Who's Who of Chicago's Spring Awakening Music Festival
Posted on April 22 2019
“I’m from Chicago,” gets thrown around too carelessly and if you’re from Chicago, you know it. Considering Chitown is the epicenter of a tri-state intersection, “Chicagoans” can be from Wisconsin, Indiana, or any of the Chicagoland suburbs as far as 90 minutes (or miles!) away. So when Chicago’s top EDM fest, Spring Awakening Music Festival, officially announced they were relocating to Hoffman Estates (literally 38.1 miles outside of city limits), Chicagoans were somewhat stunned. The new location is over 27 acres, three times larger than the former location: perfect for bigger sound, more stages, added experiences. There will be parking on-site, an upgrade from years past, and plenty of public transportation to get there. Despite the change in scenery, we know Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates will be absolutely packed with “Chicagoans” and Midwestern EDM fans this June 7th, 8th, and 9th.
We’re about 50 days out and want to unpack this lineup for you. Among SAMF 2019’s stacked flyer are some newer, counter-culture artists we’re exceptionally proud of as well as some classic bangers we’ll probably end up raging to as well. GRiZ, Rezz, Illenium, Subtronics, Space Jesus, and Excision are some of the less mainstream artists who have been playing festivals and paving their own path for years now and are arguably bringing in larger fanbases than their co-headliners. We also have an incredible amount of local homies who have earned a timeslot as a performing artist this year and think you should get to know them.
We Present The “Who’s Who” of Chicago EDM
Azgard: “THE PORTAL TO A BETTER REALM” their Facebook slogan proudly boasts, but not without good reason! This duo produces a hybrid of dubstep and bass house and they literally make our faces melt. They came up rather quickly in the scene and have almost 200K listens on some of their “Remixes” and almost 2 million plays on their year-old track, “The Rise”. These two recently dropped some new merch and we’re hoping to start GRC collab in the future!
We’re also super stoked for our local Chicago fam who have earned a spot as a performing artist on this year’s lineup! GoodSex has been producing and DJing in Chicago for more than 5 years now and collaborated with Grassroots for merch not long ago. His trappy-electro tunes have been featured at SAMF, Freaky Deaky, and other local fests, and, rumor has it, the GoodBus, his personal festi-bus complete with lighting, sound, and comfy hangs will be making an appearance at SAMF! We’re looking forward to more events with GoodSex this summer so stay tuned!
We’ve been supporting Smokahauntas in all her recent endeavors! Not only is this badass babe getting major exposure on festival lineups this year, but we also partnered with Smokahauntas, Illy Wonka, and their friends to help support the “On The Road” Tour for Summer Camp Music Festival! They all went b2b with a number of local friends and they won a time slot at the 4-day camping music festival in Chillicothe, IL! We’re super stoked to catch Smokahauntas at both #Scamp19 and #SAMF2019! As on of the only female DJs and producers in the Chicago-bass community, we salute you.
Kleavr is another Chicago-homie we’re super proud to see on this year’s lineup! Grassroots Chicago has been a fan of Kleavr and had him play a set at Grassroots Chicago’s Fright Night, an EDM-based, Halloween rager the GRC CHI team put together at the 515 last year. He’s recently signed with two labels: Subcarbon Records, and Buygore Records, founded by dubstep-daddy, Borgore. His presence on socials is exceptionally positive and inspiring and he almost always rocks one of our lids (just another reason why we love him!). While we typically catch Kleavr in our Bearslick Removable Bear Patch Hat, here he is wearing an earlier version of this Laser Guided Visions hat.
Treepeoh is like SproutFam to us here at GRC CHI and we couldn’t be more excited for him to play in our own backyard. Not only has Treepeoh played festivals such as 515 Alive, Dancefestopia, and Kosmic Kingdom, but he’s almost always sporting one of my favorite hats, the Chicago Mosaic Bear Gray Fitted! His newest song, “Goliath”, dropped on Spotify this March and brings the heaviest bass and chilling sound effects that literally give me goosebumps! With a hint of trap and riddim, this song perfectly builds up energy before dropping you into a deep, dark, wobbly bass-tunnel. My favorite original track so far is “Beat Back” which has rightfully earned over one-hundred-thousand plays on Soundcloud, but it’s his live mixing that is the most fun!
Mr.Bobby is a hidden gem more locals really ought to know by now. We first met Mr.Bobby at Spring Awakening last year, only to find out he’s been throwing some of the best blacklight parties in the city! A resident DJ at EXIT, Mr.Bobby turns up the dancefloor and sets the stage for some of the wildest nights in town. As a producer and DJ, Mr.Bobby is one of the best at feeling out a crowd’s energy and giving the people what they want!
And For The Juicy Headliners...
