Labor Day weekend is the last chance to party without worrying about work on Monday before summer is over. And what a better way to cool off than in The Windy City for the second ARC Music Festival by the lads at Arius Presents. Last year, ARC was during a time of uncertainty (*cough* 'rona *cough*) as Chicago was trying to define limitations of how hard one could party.
But so far, there haven’t been any announcements for any COVID-19 restrictions, and the festival added a third day of music (September 2-4), which means the gloves are off for a bender you’ll hopefully remember. Here’s everything you’ll need to know about ARC Music Festival 2022.
What’s The Difference Between ARChitect, GLOBAL, and ICON
Yeah, the ticketing for ARC can be a little confusing with the different tiers, so let me break it down for ya. The three types of tickets are the ARChitect (GA), GLOBAL (VIP), and ICON (VIP+). The good news is that there are still 3-day and single-day tickets available. The bad news is that all the prices are at tier 4, so it’s gonna be a little pricey.
The ARChitect basically gets you into the festival and priority access to purchase tickets for all ARC After Dark events (all three ticket types will give you priority access before the public). If you have the extra money to spend and are over 21, you’ll probably want either the GLOBAL or ICON pass. Both VIP tickets will have a separate entrance from GA, where you’ll be greeted with a “welcome cocktail,” air-conditioned restrooms, and access to the Global lounge and elevated viewing areas. The ICON adds an all-inclusive private bar, free food/hors d’oeuvres, massage/general spa service, and free lockers. ARChitect and GLOBAL also can purchase lockers.
You don’t have to be 21+ for the VIP passes, but I feel like you’ll get more bang for your buck if you are. Honestly, you can have a helluva time with a GA ticket. So if you don’t mind port-a-potties or are tight on cash, then I say stick with GA.
How To Get To Union Park
The three-day celebration will be held at Union Park, just west of downtown Chi-town. I DO NOT recommend driving to the event. There are parking lots south of UP, but those will probably be full by the time the festival starts. Plus, you don’t want to be partying and driving because of safety concerns for you and your car.
If you’re staying downtown, you could take the Green (Adams/Wabash) or Pink Line (54th/Cermak) to Ashland Station, across the street from UP. The metro will cost you $2.50 for a two-hour or $5 for a day pass. ARC will probably end at 10 pm, which is good news because the metro will run till about 11:45 pm. However, getting into the train station will be a bit of a cluster buck if you stay till the last song of the day because the turnstile onto the platform only allows one person at a time. So plan accordingly.
Ride share from downtown will run between $15-$20, depending on demand/surging prices. If you are going to be taking ride share FROM UP, then it’s going to be a bit of a pain due to the hoard of people who are also trying to call a car. I suggest you walk east and try to find a well-lit-up area to call your car. Last year, my friend and I walked from UP to downtown (2.5 miles) because we could not secure a ride due to demand. So, be prepared for the muggy summer night after ARC as you wait for a car.
The Music At ARC
ARC is a celebration of house music in a city where its roots run deep. So it’s not surprising that the Arius team would bring such a stacked lineup. Without boring you with a massive list, check out the link for the complete list of artists. Here are my picks for each day.
Friday: ANNA, Lane 9, Nora en Pure, Richie Hawtin.
Saturday: Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Joseph Capriati.
Sunday: Adam Beyer X Cirez D, Ben Böhmer, Fatboy Slim
Hopefully, Adam Beyer has no problems with his visa like last year. Fingers CRSSD. Besides the DJs, check out the psychedelic Elrow stage, where performers will be doing crazy stuff in even crazier costumes. It’s a trip.
After the park closes at 10 pm, you can continue the party with ARC After Dark. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but I assume these after parties will take place at Concord Music Hall, Prysm, and Radius for the official after party with Adam Beyer X Cirez D.
While You’re in Chicago, You Should…
If you’re like me, who traveled to the Windy City for ARC, I suggest you embrace the adventure. Eat a deep-dished pizza from one of them semi-casual restaurants in River North, take an architectural boat tour down the Chicago river or force your friends to walk 3 miles up and down the River Walk after ARC hungover.
Unlike most festivals that are in the middle of nowhere, ARC is actually in the heart of Chicago, so you can double dip as a raver and a tourist! Or don’t, whatever.