Electric Rift: Midwest festival causes controversy

Andrew Munoz, Reporter

React Presents, the leading event promotion company of the Midwest, has at last finalized plans for Spring Awakening, their annual electronic dance music festival. On March 15, the festival announced via social media its full line up and new location, which in the end left many with mixed feelings.

As 2019 began, fans of the festival started to wonder where the usual teaser tweets and Facebook posts were as its main social media channels had basically gone silent. When React finally released the new location, Poplar Creek in the northern suburb of Hoffman Estates, many fans are skeptical if it will be suitable.

The festival had originally announced in November 2018 that it planned to take place closer to the heart of Chicago in Douglas Park. Later that month, Alderman George Cardenas said no, preventing the festival from making headway, and React was forced to find a new location for their beloved festival.

When Spring Awakening finally announced its new location, midwestern festivalgoers took to social media and began criticizing the new location, making note of how far outside city limits it will be. React defended their choice with valid defenses, citing how the new 27 acres of land will allow for “bigger and better stages, expanded massive production and enhanced experiential environments.” The new location allows for easy access to public transit such as the Metra, amenities like on-site parking and a 10-minute drive of multiple hotels.

Unfortunately, the criticism did not stop at the location alone, as more poured in once the main stage headliners were announced. So much so, that some of the artists took it upon themselves to respond to the hate via social media. One criticism from Twitter users was that headliners Rezz, Illenium and Griz didn’t have more than 200 thousand followers on the social media platform.

“If you think having large social media numbers equates to ability to sell tickets/be successful, you are so wrong,” tweeted Isabelle Rezazadeh, better known by her stage name Rezz. “No more raining on my parade or anybody else’s, we deserve the bookings.

However, the mood shifted and turned 180 degrees when the full line up was released, being met with overwhelmingly positive reviews. 

Spring awakening has always grown vastly in size and popularity since it started at Soldier Field in 2012 and has had to make many accommodations accordingly in order to adapt. “We will continue to produce the best possible experience for our fans,” says Spring Awakening on their official website. “Thank you for supporting us and see you at Spring Awakening 2019!” More information about the festival can be found at