’t want to miss Bisharat “swimming in the deep end” to start off your festival day deep and smooth.