Updated: Apr 20
A hype beast's world. A creative's mecca. Perhaps a new Chicago favorite. What is this event? The music festival/pop culture convention ComplexCon. Originating from Long Beach California, and the pop culture media organization Complex, ComplexCon took its first step towards expansion and did so in no other than Chicago's Mccormick Place on Saturday July 20th, and Sunday July 21st. This event had a broad amount of entertainment, conversations, talent, fashion, and almost anything hip that you could imagine. Would we recommend you buy a ticket next year? Let's see.
As I previously stated, ComplexCon isn't your typical music festival. Because of this, the lineup didn't just consist of musicians/performers. It consisted of designers, moguls, influencers, stylists, and even athletes. The specific entertainment was live performances on the "Live Stage", interviews and talks at "Complex Studio", talks and panels in the "Current" auditorium, and talks and information sessions at the "Complex News" booth. The biggest live performances were by Chicago rappers Lucki and Juice Wrld, R&B singer Ella Mai, rapper Saweetie, and rapper Rick Ross. The biggest "Complex Studio" talks was with Juice Wrld. The biggest "Current" talks were about NBA 2k and culture with Steve Stoute, Karl Anthony Towns, and Don C, and one about superstars and sneakers with Wale, Don C, and Allen Iverson. Finally, the biggest "Complex News" session was The Obama Foundation Master Class. Yes, these were only some of the many things going on at ComplexCon. Along with entertainment, there were vendor booths. These booths were mostly local stores/brands, and even international stores/brands. These featured Puma, Fat Tiger Workshop, MCA Chicago, RSVP Gallery, and many more. to this super packed and wide ranged list, you really could never be bored. On our Intersect 1-10 rating scale, the lineup would get a 10/10 for people who are creative, into entrepreneurship, activists, make music, listen to hip-hop and rap, and/or are into sports.
A one day general admission ticket costed approximately $80. You could go just Saturday or just Sunday for $80. A two-day general admission ticket costed approximately $135. A Saturday Early-Entry General Admission ticket costed approximately $100. The VIP tickets ranged from $500-600.
General Admission Access:
People with general admission access could go to any of the talks, watch any performance from the crowd, purchase food from food vendors, and line up to purchase products(clothes, shoes, etc.) from any of the vendor booths. Also, celebrities, social media influencers, and professional athletes were walking around everywhere. Because of this, you felt like you had some type of VIP access with just a general admission pass. It was just about being in the right place at the right time. On our Intersect Rating Scale, the General Admission ticket, both 1 and 2 day would receive a 10/10 because they were both affordable and worth it.
Saturday Early-Entry General Admission Access:
This ticket had all the same access as a general admission ticket. However, it allowed early entry to vendor booths on Saturday. The benefits of this would be skipping lines, purchasing clothes before they sell out, and seeing what it's all about on the first day without crowds of people. You can get in and out and pickup what you want before any of the other people come in. This is perfect for someone going just to shop. On our Intersect 1-10 rating scale, the Saturday Early-Entry General Admission Ticket would receive a 9/10 because it was only a $20 difference to get to exclusive clothes first, but it's worthless if you were only there for the performances and/or talks.
A VIP ticket allowed the same access as the Saturday Early-Entry General Admission ticket, but it was for both days, and allowed VIP viewing of the live performances in a private section. But, the private section wasn't even close to the stage. Honestly I feel as if it was unecessary to purchase this pass unless you are just that bougie that you want to say you're VIP. But, to each its own. There may have been a VIP Lounge as well, but there were tons of places to sit for general admission so is it that necessary? Because of the VIP ticket being essentially overpriced and unnecessary, it would get a 4/10 on our Intersect Rating scale. The six points lost were an effect of it being a ripoff.
The event was held at Mccormick Place on the Near South Side of Chicago. There were no long lines to get in, it was easy and quick to call an Uber, and the event as a whole was spacious, You never felt clastophobic at all. Most importantly, there was air conditioning! On our Intersect 1-10 Rating Scale, the venue would receive a 10/10.
Overall, the event was super organized. The lines were structured, security was in place, and there was a map of the venue on the ComplexCon app. Also, every vendor booth was labeled visibly and clear. On our Intersect 1-10 Rating Scale, the organization of the event would receive a 10/10.
We would most definitely recommend going to ComplexCon Chicago in the future years based off of the 2019 event. The overall Intersect Rating for the festival is a 8/10. The recommended audience for ComplexCon Chicago would be hype beasts, creative people, athletes, musicians, and anyone interested in these categories. Anyone with an open mindset should totally go check it out!