The birthplace of house welcomed back ARC Music Festival over Labor Day Weekend for its third edition! Last week, ARC took over Chicago’s Union Park and transformed the grounds into the ultimate music festival experience with massive performances, towering art installations, and themed stages.
Labor Day Weekend is a popular weekend for music festivals and although ARC is a newer contender in the festival space, it’s already surpassing the rest. The Auris Presents-produced event has gone off seamlessly for three years in a row!
ARC’s home, Union Park is located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The area has many hotels, restaurants, and great public transportation options, making it the ideal spot to host a music festival. Getting to and from the festival each day was easy and we’re so thankful for that, especially since that can be the worst part of attending any large event.
The three-day extravaganza was organized and run efficiently which meant more time for house and techno. The entrance lines moved very quickly, there were bathrooms nearby all the stages, free water stations, bars around every corner, food booths, and many merch/clothing vendors. An unorganized festival can ruin the experience, but ARC producers know how to do it well.
ARC Music Festival invited the global scene to the birthplace of house with 70+ artists performing across four stages – The Grid, elrow, Expansions, and Area 909. These stages hosted major performances from international icons, Chicago house legends, and unique b2b sets all weekend long.
ARC’s mainstage, The Grid was inspired by the grid system that ties the city of Chicago together. It was equipped with over-the-top production, lasers, pyrotechnics, and fireworks. The talent here was just as large as the mega-structure itself. Hometown hero, John Summit made his ARC debut and first festival headlining set in Chicago. The Windy City native showed us what “Summertime Chi” was about and united the crowd with “Where You Are.”
The visuals were elevated for ARC headliners: Eric Prydz bringing his HOLO experience, Tale of Us‘ Afterlife set, and of course John Summit throwing down our favorite sets of his we have ever seen. Thousands of attendees packed the stage and were mesmerized by the talent that took place. The soundscape and production were next level and the best way to close out ARC.
Spanish party outfit, elrow, made its return to ARC for the third year in a row! This was their only US stage takeover and it did not disappoint. Known for their wild parties and crazy antics, elrow delivered all the house music we could ask for with an unlimited supply of confetti blizzards. The world-celebrated brand premiered a new theme, “Nowmads” that transported festival goers to a new world. elrow featured a stacked roster including Walker & Royce, Dombresky, Kyle Walker, and an iconic b2b from two of Chicago’s very own, Lee Foss and Gene Farris.
Nestled within the trees of Union Park was the Expansions stage and it hosted global icons all three days. This stage had less production than the others, but it held some rare acts and the only B3B at ARC. The nature meets house/techno stage was jam-packed all weekend long, more than we’ve seen in the past two years. Some notable performances included Anfisa Letyago, Black Coffee, Derrick Carter, Mochakk, and the first-ever b2b2b from FISHER, Loco Dice, and Nic Fanciulli.
Area 909 was a new stage at ARC this year which was designed as a tribute to the historic musical connection between Chicago and Detroit. These two cities birthed a sound and a musical movement that has taken over the world. Although a smaller stage in comparison to the others, the lineup was top-tier and the sound was booming. Some of the talent that took the stage included Dax J, David Castellani (LIVE), Tara Brooks, and last, but certainly not least, Sara Landry, who was throwing out enough energy to power the entire week with Sunday’s performance.
We will always recommend ARC as one of our top festivals and a must-attend. The stages, lineup, location, and the crowd it draws in; it’s a 10/10 for us! We look forward to returning next year and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on news regarding the 2024 edition.
ARC Music Festival 2024 presale passes are available now and can be purchased here. Grab them now for the best price available!