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Spring Awakening Music Festival 2016, Friday
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

The best electronic music festivals in Chicago

Chicago's best electronic music festivals bring DJs and dance music to some of the city's finest outdoor venues

By Zach Long

Chicago's best dance clubs aren't the only place where you can hear the latest techno, trance, house and dubstep. Take a look at the city's summer music festival lineup, and you'll find plenty of DJs, producers and electronic acts amid the various bills. If you need to know where to find bass drops, pyrotechnics and wild crowds, we've gathered a list of the best electronic music festivals in Chicago.

Electronic music festivals in Chicago
Photograph: Max Herman

Summer Camp Music Festival

Things to do Festivals

You'll need to make your way to Chillicothe, Illinois, but there aren't any pesky counselors at the Summer Camp Music Festival. Instead, guests can enjoy seven stages of music, including Pretty Lights, Zeds Dead and Gramatik. The rest of the bill skews toward jam bands and hip-hop, but you can always throw your own rave back at your campsite.

Ravers showed up catch EDM acts in Solider Field at Spring Awakening Music Festival 2015.

Spring Awakening Music Festival


Kicking off the summer music festival season in Chicago is this EDM-heavy bash, which takes place from June 9 to 11 in Addams/Medill Park. This year's Spring Awakening lineup is packed with some of the biggest names in electronic music, including Diplo, Armin Van Buuren, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Marshmello and Galantis. Of course, you can expect to see some intricately-designed stages, streamers and enough fireworks to convince you that it's already July.

The inaugural Mamby on the Beach music festival brought electronic acts and DJs to Oakwood Beach on July 12, 2015.
Photographer: Cousin Daniel

Mamby on the Beach

Music Music festivals

If you can't afford a vacation to the ocean this summer, you can at least enjoy some music with sand beneath your toes at Mamby on the Beach. The lakefront festival on Oakwood Beach brings Flying Lotus, Cut/Copy, Klingande, Tchami and Strfkr to the shores of Lake Michigan this summer. Plus, the DJ tent will host a tribute to Chicago techno label Relief Records on Sunday.

Thousands of attendees crowded into Grant Park to see bands during the first day of the Lollapalooza on July 31, 2015.



EDM has become an increasingly prominent part of the Lollapalooza experience and this year is no different. Headlining acts such as DJ Snake, Justice, Kaskade and Porter Robinson will be dropping beats all over Grant Park (though the action is likely to be centered around Perry's Stage). You'll also be able to catch rising acts like Slushii, Pham, Missio and more on one of the largest stages they're likely to perform on this summer.

A few storms couldn't dampen the spirits of North Coast Music Festival attendees on September 5, 2015.
Photograph: Kristan Lieb

North Coast Music Festival


Taking over Labor Day weekend, North Coast is your final chance to catch some electronic acts outdoors before autumn officially arrives in Chicago. EDM artists are all over the 2017 bill, including a collaboration between Deadmau5 and Eric Prydz. Show up in Union Park between September 1 and 3 and you'll also see Bonobo, Destructo, Carnage and more.


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