Wavefront Music Festival = Best New Festival...

Chicago is a city flooded with summertime festivals of all genres.  Lollapalooza being a long time tradition (and my favorite American festival of any genre) stands tall, but others like Pitchfork are also widely respected.  Added to the list these past years are some serious electronic festivals, Chicago is one of the birthplaces of house music after all.  The first ever Electric Daisy Carnival Chicago was held this year, as well as the annual Spring Awakenings Festival and later this summer will be North Coast Festival.  However, starting last year, Chicago has begun a new tradition, one that perhaps in the coming years could become one of America’s absolute best.  Wavefront Festival expanded to 3 days in it’s second year (only 2 days last year) and brought on one of the best and most varied lineups of the summer.  We all know this, so I’ll say it now, the mainstream “house” music right now is not for me.  But Wavefront Festival brings in only the top notch popular acts from each genre, with a strong focus on bringing in a large variety of underground.  Headliners therefore range from Diplo, Justice, Rusko, Caspa and Fatboy Slim…to Maya Jane Coles, Dubfire, Seth Troxler (and the VisionQuest crew), Nico Jaar, Franky Knuckles, Mark Farina, Jamie Jones…EVERYONE!  At this point it is very rare that I get to knock so many people off of my list of never before seen, Scuba, Paul Ritch, Guti and more all impressed me beyond belief.  The best part of the whole thing is it is held on the beach, yes you heard me, the beach, and the festival is kept so clean I did not wear shoes inside the festival even for a minute.  Shoes off, in the sand, immaculate sound (on the two main stages at least) and a lineup like that…you tell me whats wrong?  Well I could only count a few things.  The two main stages (and the adjoining VIP areas) were absolutely perfect, lighting sound and all.  Sadly the same could not be said for the two smaller stages.  One covered “legends” stage was too close to the uncovered “oasis” stage.  At the “Oasis” stage one could hear both main stages and the legends stage playing unless you were literally at the gate, and sound leaks are the worst part of the festival, the covered stage featured the same sound leaks, but not as bad.  The smallest stages, one was essentially a local write off, were meant for “chill out” zones.  However many were sad to find out All Day I Dream hosted by Lee Burridge supposed to happen on the larger of the two tiny stages in the grass was canceled. However, the whole weekend I could not help but think it was not going to be a good place for him anyway.  These problems can however be easily solved by making the festival larger, despite not selling out of tickets, to handle a lineup like that more space is needed.  That being said there was absolutely NO crowding, no pushing no nothing, front row during a headliner was like a walk in the park.  The quality of music was through the roof, each and every DJ (especially the underground side of things) seemed to absolutely love playing on the beach, and it showed!  Dubfire, who I have now seen 13 times, played one of the best festival set’s I have ever seen him play.  In fact this festival is so good and the quality of music is so high I even ventured to acts that I once loved and now grew out of.  For instance, I used to love Diplo, but I truly detest everything he’s about these days (no offense) but trap isn’t for me!  I LOVED HIS SET!  Justice’s 2nd album I found underwhelming and they haven’t been on my Radar really since 2011, but I decided to skip Hot Natured and see their entire set and you know what, it reminded me of how instrumental they were to my first finding electronic music.  Perhaps it was a sign that Justice played Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” as the final track of the festival, because this festival is here to stay.  Before I sign off, I must remark, some may be asking, how much does this amazing experience cost?  Well I payed just over $300 for a 3 day VIP pass, and VIP included side stage viewing areas and OPEN BAR for the whole weekend.  Ultra costs over 300 just to get thrown up on by a 16 year old who just decided to take their first hit of some drug, so that’s a nice comparison of value for you.  The only electronic music festival in America that I prefer to Wavefront that I have been to is Movement.  So if Wavefront keeps building on what it already has going, a less expensive, cleaner, more fun, safer dance environment, this could grow into something this country can be proud of.  Underground and mainstream vibes living in perfect harmony.  Chicago is the perfect place to do this as well, if you don’t believe me, look at the kind of after party action it brought into this amazing city!

-Cuervo