The second annual Chicago Open Air went off last month at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, just outside of Chicago, Illinois. A soccer stadium-turned-rock arena hosted artists like Ozzy Ozborne, KISS, Korn, Rob Zombie, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, Stone Sour, Godsmack and many more. This monumental line-up performed in front of a rock-and-roll army made up of a whopping 70,000 people. It’s incredible to think that over 2.5% of Chicago’s 2.7 million population are rock/metal fans! Those in attendance witnessed some unforgettable moments, like when KISS dropped the curtain and exploded for a rare festival performance, or when Ozzy Osborne reunited with guitarist Zakk Wylde after having gone their separate ways for over ten years. Another crazy occurrence came when a Nordic battle broke out on Amon Amarth’s elaborate Viking ship stage façade.
Chicago Open Air united people from all over the globe with a common goal; to experience the best heavy music the world has to offer. Artists from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Poland, and South Africa converge in Toyota Park to send immense sound waves through 140,000 eardrums. The three-day festival saw over forty music performances including headline acts and other big name drawcards like Korn, KISS, Ozzy and Monster Energy mainstays Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth and Stone Sour, all the way to up-and-coming bands like Boston-based Aversed or Michigan’s For We Are Many. With two epic stages on offer, the Main Stage and Blackcraft Stage each had their own feel.