Only fifty days remain until Spring Awakening Music Festival (SAMF) makes its debut at a new location with a robust roster of electronic music producers. There are nearly one hundred artists to see over the span of the three day festival, held at Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates, IL. With an overwhelming amount of diverse artists to see from Jun 7-9, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten must-see acts at this year’s event.
10. Two Friends
If you’ve ever been to a frat party then you’ve probably heard a Two Friends “Big Bootie Mix.” The latest “Big Bootie Mix 15” is available for streaming on Spotify and SoundCloud. It’s the perfect soundtrack to any party – frat or not. Two Friends are notorious for mixing everyone’s favorite throwback hits into their sets, plus plenty of originals. Selling out the vast majority of the With My Homies Tour, including a show at Skyway’s The Loft, these guys are too much fun to pass up.
9. Nora En Pure
It’s amazing to see all of the girl power that has taken over the EDM scene in the last year – and it’s only the beginning for the ladies. Unfortunately, the SAMF line-up is lacking in female artists this year. Rezz is headlining, which is awesome, but if there’s one non-headlining female act you have to check out, it’s definitely Nore En Pure. The Swiss DJ will be laying down a ton of chill, deep and tech house tunes. It’ll be the perfect opportunity to relax with friends to a groovy beat before getting your rage on later in the night.
The fact that Benny Benassi is on this year’s roster is absolutely insane. The guy is a living legend. The Italian producer practically invented electro-house. Even if you don’t listen to electronic music, there’s a 100% chance you’ve heard Benassi’s 2012 hit, “Satisfaction.” That song is enough reason to check out what’s sure to be a memorable house set.
7. GTA – Purple Set
Dynamic duo GTA, an acronym for Good Times Ahead, is bringing their “purple” set to the grounds of Poplar Creek. Their 2018 “3 Night Stand” tour featured three nights of three unique sets, each associated with a different genre. Purple denotes a setlist stacked with house and techno tracks.
As described in their spotify ‘about’ page, GTA are “new-wave tastemakers, paving the way for genre-less music to stand at the forefront.” Even though this purple set is sure to be dominated by house and techno, GTA is known for their eclectic taste. It is sure to be an extremely fun, extremely diverse show.
Jumping on the scene with voracious force in 2018, 1788-L has truly made a name for himself practically overnight. Starting with an impressive remix of Virtual Self’s “Particle Arts,” the DJ and producer has now created sounds with the likes of Rezz, Ekali, Tynan, and Blanke. This mysterious, pixelated, “synthetic-automaton” mix master is sure to destroy the necks of many headbangers as he delivers his glitchy, mid-tempo bangers.
Fresh off The Infinity Tour, aptly named after his massive thirty song album, Liquid Stranger breaks the top 5 on this list for a multitude of reasons. First, yes, you read that right. Thirty songs. Infinity is a musical feat in and of itself. From start to finish the album is filled with weird, unique downtempo dubstep. This project felt like a culmination of all his past works combined. It was truly amazing to listen to front to back.
Not to mention, Liquid Stranger (real name Martin Staaf), will be holding his very own Wakaan Festival this October in Ozark, Arkansas. The fest will include plenty of artists from the Wakaan label, headed by Staaf himself. He’s been on the scene for a very long time, but it’s clear he’s barely grazed the surface for what’s to come in his career. Do not miss a chance to see a set full of tunes from the amazing album that Infinity is.
It goes without saying that Flosstradamus pioneered the trap genre, making it what it is today. Beginning as the duo consisting of Curt Cameruci and Josh Young, Flosstradamus is now a one man show, with Cameruci retaining the stage name. Josh Young has continued his solo career under the stage name YehMe2. Teaming up with 24 year old producer, 4B, this set is sure to be trap and hip-hop heaven. 4B’s “Pop Dat” has to be one of the most played songs in the electronic music world. This show is just going to be one big party, and what’s more fun than that?
3. Excision – Detox Set
Everyone knows that Excision is the king of headbanging, neck breaking dubstep. However, his Detox set is a breath of fresh air compared to what his fans are used to. While you might be used to Excision bringing the bass, Detox sets are a chance for him to showcase more experimental and “vibey” music. This style set does not come around very often so you definitely do not want to miss it.
As said by the producer himself, Detox sets are “a chance to push creative boundaries… it’s also a chance to support artists that are expanding the boundaries of bass music and help giving them the attention they deserve.” If you’re hoping for the usual from Excision, this is probably not the set for you. But if you’re ready to try out something new and hear some unusual, experimental tunes, definitely check it out.
2. DJ Snake
This time last year, DJ Snake may not have even made this list. After being hit with a string of not so great reviews on his live performances last year, a fire must’ve been lit under the producer. Closing out the Outdoor Theatre on Friday of Coachella, he proved that DJ Snake is back and he brought the big guns.
Joining him on stage for their hit “Taki Taki” was Selena Gomez, Cardi B, and Ozuna. Having worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Travis Scott, DJ Snake will definitely put on an impressive new show and prove that he is truly a top tier headliner once again.
With all of the hype surrounding Illenium, it seems that this is a no brainer. The melodic dubstep producer incorporates live instruments into his performances, often bringing along his “sad boi squad,” made up of Said the Sky, Dabin, and Mitis. His fanbase is huge and only growing. Illenium lands the top spot on this list because of some impressive, career defining feats he’s attained already this year.
After selling out one night of Red Rocks last summer, the Colorado based producer announced a two-night stint at the legendary venue for October 2019. Selling out in what seemed like seconds, a third night was added – which also sold out immediately.
On top of that madness, Illenium will join the ranks of some of the most renowned electronic music producers, performing at the 20,000+ capacity Madison Square Garden in September 2019. He will be joining the ranks of Jack U (Skrillex and Diplo), Above & Beyond, and Swedish House Mafia. Illenium’s shows are filled with intense passion and massive production. This show is an absolute must-see. Hands. Down.
Regardless of who you choose to fill your three days up with, Spring Awakening Music Festival will be a blast. There are so many great artists to choose from, between headliners, up and comers, and even locals. Check out the full line up here.
Make sure to grab your tickets for the event here.