by Rachel Kupfer
In the past, Chicago natives have been able to look forward to North Coast Music Festival at the end of every summer. With past headliners including Miguel, STS9 and RL Grime, attendees could get behind a carefully curated lineup of electronic, rap, funk and everything in between. But for the festival’s 10th anniversary, there are big changes in store.
Taking place this weekend from Friday, August 30 to Saturday, August 31, the schedule has switched from three days to two. Promoters have also decided to move venues from Union Park, where the event has been held since its start, to Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island. Its two stages will host a lineup made up exclusively of EDM heavy hitters, with Bassnectar returning for at least the third time to headline Friday and Major Lazer making its way to Chicago for Sunday. Other notable additions include Anna Lunoe, who played Northwestern’s Dillo Day this past June, and, of course, Flux Pavilion. It looks like the festival’s big moves are about to pay off, with 2-Day GA Floor Passes already sold out.
“We are so proud to have carried North Coast to reach the 10 year milestone in today’s ever changing festival marketplace. Moving the event to a world class venue like Northerly Island between the lake & marina, with Chicago’s incredible skyline views is going to enhance the fan experience immensely,” Lucas King and Michael Berg, the festival’s founders, said in a press release. “After a decade worth of North Coasts, the timing is perfect for this new era of the festival to be ushered in.”
If you’ll be joining WNUR at Northerly Island, check out the sets we’ll be at below. Just along for the ride? Stay tuned for our “Summer’s Last Stand” playlist, featuring the sounds of North Coast, out Wednesday.
2:30-3:15, The Pavilion
This Chicago-based DJ started earning traction with “All In Our Eyes,” a collaboration with Mielo that reached #1 on HypeMachine last year. His 5-track EP, Intertwine, was released earlier this summer.
3:15-4:10, The Pavilion
Future bass producer INZO is also from Chicago. Listen to “Overthinker,” his 2018 hit to get a feel for his synth-heavy style. Another great track to check out is his remix of “Chicago” by Win & Woo with Bryce Fox.
4:30-5:30, The Hangar
Live sets from SoDown are truly special, featuring his funky saxophone playing and real-time mixing of electronic funk. Check out 2016’s Journey EP for some certified jams.
5:30-6:30, The Hangar
You’ll know Wooli from their work with EDM sadboi Seven Lions, including “Island” featuring Nevve and a remix with SampliFire of “After Dark.” This bass music is some serious shit, and not for the light-hearted. Headbangers, unite.
6:55-7:55, The Pavilion
Big Wild has been around the block, from breaking out in 2015 with “Aftergold” to finally releasing his anticipated first album, Superdream, earlier this year. His happy-go-lucky style transcends genre classifications, falling into EDM, indie and pop. Shows include live guitar, vocals and percussion.
8:30-9:45, The Hangar
Three words: “I Can’t Stop” (listening to Flux). This artist’s melodic bass-heavy sound sold out Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre twice, and is not showing any signs of slowing down. Head to his set for a show that will make you laugh, cry and mosh.
9:45-11, The Pavilion
Bassnectar has become a household name, and has a cult following to boot. His extensive music catalog is filled with everything from trappy bangers to hip hop collaborations to dreamy and dramatic singles. On Friday night, there’s no place we’d rather be.
2:30-3:30, The Pavilion
Another Chicago native, GoodSex has interwoven his music with the city’s electronic scene. His groovy tunes have led to a traveling live music bus and a creative media studio in River West.
3:30-4:30, The Pavilion
A newcomer to the scene, ford. is quickly growing a dedicated fanbase in part through his membership to Foreign Family Collective, the independent record label run by ODESZA. You’ll catch melodic, future house vibes here.
4:45-5:45, The Pavilion
This British producer has been making moves with his colorful, pop-adjacent electronic style since the 2015 release of his first EP, Shivers. He’s now morphed into a collaboration king, working with Clairo, Alunageorge, HONNE and Alunageorge – all within the last year.
6:00-6:30, The Pavilion
This U.K. producer duo does it all, from the soulful “All My Friends” with Chance the Rapper and Tinashe to the groovy “Cruel” with ZAYN. You’ll also recognize 2017’s unforgettable “Don’t Leave” with MO, which was remixed by Gryffin, Ekali and Oshi. 2018’s STAY HOME TAPES will knock your socks off.
6:30-7:30, The Hangar
A Dillo Day alum and one of the only women on North Coast’s 25-slot lineup, this Australian househead is a must-see. Anna’s edgy house style leads to high energy, catchy vocal samples and lots of dancing. She even curated her own headlining stage at HARD Summer earlier this month.
7:15-8:15, The Pavilion
Gorgon City is anthemic and groovy, merging house and future bass for a killer combination of synth-y basslines and toplined lyrics. Listen to “Go Slow” with Chicago-born legend Kaskade for a taste.
8:30-9:30, The Pavilion
This Paris-born producer is a big room house veteran, working alongside DJ Snake, Malaa and Mercer to build an empire fo the genre. You’ll find him billed for top spots across the world for his classic EDM sound at major festivals like Ultra, EDC and Veld.
10-11, The Pavilion
Made up of Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire, this DJ trio is iconic – and rightly so. The group is a pioneer of beach-ready, pop-y EDM that combines tropical house and future bass, and is about as successful as one can be in the industry.