GRiZ is a DJ/producer (and Detroit Sax Master!) known for showing love and spreading love. Not only is this creative the brains behind some of the most progressive and charitable events in the Midwest, but he is also one of the only electro-funk and dubstep DJs who will move an entire audience with a reed-instrument on stage. Griz dropped 8th studio album this month, Ride Waves, and GrizFam couldn’t be more proud or excited! This album features some of the most highly-anticipated drops including “A New Day”, a song featuring Matisyahu with a powerful message about preventing gun violence, “Maybe” (my favorite song!) featuring Yoshi Flower, and “My Friends and I Pt. 2” featuring Chicago’s own, ProbCause, and Snoooooop D-O-Double G! The album is rich with more collabs including Wiz Khalifa and Bootsy Collins and is the perfect balance of old Griz and New! Not only did Grassroots California partner with G-man to make the official hats for this tour and album, but we’re also backing some very important Liberators for the Griz’ Ride Waves Tour! ;) #SLSL
Rezz, a female Canadian DJ has grown so much in the past few years! With ties to both Deadmau5' Mau5trap and OWSLA Records, her expertise in the field is no surprise. Rezz has played at top-notch festivals such as Bonnaroo and Summercamp, and has totally earned her headlining title! Her hard work and incredible growth hasn’t gone unnoticed: this lady boss went from attending Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, and Zeds Dead shows to headlining festivals in 5 short years of hard work and practice! You'll know her when you see her: she'll have the dad hat and her iconic LED goggles on to start!
Illenium and I have a love/hate relationship. I love his live sets so much, but his remixes are so emotional and provoking, it literally brings fans to tears (and I hate crying at shows.). His melodies are eerie, magical, and highly-recognizable, so grab your bestie, tissues, and glitter to hide those tears! I’ll be singing along to all the classics, even if I’m posted up at our vendor booth! He's been cited as one of the most genuine, kind souls in the EDM scene so fans were extra nervous when he suddenly canceled the end of his tour. He took to Twitter this weekend to explain he's just taking care of his girlfriend who had a sudden medical emergency and needed to be hospitalized for a few days. We're sending get well wishes and hope they'll both be healthy and ready to rage for Spring Awakening in June!
"Now That's What I Call Riddim" is just one of Subtronics' many projects and comes in 4 full-length volumes! Who might you ask? Known for mozzarella-stick-love, mountain dew, and lasers, Subtronics is kind of blowing up and deservedly so! This Philly-based producer is making hits with Ganja White Night and Boogie T, plus Grassroots collab artist, Space Jesus. This dubstep leader is more than just trending in the community: he’s setting the standard for current riddim producers and he's touring with his partner-in-crime, Blunts & Blondes! And we just found out he's a fan of Aaron Brooks and are pretty impressed with this new piece he just copped from ABrooks himself! Oh, and did we mention Space Jesus? Grassroots California and Space Jesus did collaborate on a bucket hat a few years ago, but they’ve been long gone and sold out for a hot minute. What is still out there is this 46-minute “Exclusive Grassroots Dope Hat Remix” featuring some of the best dubstep songs from the 2010s promoting our collaboration. Go listen and learn up before these killer sets at SAMF2019.
Excision was the last artist to be announced since his recent Navy Pier show in Chicago, but rumors were rampant that this legend would be performing. Leave it to our basshead imaginations to predict a medium-length name that starts with the letter "E" (since it was alphabetical between “D” and “F” names). What we didn't predict was that we're getting an exclusive "Detox Set" instead of the usual banger we're used to. A "Detox Set", as Excision explained to his fans in this Lost Lands description, is “a chance for [him] to push creative boundaries … to support artists that are expanding their boundaries of bass music and help give the attention they deserve”. I’ve personally never experienced this kind of set and am really looking forward to a change in the heavy, high-energy pace Excision normally sets at his shows.
I will 100% be at Spring Awakening and you should too! Grassroots California has sponsored SAMF since 2013 by making the official hats and apparel, and this year we’ve got a few really awesome items dropping at the Official Merchandise booth! We’ve also partnered with DimeBags as vendors to host a bigger, better booth than ever before! Stop by all weekend to take pics on our inflatables, snag the newest styles on the GRC shelves, and check out DimeBags’ newest drops including the Computer Bag, Lockable-Smell Proof Omerta Bags, and the official GRC X DimeBags Top Shelf Backpack and Hat combo! We’ll also be hosting pop-ups, scavenger hunt giveaways, and the GrizFam SAMF Meet Up throughout the weekend. We’re a great pit stop in between your favorite sets, the munchies, and much-needed water breaks!
As always, don’t forget to tag your festival squad wearing your favorite Grassroots outfit with #GSproutGang to be reposted! See you at #SAMF2019, fam! We have so many new items dropping for our 10th Anniversary, Aaron Brooks & Ellie Paisley show, and the Spring/Summer 2019 collection. As official media team, we'll have our cameras on to capture your best GRC looks in action.
Haven’t got your tickets yet? Buy your single-day, 3-day, GA and VIP passes using our exclusive Grassroots link: bit.ly/GRCSAMF19, along with parking passes! Don’t want to drop $223.14 (taxes and fees included) on your ticket? Enter to win a pair of 3-day GA tickets on the Grassroots Chicago Facebook Page starting Tuesday, April 23rd at 12 Noon CST!