Chicago’s Music Scene is Reinvigorated After ARC Music Festival

Photos by: Kursza for ARC Music Festival

It is quite a feat these days to put on a large-scale music festival. Getting an event off the ground without a hitch is virtually impossible. Logistical nightmares are bound to happen during production, and even well-established festivals encounter problems. Plus, navigating the waters of the COVID-19 pandemic adds a new challenge to event organizers. However, despite all odds, Auris Presents is due a round of applause for creating and hosting an incredible festival for its first year. Techno and house fans rejoiced when Auris Presents announced ARC Music Festival. The lineup was stellar, and the amenities, sponsors, and stages all promised a fabulous festival experience. And boy oh boy, they delivered!

Saturday, September 4th

We arrived at Union Park on Saturday after a cautionary few weeks. Massive COVID spikes, multiple artist cancellations and inclement weather in the Midwest all threatened the likeliness of ARC happening. Regardless, we entered the festival bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready for the weekend we’d been anticipating for what seemed like an eternity. We were immediately greeted by the welcoming and familiar atmosphere of a music festival. You could feel a buzz in the air. After almost two years since my last fest, I had nearly forgotten what it felt like to walk into festival grounds for the first time and take it all in. Friendly faces, crazy outfits, and loud music all bombarded my senses in a way that gave me immense comfort. We were finally back where we belonged and it felt so good!

Saturday, for us, began with Luttrell of Anjunabeats at The Grid. It was a lovely laid-back set that got us nice and warmed up for the rest of the weekend. We moved over to the Expansions stage to catch Deborah De Luca absolutely slay her set. We stayed for Cirez D (Eric Prydz’s techno alias), of course. Although it was hard to follow up Deborah, Eric kept the crowd going with a masterful exhibition of his mixing abilities. We finished off the night with ZHU and his band, who consistently put on an awesome live show.

Sunday, September 5th

My crew arrived for day two ready for Eric Prydz. This is the set we had been waiting and yearning for. We hung out at Meduza’s set at the main stage for a bit. I hadn’t heard of him before, but his set was captivating. I’d definitely suggest checking him out! Next, we skipped over to Will Clarke at the elrow stage. It basically looked like a rainbow had exploded in there, it was so fun and colorful! Finally, we returned to The Grid for the main event. CamelPhat threw down an amazing set before the big guy came on. We moved up to the rail to get up close and personal with the man of the hour, Eric Prydz. As expected, he absolutely destroyed that set.

After a solid 20 minutes to recover from the insanity of the day, Charles D and Prydz ripped us apart again at the Pryda after party. We had to pick ourselves up and put ourselves back together afterwards. Let’s just say we are very grateful we had Monday off…

We’re Ready to Go Back

Overall, ARC Music Festival was genuinely impressive. The music was the highlight, of course, but the experience as a whole was fantastic. The festival itself was expertly executed. Security was well organized, even with additional COVID guidelines in place. The design and layout was especially commendable. Each stage, VIP section, and various amenities were always within reach. I can’t complain about fully stocked bars, friendly staff, and an older, more mature crowd. So many pieces came together perfectly to make this weekend everything I had hoped it would become.

Auris Presents may be a newly established entity in the entertainment industry, but it’s safe to say that they have officially made themselves a household name with ARC. Absolutely wonderful job to everyone on the team and a massive thank you to those who worked so hard to guarantee ARC blew our minds!

See you next year ARC Music Festival!

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