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North Coast Music Festival

North Coast Music Festival 2016 takes over Labor Day weekend with electronic music, hip-hop acts and jam bands

Photograph: Kristan Lieb
Costumed concert-goers flocked to the final day of North Coast Music Festival on September 6, 2015.

Ah, Labor Day, the end of summer. Accordingly, North Coast Music Festival bills itself as "Summer's Last Stand." (Though technically this is not the end of summer festivals, as Riot Fest hits two weeks later.) Curated and run by local club promoters React Presents, North Coast arguably delivers the most diverse bill of any Chicago music festival. This year, EDM acts such as Bassnectar, Odesza and Zedd top the bill, which also includes artists like Action Bronson and Sleigh Bells. Later, the party spills over into several afterparties at local dance clubs.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete coverage of summer music festivals

When is North Coast Music Festival 2016?

North Coast Music Festival takes place on Labor Day weekend, from September 2-4, 2016.

Where is North Coast Music Festival 2016?

The festival takes place in Union Park (the same venue where Pitchfork Music Festival occurs) which is located at 1501 W Randolph Street.  

North Coast Music Festival 2016

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North Coast Music Festival 2016 lineup

Bassnectar, Zedd and more great acts top this year's bill

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North Coast Music Festival 2015

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6 best things we saw at North Coast

The best sets, people and attractions at the weekend festival

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Music

North Coast 2015, Sunday: Faces in the crowd

The Chemical Brothers brought plenty of lasers to the final day of the fest

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Music

North Coast 2015, Saturday: Faces in the crowd

D'Angelo and the Roots headlined another beautiful day of music

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Music

North Coast 2015, Friday: Faces in the crowd

The Labor Day weekend bash kicked off with set from Wale and Widespread Panic

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Music

9 must-see acts at North Coast 2015

Not sure who to see in Union Park this year? We've got 9 great recommendations

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Blog

North Coast is trying to grow up

We spoke with co-founder Michael Berg about the fest's maturing lineup

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North Coast Music Festival 2014

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Crazy costumes at North Coast

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Sunday faces in the crowd

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Saturday faces in the crowd

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Friday faces in the crowd

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More photos, lineups and news

Music

10 must-see acts at North Coast Music Festival 2014

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The City of Chicago defines what "EDM" means

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North Coast day by day lineup

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Music

North Coast Music Festival 2014 headliners and lineup

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Crazy costumes from North Coast

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Batbro and even more costumes

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Still more wild costumes

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North Coast 2013 in photos

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Archive North Coast stories

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We totally guess the final headliner of North Coast Music Fest

Last week, North Coast Music Festival announced its lineup. Well, almost all of it. The name at the top of the bill was not revealed. Today, the jam-electro-rap-friendly fest dropped a hint as to who that act might be with the image above. Fans can take a stab on Instagram and winners will receive a four-pack of tickets. We are here to help you cheat. Countless band images pass by our eyes each day. We rule out Modest Mouse and Umphrey's McGee—both six-pieces. These are our best educated guesses at the quintet. 1) Moe. It's gotta be a jam band, right? The height distribution seems spot on here.  2) Incubus Remember these guys? They're on tour again. They're here in late July, but their tour wraps up at the end of August. 3) STS9 Another regular. However, the Sound Tribe played last year. 4) The Decemberists No Chicago festival dates this summer, which feels odd. However, the silhouettes seem all wrong, hair wise. 5) The Goonies Chunk, Data, Mouth, Mikey and Sloth. Hey, it's the 30th anniversary—you never know!

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Music

10 must-see acts at North Coast Music Festival 2014

Of all of Chicago's summer music festivals, North Coast remains the most dedicated to rhythm and electricity. Sure, there's a crunchy jam texture to a bit of the lineup, but largely the bill skews EDM and hip-hop—the stuff of parties and dance clubs. In its fifth year, the three-day Union Park event has booked a varied lineup. The performers onstage are as diverse and colorful as the costumed faces in the crowd. It's an explosion of neon, tattoos, weird facial hair and jewels—and that's just Riff Raff. Here are the best spectacles and opportunities to bounce at North Coast 2014. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to North Coast Music Festival

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Music

North Coast Music Festival 2013, Saturday: Crazy costumes we saw

Wait, what are Juggalos doing at North Coast? Or are there now varying breeds of bros who dress up as clowns and listen to hip-hop? And as the Internet bitches about Ben Affleck being Batman, let the nerds take solace in knowing there are worse men to wear the cowl. This is what you get when you mix hippies, dubstep bros and jam fans. North Coast is an eclectic mix. Flip through our photos to see the wildest of the wild. RECOMMENDED: See more wild outfits from day one of North Coast Music Festival RECOMMENDED: Pictures of Nas, Afrojack and more playing to a wild crowd on day two of North Coast

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Clubs

North Coast Music Festival 2012 | Preview

Returning to Union Park for its third year, hippie-leaning jam-rap-dance fest North Coast is clearly sticking with an if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it policy. The summer of 2012 has been a crowded one for festivals, especially EDM-fueled ones, but that’s not stopping this one’s organizers from giving the candy ravers and flower kids from the new millennium one last reason to party. As a replacement of sorts to David Guetta, two-thirds of progressive dance trifecta Swedish House Mafia make high-profile appearances, with Axwell hitting a main stage on Friday and brother-in-four-on-the-floor-arms Steve Angello closing one out Sunday. For those who are less inclined to rage till the bitter end, but still prefer to stick to a beat, the god of the mash-up, Girl Talk, makes his second consecutive Chicago summer festival appearance as a headliner on Saturday. Sending the rest of us dancing into the night on Sunday, Colorado’s king of electro-hop, Pretty Lights, debuts a new stage show and new songs to go with it. North Coast isn’t all EDM either. Local jam sensations Umphrey’s McGee top the bill on Saturday and, for its second year running, East Coast jamtronic supergroup STS9 rules on Friday. Each day’s programming is as diverse as its headliners, with indie rap standouts like Yelawolf and Zion-I, and DJ legend Paul Oakenfold representing on Friday. Get your DFA on with sets from YACHT and the Rapture on Saturday, or split your time raving to Alesso and Excision. Closing out the w

