The Hyde Park Brew Fest is one of the few large-scale Black-operated festivals on the South Side returning to summertime Chi this year, and it’s going to look slightly different this time around.

Fest organizers Dave Jeff and Jonathan Swain are bringing back their summertime function under a new name, the Hyde Park Summer Fest, and with a new location, Midway Plaisance.

The name change and new location is part of a rebrand to be more inclusive of those who may be turned off by “brew” being in the title, which implied to many that the main draw of the festival is to drink liquor. 

With DJ Jazzy Jeff set to return as the Sunday headliner, the festival is scheduled for the weekend of September 11-12. The full lineup of musical acts will be released later this summer.

“We’ve always had these family friendly activities and community participation, but people would hear the name ‘Brew Fest’ and think it’s not a place for them if they aren’t really a drinker,” Jeff said. On Monday (June 28), he spoke to The TRiiBE about how it feels to bring back one of Black Chicago’s favorite summer festivals.

“It feels amazing just to have made it through the pandemic, and then to be able to execute the fest bigger and better is wonderful,” he said.

In 2019, at the sixth annual event that took place at its previous location on 53rd Street in Hyde Park, the festival attracted more than 50,000 visitors over two days.

This year, in preparation for a similarly large turnout, Jeff and Swain are moving the festival grounds to a much more expansive location at Midway Plaisance Park on 59th Street and Dorchester Avenue.

Fest attendees wearing a #HPBF2019 shirt at the formerly titled Hyde Park Brew Fest. [Facebook]

Like most outdoor festivals, the formerly titled Hyde Park Brew Fest was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Two other Summertime Chi staples —  the Silver Room Block Party and the Chosen Few Picnic & House Music Festival — have no plans to return to the newly reopened streets of Chicago, marking the second consecutive year without both events. 

According to Kimbark Beverage Shoppe owner and Summer Fest co-organizer Jonathan Swain, the decision to return came down to considering what the event could mean for the South Side community.

“For me, the Hyde Park Summer Fest originated out of an absence of community festivals on the South Side. There were no homegrown South Side street festivals nearly a decade ago,” Swain said. “Our festival amplifies our greatest strength: community. The pandemic has taught us all the value of relationships and how much we need each other. The Hyde Park Summer Fest is an opportunity to connect and celebrate how far we’ve come.” 

More information on Summer Fest, including how to become a vendor, will be released later this summer.

is a staff writer with The TRiiBE. Email him with news tips.