Photos By Da Black Swan
Halloween has come and gone, but the energy of Freak Deaky lingers following the first year of their expanded three day event. In past years, music fans would pack the Aragon Ballroom in Halloween costumes to enjoy a full evening of debauchery, a transition from summer festival season, to a life of seeing indoor performances for the next 8 months or so. This year React Presents revamped the Freaky Deaky brand by moving the event to Toyota Park in Bridgeview on Chicago's southwest side, and adding two additional days to the fun. A bold move during a notoriously cold and rainy time of year in Chicago, but aside from some daytime rain on Saturday, concert goers lucked out!
There are certain things you can expect at a festival in Chicago. Rain and mud generally, long lines for everything, and a the need to navigate several city blocks multiple times to get to the stages you want to be at. Freaky Deaky managed to make good on all of these issues by setting up three tents in the parking lot of Toyota Park and surround them with carnival rides and good eats including Harold's and Cheesies, a couple of my personal favorites. All three stages were located right next to each other, but as a result of the tents and each stage facing the same direction, there was very little acoustic crossover. Different, but effective.
All three stages had someone performing at all times, creating some scheduling conundrums, but if you followed my schedule I outlined prior to the event, you should have been in pretty good shape. While I'm not the biggest fan of the contemporary "DJ", I did manage to catch a couple good sets from Batman aka A-Trak and Carnage to close out the weekend. Other highlights from the weekend include a Friday night performance by 2 Chainz playing ALL the hits, a solid introduction to up and comer from the DMV Goldlink, and hometown favorite Vic Mensa, both on Sunday. Unfortunately the rain kept me away from the party on Saturday and caused me to miss Riff Raff and Joey Bada$$ among others, but I'm just not about that life anymore. If you're a fan of hip hop and electronic music, Freaky Deaky was for you! If not, there was plenty of good people watching opportunities. I could have honestly sat on a bench and just watched Freaky Deaky go down and would have likely been just as satisfied.
If you missed this year, I encourage you to check out some photos from the event above courtesy of Da Black Swan and reserve 2016's Halloween plans until you get to see next year's Freaky Deaky line-up. If you don't want to wait until next year, check out React's NYE event featuring Skrillex, Chance The Rapper, Run The Jewels and more. Get all the details at our Events page, and be on the lookout for some chances to win some free passes. Like the relatively mild winter, Chicago festival season continues. Embrace it.