The Summer's Last Stand

By: Angelica Luff

Three unadulterated - most likely inebriated -  days of constant dancing and jumping to DJs, indie bands and rappers off of the Ashland Pink and Green lines in Union Park make up the shit-show us Chicagoans know as North Coast Music Festival.


Cruising through the crowd, you’re likely to see folks of - ironically - all the same kind; unique. There are girls fitting modern “festival” fashion trends; wearing high-waisted shorts, crop tops, and accessorizing with flower headbands. Other girls sported intergalactic looks with glitter and iridescent garments, using colored highlights on their cheeks for icy glows. For guys, most attire consisted of tie-dye tops or no tops at all - always paired with the signature festival bro bandana and sunglasses combo, summer tank top poking out of their cargo short’s pocket.


  Photo by: Angelica Luff

Photo by: Angelica Luff

Looking up, you can see cardboard signs of the Broad City girls, Ilana and Abbi, and invitations to dance with whatever group holding it. One could even spot our boy “Harambae”, RIP. The crowd is full of anticipation radiating off of the young adult audience, mixing with hovering clouds of marijuana smoke.


Although he wasn’t the main headliner, day one was all about Juicy J. At approximately 7:30 p.m., on the North Stage a man demanded the crowd to light up some joints and smoke with him in Chicago.


Playing hits like “Bandz a Make Her Dance,” his feature from “Dark Horse,” and “Zip and a Double Cup,” he catered to the women in the audience and invited fans on multiple occasions to come onto stage to smoke and take shots. At one point, he even had to deny shots with a young female fan due to her being underage. He eventually delivered what the crowd really wanted as they erupted in unison to “Slob on My Knob,” passing joints and nodding in excitement together in connection with the experience.


On night two, Keys n Krates slayed the crowd. Before presenting a remix of fellow electro group CHVRCHES, the crowd was wowed by surprise scratching from a refined turntablist. An explosion erupted and the ground could be felt shaking from dudes jumping and girls dropping.


After a booming set, the collective of North Coast festival goers made their way to the Skyline stage to see the main event of the evening- Bassnectar. Trippy visuals and intense bass-nectar (See the merge? See it?) overtook the crowd with emotion as people joined hands, danced together, and shared blunts amongst one another.


Day 3 - ya girl was too far gone to do much - but rest assured that Zedd sounded incredible 500 feet away from the lawn (right by the garbage can, I might add) playing original electric-style jams and intermixing radio hits such as “Beautiful Now” and recent collab with Aloe Blacc, “Candyman.”


If you were a sloppy mess towards the end of the experience like I was, it was more than likely due to the $8 Budweisers and $10 bottles of wine. Luckily, food trucks lined the east end on Union Park delivering cheese fries, foot long corn dogs, funnel cake and pizza to cure that premature hangover already trying to bring ya down.

All in all, North Coast never fails to bring a good time.