By Sam Bruns Is there a weekend that goes by over the summer without a music festival within 300 miles of where you live? If you live anywhere in the greater Chicago area, then probably not. In fact it’s become a music industry taboo for main stream artists not to make a few stops on the festival circuit every summer. What used to be a place for alternative artists to enlist the support of adventurous festival goers has become a stomping ground for EDM culture. Chicago’s own Lollapalooza was known in the 90s for showcasing the future of rock, punk, hip-hop, and, yes, even some electronic artists like Moby and Daft Punk. But now the focus has slowly shifted towards recent main stage headliners such as Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Bassnectar. And as the summer ends, adventurous music fans now have to rely on bars and basements to experience music in the fall, or maybe not.
Freaky Deaky takes place every year at Toyota Park. At first glance it looks like any generic music festival, but don’t be fooled. Freaky Deaky’s first lineup seven years ago was a three artist bill containing synth-rock revivalists Chromeo, indie electronic heavyweights Crystal Castles, and German experimental house artist Boyz Noize. Since then it has continued to include some of the edgier artists in the electronic and hip-hop community.
This weekend is not excluded from the tradition of peppering in innovative and unique artists among the party crowd staples. More ambient and bluesy electronic acts such as Hermitude and AlunaGeorge will be present throughout the weekend. Deep house innovators Tchami and Oliver Heldens will also play sets over the weekend.
The real highlights for the weekend really come out of the hiphop community. Chicago native Vic Mensa will be taking the stage on Sunday, as well as indie hip-hop artist GoldLink. Saturday will feature Joey Bada$$ and either hip hop genius or trainwreck–I still cant decide what he is–Riff Raff. The two prize jewels of the festival are playing on Friday night in completely conflicting time slots. On one hand, Flying Lotus’ experimental hip hop and mind expanding visual show could be the Halloween experience of the year, but Action Bronson fresh off of his debut LP will bring his larger than life stage presence for a show that is always described as unforgettable.
So when you make it out this weekend for your Halloween celebration, have as much fun as you possibly can. Just make sure that you are looking out for the type of artists that made these festivals so popular in the first place.
*Update 10/30/15 12:50 pm*
Unfortunately, two of the anticipated artists will not be performing at the festival tonight. Action Bronson had emergency surgery on Wednesday for a hernia related issue, and Tchami has sustained injuries from a recent car accident.