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Wavefront Music Festival Officially Canceled, Organizers Say

By Adeshina Emmanuel | June 13, 2014 9:22am | Updated on June 16, 2014 7:57am
Wavefront 2013 After-Movie
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Wavefront Music Festival

UPTOWN — The party is officially off: Wavefront Music Festival announced Thursday that the popular electronic dance music festival is kaput for 2014.

"We regret to announce that Wavefront Music Festival has been postponed until 2015," Wavefront organizers said in a post on the festival's Facebook page that thanked fans for "endless support and positive vibes" and promised "we WILL be back."

"Until then hang tight and enjoy the rest of the events this summer in our amazing city of Chicago including Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Riverwest Music Festival, Riot Fest and all of the others," the message continued.

The post ended with a link to a YouTube video that organizers called the 2013 festival's "official after-movie," inviting fans to "Relive the memories of 2013."

Wavefront, touted as the ultimate beach bash, has garnered rave reviews from EDM fans since its 2012 debut at Montrose Beach —  but earned the ire of local aldermen after organizers put on a much bigger 2013 fest that spurred noise and traffic complaints from North Side lakefront residents.

Ald. James Cappleman (46th) and Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) demanded to see a 2014 festival plan that resolved community concerns, and organizers promised to scale down Wavefront and address various festival management issues.

That was last summer.

When the aldermen didn't get what they asked for, both pledged to oppose the festival. Officials said earlier this spring that Wavefront was unlikely to gain the city's approval in the face of such political opposition.

Osterman's chief of staff, Dan Luna, said "the major reason" Osterman wanted the event shut down was a "lack of response to our concerns," chief among them "noise and vibrations."

Spybar co-owner Dino Gardiakos, a key figure behind Wavefront organizer 4 Headed Productions, had denied that Wavefront was canceled. The nightclub owner said it would happen "elsewhere," instead of Montrose Beach.

Rumors that Wavefront was moving to 31st Street Beach were denied by Cappleman and the office of Ald. Will Burns (4th), whose district includes the beach.

But while Wavefront has been canceled, another three-day EDM festival with ties to Wavefront is hitting River West during Independence Day weekend — the Riverwest Music Festival.

A spokesman for the city said Friday morning that the Riverwest organizer is Gardiakos' business partner, Spybar co-owner Garrett Belschner.

Spybar was also one of many sponsors of Wavefront.

Gardiakos and Belschner could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

For more Wavefront Music Festival coverage, click here.