By halfway through the summer, I’m reliably burned out on music festivals, and lots of them I wouldn’t attend even if I were still in tip-top shape. So you know that a festival is special if I’m willing to tell you to spend one of your dwindling number of precious summer weekends paying to hang out with thousands of people in a fenced-off public park. And the third-annual ARC Music Festival is definitely special. The three-day extravaganza brings more than 70 dance acts to Union Park, and the lineup is so saturated with talent you could easily overlook a big fish. I don’t even know how many times I stared dumbfounded at the bill before I noticed that it included a live set by Chicago acid-house pioneers Phuture, a rare treat—according to the mostly reliable listings at electronic-music portal Resident Advisor, the last time Phuture performed in Chicago was at SummerDance in 2015. When I study the festival schedule, my eyes bounce from South African house superstar Black Coffee (on Sunday) to Berlin-based South Korean dance-pop artist Peggy Gou (also Sunday) to Detroit deep-house whisperer Moodymann (who plays back-to-back with second-wave techno leader and fellow Detroiter Carl Craig on Saturday). ARC has booked plenty of dance-music legends, and the festival didn’t have to look far to find Chicago house veterans such as Derrick Carter, Gene Farris, Chosen Few crew members Mike Dunn and Terry Hunter, and three-fourths of long-running supergroup Superjane (DJ Lady D, DJ Heather, and Colette). Most festivals I’ve attended have lulls when I can rest and recharge because I’m uninterested in the programming, but from what I can see that won’t be the case at ARC. If I can find the energy, this is going to be a hell of a finale to my summer festival season.
ARC Music Festival day one Friday’s lineup includes Nina Kraviz, Colette B2B DJ Heather, Dalton Taylor, Boys Noize, Cassy B2B Toni Varga, and Eric Prydz presents Holo. Fri 9/1, 2-10 PM, Union Park,, 1501 W. Randolph, $149 Friday general admission pass, $199+ Friday VIP pass, $389 three-day GA pass, $569+ three-day VIP pass, 18+
ARC Music Festival day two Saturday’s lineup includes the Blessed Madonna, Fisher B2B Loco Dice B2B Nic Fanciulli, Ilario Alicante B2B Dennis Cruz, Moodymann B2B Carl Craig, John Summit, Phuture (live), and Fatboy Slim. Sat 9/2, 2-10 PM, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, $149 Saturday general admission pass, $199+ Saturday VIP pass, $389 three-day GA pass, $569+ three-day VIP pass, 18+
ARC Music Festival day three Sunday’s lineup includes Black Coffee, Vintage Culture, Hiroko Yamamura, Derrick Carter, Tale of Us, and Peggy Gou. Sun 9/2, 2-10 PM, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, $129+ Sunday general admission pass, $189+ Sunday VIP pass, $389 three-day GA pass, $569+ three-day VIP pass, 18+
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