North Coast Music Festival invades Chicago today, bringing with it its own incredible brand of weird. Here's a little history, and some facts that will help you survive
The North Coast Music Festival, which is a brainchild of several Chicago promoters, is in its third year. Its remarkably eclectic mix of artists has entertained over 50,000 people to the fest for the last two years. With only 500 tickets left for sale this year, a full capacity crowd is expected this year as well. North Coast was born out of need. It was conceived when a group of independent Chicago promoters realized there was no festival that covered, according to React Event's(One of the Promotion companies) Zach Putin, "Those who like to get down." North Coast picks up where most major festivals leave off, focusing on dance music, hip hop, jam bands, and indie rock artists. This weekend, it's going to get weird, and here are tips on how to get the most out of your experience.
Step one: Getting tickets. Three day passes sold out weeks ago, and Sunday passes sold out earlier this week. To try to snag the remaining tickets you can go to the official site at clubtix.com, or you can take your chances with scalping. A fair amount of people are selling tickets on other sites, and there will be scalpers galore, but the safest option is usually going through the site.
Step two: Achieving the location. The festival will be located in Union Park which is located at 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607. This is just a hop skip and a jump from the Ashland Green Line stop, which actually drops off at the park. The location can also be achieved by taking the #9 Ashland bus. If you're driving, Google's maps feature is awesome.
Step 3: Security. Security will be run by S3, the company has worked security the previous two years as well. According the the North Coast website, everyone will be searched and asked to empty their pockets upon entry. There is a list of prohibited items which can be found here.
Step 4: Rage. With the huge variety of acts, picking the ones you want to see can be difficult, so I asked Mr. Putin what his top five acts would be "My personal top 5 includes the lovely Miss Maya Jane Coles, 1/2 of my favorite hip-hop group of all time, Big Boi, DFA's own The Rapture (whose latest release is excellent), Chicago's own Van Ghost, and my friends in Midnight Conspiracy." Whatever your style though, you can find something that will fit your needs.
Step 5: Stay safe. Remember to stay hydrated, take breaks when you need them, and wear sunblock. There will be water refill stations throughout the festival, so bring empty bottles and camel backs to fill up. If weather turns bad the festival organizers are working with the city to keep everyone safe. If the situation necessitates, they will clear the park, but it is a last resort.
If you have completed all these steps....
IT'S TIME TO GET WEIRD.
Photo Cred: Nicola DeVeno