ARC made its debut in Chicago over Labor Day weekend and it certainly did not disappoint! From the production, to the music, to the stages, Everything was flawless! Event organizers did a fantastic job throwing this festival for the first time and I can not wait to see what the future holds! The crowd vibes were also on point and for every person whom I made eye contact with, I was greeted with a smile!
ARC had one of the best displays of house and techno music that I have ever experienced in my life! Being a Chicago native, it fueled my soul to be able to get down and dance to some traditional Chicago house music with my friends. Some of my favorite house sets included: Lee Foss, Will Clarke, Gene Farris, and Patrick Topping. Outside of the fantastic display of traditional house music, ARC’s other major draw was the fact that Eric Prydz played three sets, one under each alias, in the same weekend for the first time ever! His different aliases include: Cirez D, PR(Y)DA, and Eric Prydz, and all three sets failed to disappoint! One of the coolest things to me about this festival was that the music literally never stopped. As one artist would finish, the next would come up on stage and start playing as well. They would play together for a few seconds before the first artist finished up and got off the stage. The transitions between sets were flawless and you could only tell that the set
had changed if you were close enough to witness the DJ’s trade spots.
Out of the four stages at ARC, the Elrow Stage was definitely the most interactive! There were tons of actors, both on stage and in the crowd, who engaged with festival goers during sets. Some people are very surprised when they learn that Elrow stages do not have screens. This is because the stage and tent are so highly decorated that digital visuals are not needed! The specific stage design at ARC was called “Psychrowdelic Trip” and featured many hanging psychedelic decorations that were glow-in-the-dark! On top of the many decorations, streamers and confetti cannons were blown off 15 minutes into each set during both days!
Overall, ARC Music Festival was one of the best festival experiences that I have ever had! The crowd was full of people who were there with a genuine love for the music and everyone was just happy to be doing something that they love again. ARC went from a festival that wasn’t even on my radar (because it didn’t exist), to being in my top three favorite festivals that I have ever attended and I can’t wait to return next year!