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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Spring Awakening EDM Fest Is Moving To The Suburbs, Won’t Be Coming To Douglas Park After All

After years of hosting the fest in Addams/Medill Park, organizers previously planned to move the fest to Douglas Park. But a local alderman vowed to block that plan.

Spring Awakening is back in Chicago this year.
Spring Awakening Music Festival/Facebook
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NORTH LAWNDALE — Farewell, Spring Awakening.

After initially announcing a move to Douglas Park last fall, promoters of Spring Awakening have settled on a final location for its three-day electronic dance music festival — suburban Hoffman Estates.

On Monday, organizers React Presents announced six of its headliners for the June 7-9 festival including, ZEDD, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, and DJ Illenium, along with its new location, Poplar Creek.

In the announcement, organizers said “the move was necessary,” noting that construction will begin next spring on a new field house and soccer field at Adams/Medill Park in University Village, the festival’s previous home for the last three years.

“Basically, the site was getting smaller when our vision for SAMF was to grow it bigger,” the organizers wrote.

Poplar Creek’s 27-acre site in Hoffman Estates is three-times the size of its previous home in Addams/Medill Park in the city, organizers said, and the new home would allow for “bigger and better stages, expanded massive production and enhanced experiential environments.”

Credit: Spring Awakening

Last fall, festival organizers sparked outrage in Ald. George Cardenas (12th) for failing to consult the alderman and those living in nearby neighborhoods before announcing the festival would move to Douglas Park in North Lawndale on the city’s West Side.

At the time, Cardenas, whose ward includes the south end of Douglas Park, said he was “shocked” to hear that organizers planned to bring between 30,000 to 40,000 festival goers to Douglas Park without community buy in. He vowed to block the fest’s plan to use the park, but Chicago Park District officials said aldermanic approval was not required.

RELATED: Spring Awakening Moving To Douglas Park? Not On My Watch, Frustrated Alderman Says

In a statement Tuesday, Cardenas said he was glad organizers took their “concert to a more suitable venue.”

“Douglas Park would not have worked,” he said.

In 2016, a year Spring Awakening was hosted at Addams/Medill Park, 33 people were arrested at the festival for drug offenses or battery to a police officer. While Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) fielded few formal complaints about the fest in 2016, some neighbors described the fest as “super loud” and disruptive.

Founded as a concert series in 2008, Spring Awakening promoters decided to launch a two-day outdoor music festival at Soldier Field in 2012, where it was hosted through 2015. But a scheduling conflict with the Copa America soccer tournament booted the fest from Soldier Field, and Spring Awakening was forced to find a new home.

After first announcing Spring Awakening 2016 would take place at Jackson Park in Woodlawn, the fest was eventually moved to Addams/Medill Park in 2016.

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