Collectiv Presents North Coast Music Festival [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Hey Chicago! What’d do you say? North Coast Music Festival is back to play! Labor Day Weekend’s most happening party will take place September 3-5, 2021, at renovated SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. Celebrating its 11th year as a festival, North Coast will be moving venues and under new ownership with Collectiv Presents.

Electric Hawk got the opportunity to interview Collectiv Presents’ Isaiah Duitmann about what’s to come from North Coast Music Festival!

Sarah Galambos, Electric Hawk: Can you tell me a little more about yourself and Collectiv Presents? Diving into who you are as a company, I see you guys are not only taking on the role of North Coast, but it looks like you’ll also be working on Suwannee Hulaween this upcoming festival season.

Isaiah Duitmann, Collectiv Presents: We are a nimble but flowering team, and I could not be more glad to be a part of it. Lucas King, Chris Den Uijl, and Michael Berg are the three founders and partners. Berg co-founded Suwannee Hulaween in 2013 and is the talent buyer and brand manager still on our behalf. Chris is the founder and producer of Baja Beach Fest, Papas Beach Bach, and Coca-Cola Flow Fest in Mexico. Lucas and Berg are the co-founders of North Coast. I joined the team in 2018. I immediately began helping in multiple areas, from on-site operations to helping book talent, to crunching numbers within the budgets. We’re currently programming concerts and events in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, and various other markets from coast to coast. 

SG: Very excited to see the Collectiv team prosper moving forward! How have your past experiences working in the music industry prep you for this present moment? 

ID: I began promoting events when I was just 16 years old. Mojoes in Joilet with former owner Marc Bernal who gave me mentorship and industry insight on how everything would come together to produce live music events. I took the experience and knowledge and placed it within the team now. I still have a lot to learn and owe a bunch to my peers who instantly help guide me through any projects.

“We’re all very excited, to say the least”

SG: How does it feel being back with this festival and the overall excitement surrounding it after making it through the difficult last year? 

ID: We’re all very excited, to say the least. As we pivoted to Drive-In and pod concerts in late July of 2020 which ran through November 1st, we really scaled back on the number of events we produce as everyone else did in the industry due to the pandemic. We have quite a few more drive-in and pod events between mid-April to late-June that we’re ecstatic about in Chicagoland, at the SeatGeek Stadium, North Coast’s 2021 home. As well, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and Riverside Station Detroit. We were really proud to help get ourselves and other industry peers back to work in such a challenging time for us all. 

One glance at this stacked lineup and you’ll be sold!

SG: Can you tell me about the process of creating this massive lineup? Adding in some humor here, do you have any advice for the schedule conflicts to come? Between the headliners, that WAKAAN takeover, my personal favorite Lane 8, the smaller local talent, and Electric Hawk’s very own SAGZ, your selection is quite impressive!

ID: We’re super excited about this line-up. We all have different musical tastes but very deep passions for any and all types of music. It was most definitely a team effort of coming together and being diverse in the electronic space. As far as scheduling, just like any festival, there will be some tough decisions as there is some really great talent this year. I know I’m going to struggle to make it to every set personally.

SG: Of course you’re going to like this lineup you’ve put together, but are there any musical artists, in particular, you’re personally most excited about that you might have not seen yourself before or gotten to book yet? 

ID: Great question, too much to name that I’m excited for, even from the local talent to the national talent! Really stoked to bring Louis The Child home. They have never played at North Coast before in its 10 previous years, but recently tweeted that they attended as fans in high school years ago. Other headliners with Chicago roots on the international stage include Green Velvet‘s doing a branded LaLaLand Takeover, and Kaskade as well. We’re all really excited to bring back Chicago-originated talent and build a great event with them. 

Check out North Coast’s new venue and layout plan!

SG: It would be impossible not to notice the artists’ installations area on the map. Do you have any particular artists you’re bringing on board with this? Will you be bringing in local Chicago artists or some more at the national level? 

ID: It’s a little too soon to speak on this as the conversations are still going. We will dig very deep with local and national artists and plan to go over the top on experiential this year. It will be amazing to see it all come to life over the next few months. Our workflow and the new venue offers such a great canvas for us due to the extra space we’ll have to work with.

SG: And lastly. What are you most excited about sharing with the fans with this festival? 

ID: We’re all just excited to be back at it. This will be North Coast’s eleventh year. Which would have been 12 had we not all been shut down in 2020! With a great lineup, a super great newly renovated location, and some of the ideas we will come up with, it has the makings of something really special. Our #1 priority is the safety of our patrons, artists, and staff. We will follow all local and state guidelines passed down to us by government officials and health experts. 2020 was tough on everyone. We’ve all gone through it together, learning along the way, and we will continue to work and answer any questions as they arise. We want everyone to stay safe and healthy so that we can dance together again over Labor Day Weekend!

Check out North Coast’s COVID safety plan below!

As someone that grew up in the Chicago-land region, North Coast was one of the first festivals that got me into the electronic music scene. Thank you to Collectiv Presents for working so diligently on bringing this festival back to life. The lineup and this interview was a pure homage to the heart. Be on the lookout for the Electric Hawk family at North Coast Music Festival!

For more information regarding North Coast Music Festival
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