Students to play Saturday’s Southern Wonderland music festival

By Sam Beard, @SamBeard_DE

Students will have a chance to party, socialize and get down at the first-ever Southern Wonderland music festival Saturday.

The event will feature more than 20 artists across two stages, fire spinning, food vendors and a shuttle bus to transport patrons to and from festival grounds during the 12-hour party.

At 2042 Dillinger Road, the festival grounds lie just north of the Carbondale city limits. A 55-person shuttle bus will run every 30 minutes from 514 S. Illinois Ave.  the parking lot behind Old-Town Liquors — to the fairgrounds.


Event organizer Nico Gonzalez, a junior from Chicago studying mechanical engineering, said he hopes the festival will provide a unique opportunity for students to escape the stresses of school and work by getting lost in the wonderland.

So Ill Events, the production agency facilitating the festival is about a year old, and this is the agency’s second festival; Electric Spring, the agency’s first event, was last semester. 

Gonzalez said he is hosting the festival because he feels passionately about providing independent artists with opportunities to showcase their skills. 

“A lot of the artists are actually local talent, including SIU students,” he said. “So it gives them an opportunity to play in front of larger crowds than they’re used to, which I think is good for musicians to have.”

The majority of the artists will play some type of electronic dance music, but other genres, like rock, jam, rap and digital-hardcore will be heard during the show.

Disc Jockey Dan Young, a senior from Rockford studying aviation technologies, will play trap and house music. This is Young’s third festival this year, but said he is most excited for this one because of the lineup’s heavy emphasis on electronic music. 

“Hopefully it’s going to have a really good turn out,” Young said. “I know a lot of people have a love for E.D.M. music in Carbondale, but it’s not really played [at] many places.”


Limited amounts of free on-site parking will be available at the festival. A security team and a team of volunteers will also oversee the event. 

Tickets can be purchased online at

Sam Beard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SamBeard_DE