REVIEW: North Coast Music Fest 2013 Day 1

vega_2011bNorth Coast Music Festival – Day 1

August 30th, 2013

By: SouthSide Tanya Vega

Music, fun, warm summertime weather, colorful costumes, hoopers and heavy rains – that’s how SouthSide would describe her first day at North Coast Music Festival held inside Union Park. This annual music fest (now in it’s fourth year) attracted a huge crowd on the first day as music acts like Ghosthouse, The Heard, Zebo and Howie Doin thrilled their fans with a rockin’ variety of dance music from retro 80s pop/rock to funk and EDM (electric dance music) even while looming dark clouds threatened overhead. And taking a cue from Lollapalooza, North Coast soon enacted their emergency weather plan via Twitter, Facebook, et al and also on the video screens located on the fest grounds advising attendees to seek shelter from the impending storm. Not to worry, the festival did resume around 8p to attendees for Passion Pit, Mac Miller, The Disco Biscuits and more.

This being SouthSide’s first time inside North Coast she did overwhelm herself with all of the sights and sound this unique music festival had to offer, readers, that she burned herself out before 6p. Besides the music performances running constantly on five stages around this West Loop park, there’s also a Living Art/Graffiti gallery sponsored by the Chicago Reader and an artist meet and greet at booth. SouthSide was somewhat in awe at the many attendees who come “dressed” up in their fest fashion whether it was in their flower power child hippie style to summertime hipster look or whatever was cool to them. However on this steamy hot day, staying hydrated with water was the object of the afternoon before heavy rains doused the music fest at the beginning of the evening lineup. Bring with you a clear plastic bottle to refill with water at the many water stations. When this reviewer returns Saturday afternoon for Day 2, she promises to slow down and pace herself to enjoy North Coast a little more.

In a nutshell, North Coast is one amazing event. They have free bike parking if riding your bike to the park …of course there’s public transportation near by too. This reviewer highly recommends loading up your CTA fare card before entering the fest grounds so that way you’re not stuck in the long lines at the fare machines when it’s time to go. As a cool incentive, this fest also offers a VIP upgrade (have to be 21+) from your General Admission ticket to where you get awesome amenities like elevated viewing platforms, private bar (with way cheaper prices) and air conditioned bathrooms – just to name a few. Oh yeah, bring some patience with you while going through security. All bags are subjected to be searched and if you can’t join in the fun, not to worry – you can always stream live performance feed at

Lives on the southside however she works and rocks with bands 2 to 3 nights a week on the northside – go figure… She independently reviews and snaps photos of the hottest Indie bands in Chicago. From country/western to metal and/or experimental, she’s there supporting bands from near or far.

Sometimes you might catch her on stage hosting the Flabby Hoffman Caravan show too. From Elbo Room to Red Line Tap …Double Door to House of Blues and everywhere else in between, she roams around town listening to music. You can say she’s a rock star but the bands/musicians she reviews are the real celebrities. Support the local music scene! If you’re an independent musician and/or band, she wants to be your friend.

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