If you are a hardcore music fan or festival rat, this list does not apply to you because you've already been ranting and raving about North Coast to everyone you know. This list is for you normal folk out there that are more likely to go to Lollapalooza or whatever Dave Mathew's called his frat-fest on the Southside. I, like you normies, would've been far more likely to go to a Pearl Jam or U2 concert than ever set foot inside of North Coast. But, after going last year, I know there is no concert as fun, interesting, and awesomely weird as North Coast.
So here are the 5 reasons you should trade in your shirt and tie or Hillary Clinton pantsuit for a tank-top and cheap sunglasses, and join the folks over at Union Park this Labor Day Weekend.
5. Judgment-Free environment: Unlike Lollapalooza, you don't have to worry about seeing somebody from work at this show. Because if you do see someone from work at North Coast, they won't expose you for the tank-wearing partier you really are because people who hate fun don't show up for North Coast. Judgmental fun-haters go to f-ing Coldplay concerts, drink 2 beers, and cry during the "Scientist"
4. Awesomely Weird People: Last year at North Coast, my friend hit me on the shoulder and I turned to see his jaw on the ground as he pointed in the direction of the most awesomely weird thing I've ever scene: A 200lb man rolling around on the ground pretending he was a dog. He then got on all 4s and began to drink Dr. Pepper - only using his tongue because dogs have paws, not hands - from a glass placed on the ground by one of his friends. Upon quenching his thirst, he looked up to his friend/"master" for approval, just like a good dog would.
Oh yeah... he wasn't on drugs. He was just on weird.
Seriously, Hub 51 will still be there the following weekend, so come party with the other half for a weekend.
3. Independently owned: The North Coast Music Group is comprised of Lucas King, Jeff Callahan, Michael Berg (aka the frontman of Van Ghost), Michael Raspatello, Martin Malafaktor, Ed Walsh, Max Wagner, Leif Moravy, Pat Grumley, Adam King, Peter Ski, and Eddie Carranza. And they rely on hundreds of other independent promoters and volunteers and entrepreneurs to make it happen. These are real people using their own, hard earned money to try and fill a void they believe the music industry has neglected. Their goal is simple: give music fans the opportunity to have the best time possible for the cheapest price possible. And, according to all the music critics and fans, they succeeded with flying colors last year.
2. They ease you out of your mainstream comfort zone: The first nights headliners are David Guetta and Wiz Khalifa, so the boys are nice enough to ease you off of mainstream music before releasing you into the wild of North Coast. Walk before you run, folks.
1. See the Acts that will cost double next year at Lollapalooza: Lollapalooza sorta uses North Coast as their unwilling minor league system: they let the partners at North Coast, who are as neck-deep in the music world from bottom-to-top as a group of folks can be, pick their artists and test their draw. Then get those acts for their show 10 months later and charge the music fan double the price (Lolla 3-Day: $215, Single-Day: $90 - North Coast 3-Day: $125, Single-Day: $45). Here is a list of the acts that played at North Coast last year that played at Lollapalooza this year:
-Nas & Damian Marley (first Chicago show)
-Mayor Hawthorne & the County
-Maps & Atlases
-Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Disclaimer: One of the partners of North Coast Music Festival is also a blogger for Lists That Actually Matter.