Spring Awakening was originally founded as an annual concert series in 2008, with the first showcase featuring Benny Benassi, ATB, Above & Beyond, and more. The event eventually outgrew the venue, and in 2012 Spring Awakening Music Festival was launched as a two-day outdoor festival at Soldier Field with three stages. In 2013, SAMF expanded to three days with about 100 artists on the bill and over 90,000 people in attendance. In 2014, nearly 100,000 people attended the event, and the festival’s growth continued along with the growing interest in dance music as a whole.
Now Spring Awakening is known as the largest dance music festival in the Midwest. More than 40,000 people attended the event each day in 2015 with over 75 national and internationally touring artists spanning all genres of dance music. In 2016, SAMF featured two Main Stages (five stages total), and took place at a brand-new location in downtown Chicago for its fifth anniversary.