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Music

North Coast Music Festival 2013: 10 must-see acts

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to North Coast Music Festival

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Clubs

North Coast Music Festival | Preview

Mixing radio-friendly electro giants, rhyme slingers, smoked-out beats and bands that know how to make people dance, North Coast Music Festival brings downtown clubgoers and rave-ready youths together in the name of outdoor revelry. The fledgling festival takes over Union Park Friday 2 through Sunday 4 for its sophomore run. To help you satisfy your craving for stoner grooves, fist-pumping beats and everything in between, we’ve outlined some of its more noteworthy acts on this handy breakdown for you. BassnectarThe dreadlocked bass fiend from Cali mixes dubstep with a side of Burning Man psychedelia.Sun 4 at 8:30pm, North Coast Stage SBTRKTDubstep’s latest poster child, this masked sensation is really the future of soul.Fri 2 at 6:30pm, North Coast Stage Paper DiamondRepresenting for Colorado’s dank beat scene, he’s one for the Pretty Lights fans.Sun 4 at 3:35pm, Red Bull Stage Thievery CorporationThis D.C. duo helped usher in downtempo. With a new record, its dubby lounge is a smoker’s delight.Sun 4 at 8:30pm, Red Bull Stage David GuettaHe’s the reason dance music is bigger than ever. He’s also the main attraction this weekend.Fri 2 at 8:30pm, North Coast Stage James ZabielaFresh-faced and ready to rave, Zabiela’s sets are pure energy.Fri 2 at 5:30pm, Red Bull Stage Zeds DeadDubstep gone hip-hop; this duo was at it way before Yeezy started sampling Flux Pavilion.Sat 3 at 3pm, Red Bull Stage CommonThe festival’s elder statesman, hometown hero Common commands mass appe

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Music

North Coast Music Festival 2013, Friday: Crazy costumes we saw

And you thought Neon Indian was just a bad band name. Odds are, at North Coast Music Festival you will see an entire neon set of Village People. These festivalgoers love their electric pink and chartreuse, not to mention their glow sticks, jester hats, furry boots and flower headbands. This is what you get when you mix hippies, dubstep bros and jam fans. North Coast is an eclectic mix. Flip through our photos to see the wildest of the wild. RECOMMENDED: See more wild outfits from past editions of North Coast Music Festival

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Music

North Coast Music Festival 2013, Sunday: Crazy costumes we saw

Not as many Batmen today, though there were some Supermen and Penguins. Also spotted in Union Park: nuns, Pokemon, maple-leaf bikinis and…construction workers on stilts? Don't ever stop being you, crazy North Cost Music Festival–goers. This is what you get when you mix hippies, dubstep bros and jam fans. North Coast is an eclectic mix. Flip through our photos to see the wildest of the wild. RECOMMENDED: Wild outfits from day one of North Coast Music Festival 2013RECOMMENDED: Crazy costumes from day two of North Coast Music Festival 2013RECOMMENDED: Complete coverage of North Coast: band photos, reviews and more

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Music

North Coast Music Festival after-shows and after-parties

The folks behind North Coast Music Festival have announced a fat stack of after-shows. Lollapalooza and Pitchfork aren't the only ones who get in on the after-party action. The highlights come early with a bonus kick-off gig featuring Chet Faker, Mount Kimbie and Fujiya & Miyagi. Other notable gigs include an appearance by Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, a performance by electro-fusion act STS9 at House of Blues, and a massive jam sesh with Talib Kweli on a yacht. Take a look below to see the full list of after-shows. Tickets for all concerts are on sale now. RECOMMENDED: Crowd photos and our complete guide to North Coast Music Festival

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Music

North Coast Music Festival 2013, Saturday: Faces in the crowd

 Nothing sums up North Coast Music Festival quite like this headline:   Naked man tasered outside North Coast Music Festival http://t.co/zNLLeEjswP — ChicagoBreaking (@ChicagoBreaking) September 1, 2013   But after a day of storm delays and rain damaged gear leading to a headliner having to improvise without instruments, this routine druggy debauchery was welcome normality. Saturday, day two of the three day event, carried the lightest lineup, star-power wise. Hip-hop hall of famer Nas and hit producer Afrojack were the household-ish name atop the bill. Big Gigantic, an act far more popular than you might think, closed out the main stage with…whatever they do. Blend smooth jazz and dubstep? RECOMMENDED: Crazy costumes, muddy dancers, lasers and performers from day one of North Coast 2013 Look, all my descriptions fail to succintly encapsulate this outdoor frat party like adolescents and their thumbs can. So I turn it back over to the terse perfection of tweets: Afrojack! #NCMF#RAVE#MOLLY#TURNT#OMG#LIVE#AFROJACK#PLURhttp://t.co/C6O9LJROR8 — Kristen (@BasedMulan) September 1, 2013 I dont get why some people think festivals are dirty. You meet chill ass people, get hella fucked up, and share the memories #NCMF — Matt Jasinski (@MattJasinski374) September 1, 2013

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Comments

1 comments
Scott K
Scott K

Keeping it cool and carcinogenic, I see.