Over its seven-year existence, Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival (set to take place Sept. 2nd-4th at Union Park) has become one of the summer’s elite festivals, with a built-in local base as well as being an event in which thousands of people from all over the country flock to each and every year. And while the overall musical diversity of the fest has expanded over the years to include a myriad of genres, co-producers/promoters Silver Wrapper, React Presents, Cold Grums and Metronome have stayed true to their core demographic in securing a mixture of top talent from the electronic, jam, and hip-hop scenes. When you look at it, NCMF was at the forefront of blending these genres almost effortlessly into its annual lineup. And this year clearly builds on that model, in what looks to be the 3-day event’s biggest one yet (get tickets HERE). 

North Coast Music Festival Releases Diverse First Wave Lineup Announcement

In a recent interview with Live Nation TV, Silver Wrapper’s Michael Berg discussed the beginnings of the “hybrid bill” festival format, “We were noticing that some of these combinations were actually working….If you put these acts in Venn diagrams together, there’s gonna be some fans that are shared by both—and at the outer edges, there’s gonna be people who are more loyal to one side than the other. But the longer we did shows like that, we saw that middle section was getting bigger and bigger.”   

And as North Coast gears up for its 2016 edition, with a second wave of artist announcement still yet to be announced, we decided to take a look at NCMF’s bread and butter in the dance, jam and hip-hop categories:


The Seattle-based duo of Harrison Mills (CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (BeachesBeaches) has quite literally taken the world by storm with their indie-fused style of electropop. Since 2012, the group has consistently seen crowds grow and grow to the point of them now being at the top tier of every festival lineup they appear on. With a driving drum beat, beautiful melodies, uplifting and glitched-vocals, and a relentless touring schedule, Odesza has proven themselves to be the real deal and well-deserving of their headlining spot at NCMF.


What more can you say about Bassnectar? Since 2001, the socially-conscious producer has built one of the most loyal and rabid legion of followers in the music scene today. His live show is an undeniable visceral experience of sheer sonic force, sound, and….well, BASS. And lots of it. Outside of throwing down some heavy-hitting beats, Bassnectar has been heavily involved with organization and charities such as Conscious Alliance, Alternet, Free Press, and Reach Out. Music with a conscience…..can’t argue with that.


Zedd has become one of the most prolific producers in a very short span of time. Making the transition from being in a German deathcore band (Dioramic) to producing house music in 2009, Zedd blew up the charts with his massive hit “Clarity” ft. Foxes upon the single’s release in 2013 (which also won him a Grammy). Since then, the 26-year old multi-instrumentalist has produced tracks for, and with, artists such as Lady Gaga – he produced “Aura”, “G.U.Y.”, and “Donatella” which all appear on Artpop – Justin Bieber, Hayley Williams (“Stay The Night), Ariana Grande, Jon Bellion, and many more. The scary part is, he is just getting started. If you like music to take you to an ethereal place, Zedd is your guy.


Logic has risen, quite literally, from the School of Hard Knocks. Born and raised in the West Deer Park housing projects in Gaithersburg, MD, he was subjected to a life that revolved around two parents that suffered from addiction, and an upbringing that saw many obstacles along the way. Despite all of that and getting kicked out of high school, a message of “Peace Love & Positivity” emanates through his lyrics and music. Sticking to the true tenets of classic hip-hop, Logic is the truth and the East Coast’s version of Kendrick Lamar. After releasing his first mixtape Young, Broke, and Infamous in 2010, he was signed to independent label Visionary Music Group where he released his Young Sinatra mixtapes before signing with Def Jam. Two official albums later – 2014’s Under Pressure and 2015’s The Incredible True Story – and Logic (aka Sir Robert Bryson Hall II) ascended to his seat at the table.

Greensky Bluegrass

Don’t let the “bluegrass” in their name fool you, these gentlemen from Kalamazoo, MI draw upon an array of musical genres. While there is a definitive twang to their style (how can you not have one when you employ a banjo?), the group has an uncanny ability to write well-crafted songs and ballads that allow the cohesive unit to rally around mandolinist Paul Hoffman‘s smooth vocals and story-telling lyrics. And Anders Beck‘s haunting dobro playing creates a space between each note that takes the music to a place of utter transcendence. This will be a can’t-miss set for those that are familiar with the band. And for those of you that don’t know, now you know.

Juicy J

It can’t be argued that Juicy J is a veteran, coming up with the Memphis, TN-based southern hip-hop act Three 6 Mafia since the early 90’s, the MC has gone on to create some serious hits of his own, with the track “Bandz A Make Her Dance” ft. Lil’ Wayne and 2 Chainz, “Low” ft. Nicki Minaj, Lil Bibby, Young Thug, and made an appearance on the Katy Perry hit single “Dark Horse”. Two words to describe Juicy J: Straight Crunk.

Other acts on the bill, which is only the first wave of artist announcements, include Grouplove, Action Bronson, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Galantis, Sleigh Bells, and Vulfpeck, in addition to an entire second wave of artists that will be dropped on us in coming weeks. Stay tuned for that. Until then, for tickets and more information, check out the North Coast Music Festival website HERE.