Radius Chicago, a new warehouse-style venue in the Windy City, threw their grand opening on February 29 with Dillon Francis and Party Favor.
Concertgoers across the Midwest have been anticipating the opening of Radius Chicago since the venue was first announced in December. Located within the Pilsen neighborhood in an old steel factory, Radius has a capacity of 3,800 and will instantly be making a massive impact on the region’s music scene.
Not only is the venue itself a brand new, state-of-the-art facility, but the talent they’ve booked so far has included some of the biggest artists in the industry. The grand opening was headlined by Dillon Francis and many others are lined up to play at Radius over the next few months including Tchami and CamelPhat.
The Radius Chicago grand opening was held on February 29 with epic performances from Party Pupils, Party Favor, and Dillon Francis.
Fans packed into the new venue early. Upon walking up to Radius, the ticket windows and security checkpoints were all managed well. Considering the long security lines found at nearly every show at Aragon Ballroom on the other side of the city, Radius’ crowd control was much better than the competition.
The capacity of Radius puts it in between the size of Concord Music Hall and Aragon Ballroom, the city’s two main venues for touring acts in the dance music scene. However, it’s clear that this new venue instantly steals the title of the city’s best large concert hall.
While the building is part of an old steel factory, it looks more like a venue specifically built for concerts. The ceiling is unfinished and some elements of the old warehouse still remain, and Radius Chicago has a similar vibe to The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both venues were recently opened in newly renovated historical buildings and quickly hosted some of the city’s biggest shows.
After entering Radius Chicago’s main entrance, go straight ahead and you’re directly in the back middle of the dance floor.
Similar to The Armory, there are two huge bars directly on each side of the floor that reach from the near front stage to the back of the crowd. There’s also a bar in the back of the venue as well as a grill with several freshly cooked food items. In the same area, you’ll also find a coat check and an artist merchandise booth.
While the crowd got bigger and rowdier throughout the night, Radius had no problem fitting everyone in with plenty of room to dance.
Radius is a completely flat event space with unobstructed views of the stage, and there is a balcony available for VIP experiences as well. It was a much more pleasant experience walking through the crowd and finding a good spot here compared to similar venues where it’s nearly impossible to walk anywhere.
There are also additional bars, a smoking section, and more bathrooms on the right side of the stage.
The bathrooms in the back of the venue were small and could get crowded quickly, but the ones on the right side of the venue were a less crowded option. In addition to two more bars in this area, there was also a smoking section, which is yet another way Radius stands out as both Concord and Aragon ban smoking at their venues completely.
The light show was incredible and the sound was crisp, and Radius proved that their production is all it was hyped up to be.
As soon as the venue was announced, Radius Chicago advertised its impressive sound system and acoustics. After just one night at the venue, it’s clear that the production at Radius exceeds expectations. The D&B KSL sound system is loud and high quality, and the light show and onstage visuals were incredible and unlike anything else in the city.
Following the opening night, the legendary Carl Cox headlined Radius next weekend to a sold-out crowd.
With Tchami and Dr. Fresch up next, Radius Chicago will make it three unforgettable weekends in a row to kick off their much-anticipated opening. Radius will then branch out to other genres with Doja Cat, Lil Wayne, and Killswitch Engage through March and April. CamelPhat will stop by on April 17 to celebrate the opening of Cermak Hall, a 10,000 square foot separate theater space within the same building. Tickets to all events can be found on their website.
I can’t say enough about how pleasant the overall experience at Radius was.
Virtually everyone that has seen the venue agrees: it’s exactly what the Chicago music scene needs. There’s plenty of venues scattered throughout the city, but we’re really lacking in one main attraction, similar to what the now closed Congress Theater was years ago. There’s no debating that Radius Chicago is currently taking the crown as Chicago’s #1 music venue.
Radius is just a few weeks old, but it’s obvious that this is a venue that is a truly groundbreaking and trendsetting development for the music scene in Chicago and beyond. Founder Nick Karounos has played a major role in the city’s biggest venues including The Mid, Prysm Nightclub, and Concord, and Radius Chicago is his finest work yet. With more announcements on the way, expect things to only get bigger and better as time goes on. Radius is a state-of-the-art venue that’s here to stay.