Photos By Hannah Andersen
Written By Kellie Boberek
It has been a week since Summer Set Music and Camping Festival, and all the wonderful memories are still fresh in everyone’s mind. With an explosive lineup that featured Zeds Dead, Zedd, Griz, Slushii, RL Grime, and Post Malone, SSMF was one for the books. Even though the entire festival itself was magical, I’ve narrowed the weekend down to my top seven experiences.
1. Tubing Down the Apple River
One of the most unique features about Summer Set is the option to spend half a day tubing down the Apple River. For $20 festival goers get picked up from their campsite, given a giant tire tube, and brought to the top of the river. You then have three or so hours of staying cool, meeting new people, and getting ready for another day of the festival. They even give you a tube for your cooler! Just be warned that you need to pay close attention to the exit signs otherwise you’ll end up on the side of a highway in a Dairy Queen parking lot in your swim attire.
2. Everyone’s faces when the realized how talented Big Wild is as a musician.
Although Big Wild has been exploding as an artist with his new Invincible EP and as a member of the Foreign Family Collective, many people do not realize the depth of his performances. Big Wild not only DJ’s, but he sings on his original track, Crickets, and does all the hypnotic whistling on his Hey Mami remix. Through the show, you become infatuated with his drum solos, his awesome dance moves, and ever flowing hair. His set kept everybody on their feet and the crowd loved every second of it.
3. South Grounds Camping
Summer Set offers a lot of different camping options, but there was something special about South. Besides the obvious perk of camping next to your car, you are so close to the festival grounds you can hear all of the main stage performances without having to leave the comfort of your tent. Depending where you are in South you can see the stage as well. This gave the advantage of being able to experience sets you would have otherwise missed.
4. Zeds Dead Went So Hard They Broke the Stage
During their headlining performance night one, Zeds Dead went so hard they blew out their speakers/fuse/stage set up. Although we are still not entirely sure what happened, when they got everything back up and running the crowd was rowdier than ever. They also mixed in a lot of bass house tracks into their set which was perfect for anyone looking to dance.
5. Whethan bringing in one of the Biggest Crowds of the Weekend
Although Whethan played the main stage at 3:30pm on Saturday only an hour after the festival gates opened for the day. He garnered one of the biggest crowds of the weekend even with the sun blazing. When the crowd dissolved after his set, it was very clear people were here for Whethan. Not only was his set explosive, covering all his biggest hits, but festival goers got to see him again with a surprise appearance at the Louis the Child after party. A huge win for the Chicago Summer Set Family.
6. Griz is Love
With all of the events happening in the world during Summer Set, what everyone needed before leaving this magical place of love and hope was Griz. With his message always being one of positivity, seeing the word LOVE across the stage one final time was the reminder everyone needed that there is still good in the world.
7. The People
Before SSMF I have never understood the feeling that a festival could be somewhere you consider home. I had heard countless people describe this feeling about other events that although I enjoyed, I didn’t make that deeper connection with. Going to Summer Set alone I planned on sitting in the media tent all weekend, getting a decent night’s sleep, and possibly even leaving a little early. That was until I met the other festival attendees.
Immediately after arriving I was welcomed into other rave families. Being in South Camping my neighbors were the first to welcome me to their groups with open arms. Summer Setters all shared the no one dances alone mentality. Good Vibes Only and Plur are taken very seriously here.
By day two as we met more and more people they would have never guessed I had come alone.
Ultimately music festivals are about the music, but it is the people who you experience it with that makes you feel whole again at the end of the day. I left Summer Set with a lot of new friends, and a little bit bigger Festival Squad. Feel the same way about the festival family you made at Summer Set? Tag them in the comments below.
Summer Set Music and Camping Festival…I’ll be seeing you next summer.
The mosh pits during Snails, had me like woah!
Ookay remixing Fireflies by Owl City to close his otherwise heavy set.