Article by: Grant Soffer
North Coast Music Festival is returning to Chicago this Labor Day weekend. North Coast debuted in 2010 and has been an annual tradition in the Windy City every year for the past 12 years, except for 2020 due to the pandemic.
One of the first EDM festivals to return in 2021 after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed, North Coast sets the bar extremely high for all other festival organizers. Not only did it relocate to a bigger venue at Seat Geek Stadium, it also dropped its best lineup in 2021 with Kaskade, Louis the Child, Green Velvet, and so many other Chicagoans headlining the festival.
With such a great showing in 2021, North Coast has even higher expectations for 2022 and it has already delivered in a big way with another stellar lineup for 2022. Headlined by artists like Armin Van Buuren, Illenium, and Porter Robinson, this lineup features artists in almost every genre of dance music, featuring something for everyone.
North Coast will feature five stages this year: The Stadium, Canopy, Vega, Fire Pit, and a silent disco stage. The silent disco and Fire Pit stages will feature some incredible local Chicago talent, while the other three stages — The Stadium, The Canopy, and The Vega — will feature the main acts.
This is a festival that is going to have fans running between stages to catch all of their favorite artists. While North Coast hasn’t announced its official set times quite yet, it has released the planned order of appearances for each stage. This allows us to make an educated guess about which set times will likely conflict and should help with some initial planning.
North Coast has already confirmed that it will not be scheduling any sets conflicting with its three main stage closers: Armin Van Buuren, Illenium, and Porter Robinson. This is consistent with what it did last year and will relieve every attendee of at least one difficult set-time decision. Despite best efforts, there will be plenty of set-time conflicts which is the down-side of such a deep, stacked lineup. Thankfully, Moon Lvnding has you covered with our top picks of artists to see each day at each stage based on the planned order of appearances:
The Stadium — Moksi
One of the first few sets on Day 1, this Dutch duo is one of the most unique artists on the entire lineup. Inspired by the sounds of 90’s UK garage, Moksi dabbles in a wide variety of genres, from bluesy house tunes like “Slow Burn” to bass house songs like its debut song “Getting Higher.” Diego and Samir always bring great energy with them to all of their sets and will definitely get The Stadium going with the right vibe early on Day 1. This is a great way to start off the North Coast experience
The Canopy — CID
DJing from the young age of 12, New York-based producer CID is one of the most talented house DJs on the North Coast lineup this year. CID has such a vast library of tunes to his name including some of the best remixes of pop songs that one will ever hear, including his Grammy-nominated remix of “Audio” by Sia. This Grammy award-winning artist always brings high energy and great mixes, and he will be one of the best sets at The Canopy stage.
The Vega — Subtronics
Friday at The Vega is home to the Cyclops Recordings takeover with one of the best single day lineups — a huge part of this has to do with Subtronics, the label head. One of the best bass artists in the scene today, Subtronics is constantly pushing boundaries and pioneering a new era of bass music. Subtronics delivers unique, unforgettable sets. His most recent album, FRACTALS, released earlier this year and set the bar incredibly high with some of the best dubstep and riddim tracks he’s ever released like “Into Pieces” and “Gassed Up” with Zeds Dead. Even if you are not a fan of bass music, this set is the perfect way to close out Day 1 of any festival.
The Vega — Gem & Tauri
One of the best up and coming artists right now, Gem & Tauri will be one of the first sets on The Vega for the Ophelia Records takeover Day 2. The duo recently opened the main stage of EDC Las Vegas back in May and has been hard at work producing some incredible tracks such as “Hear My Call” and the All You Need EP. The Seattle-based duo produces and plays some of the best melodic house and techno around, so set an alarm early for Saturday!.
The Stadium — Mersiv
If you like bass music, this is the set for you! One of the few bass artists to play The Stadium, Mersiv is going to bring an energy like no other. His dark-bass melodic style is truly unique and is hard to compare to other artists in the scene. This Louisiana-based artist is our choice for the surprise set of the festival. Do yourself a favor and make your way to this midday set to see what all the hype is about.
The Canopy — Yotto
Day 2 at The Canopy is sure to be one of the chillest with the most relaxed vibes of the weekend. This stage features a ton of talented artists, but our pick for this stage is Yotto. He has had some collaborations with massive names such as Above & Beyond, Lane 8, and Rufus Du Sol — and even had one of his tracks, “Song From The Sun,” featured in the Netflix original movie, “XOXO”. Yotto continues to impress his audiences with a wide variety of deep house music. Yotto is the perfect set to chill and take it all in.
The Canopy — TSHA
ne of the most talented artists in the world, this London DJ specializes in a wide range of music including euphoric, emo house music. She has been featured as the face of Spotify’s EQUAL campaign highlighting some of the most talented women in the music industry. It’s rare to see house artists incorporate emotional tunes and their own vocals into their sets quite as well as TSHA does. One of the most soothing voices on the planet, TSHA will have fans in their feels and moving their feet at the same time.
The Vega — MARAUDA
Originally known as MASTADON, the artist rebranded as MARAUDA. He is one of the most talented dubstep DJs and producers in the scene right now. At only 21 years old, MARAUDA has already made waves across the dubstep world and is one of the fastest-growing artists in the community. MARAUDA always brings incredibly high energy to his sets and is sure to deliver one of the most hype sets of the weekend. This is a great set to wrap up Day 3 before the last set at the main stage.
The Stadium — Porter Robinson
It should be no surprise that the 9th and final pick of artists to see is Porter Robinson. He released two of the best EDM albums in the last decade — Worlds in 2014 and most recently Nurture in 2021. If you’re looking for a set to hold your loved one or best friend, Porter Robinson is an absolute must see. He has taken on other aliases over the years like Virtual Self and Air2Earth, but nothing is more special than an original Porter Robinson set. Since his latest album release, he has been touring the world playing some of his best sets to date. Make sure to stay to the end for his entire set as it will be one of the most pure and genuinely happy moments one can experience at any festival. He is the perfect way to end the North Coast experience and we’re blessed to have him and so much other incredible talent on the lineup.
In sum, North Coast has a stacked lineup with incredible talent performing on all three days. Whether you follow our suggestions, camp out at your favorite stage, or spend the festival exploring, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable weekend this Labor Day weekend. Be sure to purchase your tickets if you haven’t already and follow Moon Lvnding’s official North Coast playlist to get familiar with the entire lineup.