Mamby has cemented itself as a rare experience in downtown Chicago that people, by and large, seem genuinely excited about each time it comes around. Revived by React in 2015 from its block party roots of yesteryear, the move was initially met with skepticism — people were confused about everything from React’s involvement to the name itself. Those concerns have been mostly assuaged by now, thanks to two extremely solid showings in each of its first two years as a beach party. There’s no shortage of cynicism surrounding every single one of Chicago’s other major festivals, and while you could criticize a few things about Mamby, it’s got a mostly sterling reputation…
…so far. This is its third year in a beach setting, and like any seasoned festival-goer will tell you, the third year is usually the ‘make or break’ year that determines whether the event has a future. You can have two solid opening chapters but if the third is a bust, people tend to remember for a few years. React Presents has a lot to live up to and a very simple list of fixes to make: keep free water access open and flowing, and mitigate environmental impact on the beach after the festival (which also falls on you too — pick up a piece of trash that isn’t yours before you leave).
Talent-wise, Mamby easily represents React Presents at its best, leaving us to wonder what it’d be like if they curated all their events as well as this one. We’re most excited for MGMT, Local Natives, Miike Snow, Raury, Justin Jay, and Sam Feldt on day one, as well as FlyLo, Cut Copy, Todd Terje & The Olsens, Thundercat, Louis Futon, Green Velvet, and Justin Martin on day two. With a lineup that stacked, we’ll be making some hard decisions over who to see — which honestly, is my favorite problem to have at any music festival.
Before you hit the beach this weekend, catch the Green Velvet mini-doc profiling 25 years of Relief Records.
Grab tickets to Mamby On The Beach at React’s official site.