Heatwave Music Festival

Review and Photos by: Riley James

Heatwave Music Festival is a first-year festival that features a variety of EDM artists. The event was held at Douglass Park on the west side of Chicago, which is accessible by the CTA pink line or the 157 bus.

The first act went on at 2 pm on Saturday, July 16th and by 3:30 the park was filled with excited attendees ready to dance all day and night. The venue held three stages – The Reverie, The Inevitable, and The Radiance – which were easy to move between due to the festival not using the whole park for the event. There were multiple VIP and ADA tents sprinkled around the venue along with some huge, blow-up ducks, which made for a great meeting point, and some artistic poles that lit up a variety of colors at night. The VIP section featured a tarot card reader, stylists that do hair and makeup, a massage booth, and free drinks and food.

All the artists put on great shows with stages that shot fire and smoke to pump up the crowd. A few favorites included Ekali, Oliver Heldens, Galantis, Zeds Dead, and Tiësto. Ekali’s hardcore beats could be heard throughout Douglass Park and energized attendees on a gloomy, July day. Oliver Heldens’ set was so fun, which featured dancer CiCi who shuffled on stage while Heldens mixed upbeat jams. Heatwave Music Festival 1Galantis had a set of bass drums on stage, which he banged on while playing hits like, “Dandelion.” Zeds Dead, one of Sunday’s headliners, put on a great show while playing a mix of older and newer songs. Attendees who were riding the rail were headbanging while fire and lasers shot out from the stage. Tiësto, who was also headlining on Sunday, had a set that was almost hypnotizing. Trippy visuals and remixes of popular songs like M83’s “Midnight City,” pulled attendees to the stage.

Besides a few hiccups in losing sound during a few sets, Heatwave Music Festival put on a lively event filled with friendly staff, fun vendors, delicious food, and a venue that’s easy to navigate. Everyone in the crowd seemed to be having a great time, and I’m sure this fest will grow in popularity as the years go on.