Chicago’s 101 WKQX Piqniq was an entertaining event packed with brilliant music


Completely filled with alternative pop music enthusiasts, pure exhilaration was in the air at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on Saturday, May 20. On this clear, sunny day, thousands of fans gathered at this venue to enjoy a thrilling evening, complete with performances from several outstanding music groups.

Once a year, Chicago’s alternative radio station, 101 WKQX, puts on an incredible show for the 15,000 people who attend. Situated in Tinley Park, just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, I was lucky enough to attend this event, 101 WKQX Piqniq, and have been reliving the moment ever since.

Piqniq is organized as a smaller version of a music festival. Although it is only a day in duration, different bands play at different times on different stages. This system makes it well worth the price of the ticket, as you get the opportunity to watch several bands play. The festival vibe was also apparent, as fans of many different bands came together for one show.

The event began at noon with pre-shows and other small performances. The organizers set up a competition for fans to win meet-and-greets, backstage performances, and VIP tickets. Through creative processes like this, the excitement for the event began before the first shows had even started.

The main shows started at five and featured three main bands: Bleachers, Jimmy Eat World, and The 1975. Although I attended the event solely to see The 1975, I left a huge fan of Bleachers as well. The concert put on by Bleachers was incredibly enjoyable, as frontman Jack Antonoff engaged with the whole amphitheater. They are a relatively new band, but performed as if they had been touring for decades. However, I found that I appreciated Jimmy Eat World’s performance less than the other performers. Nevertheless, I soon realized that was the beauty of a music festival such as this one. The different mix of acts allows you to discover new music and uncover different artists.

Piqniq’s biggest act, The 1975, was a huge success. Having recently seen one of their shows, my expectations were very high. These expectations were not only met, but undoubtedly surpassed. Their synthesis of satisfying sounds left me astonished and in pure delight. The well-known hits performed, including “Chocolate,” “Love Me,” “Ugh,” and “The Sound,” left every person in the amphitheater thrilled. Their beautifully performed music, breathtaking set, and interactive tone resulted in an incredible performance.

I soon realized that was the beauty of a music festival such as this one. The different mix of acts allows you to discover new music and uncover different artists.

With tickets starting at just $20, this experience was beyond worth attending. Seating tickets started at $30, and pit tickets costed around $60. My seats, both close to the stage and not obstructed, set me back $35, and I felt the concert was well worth this price. The ticket granted access to every band playing that day. In essence, you were able to watch as many bands as possible in the 10-hour time frame.

The venue itself, the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, provided the perfect setting for this spectacular event. Food stands surrounding the arena offered several tasty, although slightly pricey, food options. The venue was large and offered several viewing options. Most importantly, security was tight at the venue, with plenty of ticket and bag checks, as well as security officers at every corner.

All in all, this experience was one-of-a-kind. The expansive venue allowed the superb bands to perform to the best of their ability. Combined with the festival atmosphere and extensive selection of music, 101 WKQX’s Piqniq 2017 was a huge success. Hopefully, next year’s event will be just as great, if not even better.