Survival Guide: Spring Awakening Music Festival

The weekend is almost upon us and the first ever all EDM festival, Spring Awakening Music Festival, will soon take over Soldier Field in Chicago. We can’t wait to party with you and want all of our experiences to be the best they can be. Here are some points to be aware of this weekend. See you there!

Water, Water, Water

Not staying hydrated is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. We can’t stress this one enough. Make sure you’re consuming more water than normal. The heat and physical activity can quickly cause dehydration which could prematurely end your festival experience. And who wants that? Soldier Field doesn’t allow you to bring in outside containers (empty or full), but you can buy one bottle of water inside and then refill it from public drinking fountains throughout the day.

Protect your skin

Sunscreen. Just do it. A big portion of the festival happens in the daylight hours so you’ll want to prevent a wicked sunburn from all those hours on the field or pavement. Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 35 with broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) coverage.


The weather is forecasted to be great this weekend with highs in the lower 90s on Saturday and mid 80s on Sunday. However, there are slight chances of rain each day so be prepared for anything. See the full forecast here.

Get there safety

Public transportation is going to be your most economical and likely quickest way to get to the festival. The Roosevelt Pink, Green, and Red Line stops and 146 bus on CTA are just a short walk from Soldier Field.

If you’re driving, carpool to help avoid congestion around the field and arrive early. You don’t want to miss your favorite performance because you’re stuck in traffic! Doors open at noon each day and the box office opens at 11am if you want to pick up your tickets early.

Parking at the Field will run you $25+ fees per vehicle per day. More parking details here.

More directions available here.

Look the part

EDM festivals are all about the experience. Participate in the community experience by wearing a costume that reflects your favorite genre, artists or your own personality. The wilder and brighter, the better. And convince your friends to join in on the fun!

What to bring

Be smart. You and your bags will be searched upon entry for everyone’s safety. Here’s a list of items you can and can’t bring:

DON’T bring: Glowsticks, large lounge chairs, tents, knives or anything else that may be deemed a weapon, video or audio recording devices, professional cameras, pets, food, glass containers, aerosol cans of anytime, drugs or drug paraphernalia, umbrellas, unauthorized solicitations, handbills, sampling, giveaways, empty plastic containers, camel backs, lawn chairs and a bad attitude.

DO bring: Cell phone, point and shoot cameras, disposable cameras, fanny packs, purses, European carry-alls, and average school-sized backpacks (keep in mind the more stuff you bring, the longer everyone will wait in line). Blankets, hip sunglasses, floppy hats, lights, cigarettes, sun block, lip gloss, binoculars, and positive attitudes.

Set times

Check out the full schedule here:

Be sure to allow yourself enough time to move among all the stages. Be respectful of each other when you do move around the crowd. We’re all here to have a good time, right?

Download the mobile app

Do this BEFORE you arrive as cell phone service (especially for data) is always rough. Just search for “SAMF” in the app store on either iPhone or Android. The app includes set times, the festival map, general info and even allows you to create your own personal schedule. There’s also a handy function that enables you to use your iPhone’s camera flash as a continuous flashlight.

Stow your stuff

Don’t want to carry all your belongings around day? Let’s face it: you don’t. There’s way too much dancing to do and you don’t want that stuff in the way. Locker rentals are $20 per day or $35 for both. Reserve in advance to secure your space:

Know where you’re going

The main stage is located inside Soldier Field and the remaining three are outside in the parking lot. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with this map and be sure to set a meeting spot among your group of friends so you can find each other when you get separated. Cell phone service can be spotty at festivals of this size, regardless of the location.

After Parties: Don’t stop the music

Let’s face it: The festival ends early in the night and you’re going to want to keep the party going well after. Plus, if you miss a performance of your favorite DJ/producer at the show, maybe you can catch them at one of the later shows. Here are the official SAMF after parties around town:


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Kent Otto

Kent is founder and editor-in-chief. He's always had a love and passion for music of all types, but didn't discover the music festival scene and community until moving to Southern California during his early post-college years. He returned to his roots in the Midwest in 2011 and has since been determined to share the magic and beauty of the music scene with as many as possible. Email