Riverwest Music Festival, an electronic music event that took place over Fourth of July’s three-day-weekend filled the void left by Wavefront Music Festival brought the same acts that appeared on Montrose Beach in 2013.
Riverwest was held along the west bank of the Chicago River at Division Street. Ticket-holders (three-day passes ran $100–$169.99, while single-day access cost $50–$69.99) reported of being denied access to the Belvedere Terrace Stage, one of the three main stages billed, set atop the roof of Estate nightclub. This Belvedere stage was 21+, unlike the rest of the event, which caters to a young EDM fan base. Additional fees were charged for access as well. Naturally, some of the bigger names, and the late headliners, were booked there.
Crowds were predominately raging on Friday and Sunday during the holiday weekend. Apart from those peak hours, acts were playing for a few patrons during the off time. Even though the tickets were sold, and the money was made, it would have been nice to see some different genres playing during the day. The artists had similar structure in their sets as house, and deep house was a prominent choice for many. On Friday, it was the general consensus that Adrian Lux’s set on Friday was amazing. He played dubstep, electro house, progressive house, trance, and some trap house. The 312 stage was packed before 2pm on Saturday and well into the night before Deep Dish. Once Deep Dish started playing, the main stage filled up as it boasted extra lighting and CO2 cannons. On Sunday the festival was fairly empty until around 2-3pm. Sharam played an impressive two and a half hour set, filling in for Rusko. Morgan Page played after Sharam playing more vocal house music than any of the other house artists at the festival. He played all of his hits, including singles, “In the Air”, “Longest Road” and “Fight For You”. Excision and Vaski were the only two dub-step acts that played all weekend and they both killed it. Even though Vaski played at 3:30pm, the 312 stage was about 40% full. Excision closed out the night at the second stage and the crowd loved it. Excision played some of his biggest hits including, “X-Rated”, “Bounce (VIP)”, “Headbanga”, and “Get Stupid”.
Overall for its first year, Riverwest Music Festival did a good job. The staff, vendors, the crowd, the vibe, and the productions satisfied party-goer expectations.