After a two-year hiatus, the Hyde Park Summer Fest is returning in June 2022 with a new location and a stacked lineup of artists spanning across hip-hop, R&B and neo-soul genres. 

Rapper and actor Busta Rhymes, Chicago artists Lupe Fiasco and BJ the Chicago Kid, singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius and Grammy Award winner DJ Jazzy Jeff are all performing for the two-day festival at Midway Plaisance on June 11-12.

On Feb. 28, festival organizers gave The TRiiBE a first look at this year’s lineup. Busta Rhymes will headline on Saturday, June 11. And a special guest will headline on Sunday, June 12. The special guest is an international, Grammy Award-winning artist who will be announced in the coming weeks.

Formerly known as the Hyde Park Brew Fest, organizers and founders Dave Jeff and Jonathan Swain are bringing back their summertime function under a new name and location, the Hyde Park Summer Fest at Midway Plaisance on 59th Street and Ellis Avenue. It was previously held on 53rd Street and Harper Court, a mile and half from its new location.

The Hyde Park Summer Fest kicks off on Saturday, June 11, and closes out on Sunday, June 12. Each fest day will go from 12:00 P.M. to 10:00 p.m.

Although DJ sets have always been a part of the festival, a new addition to the lineup this year is live performances from music artists. Because of that, the event will also be ticketed for the first time. 

Tickets will go on sale today, according to Swain. Early bird tickets will start at $49 a day for ages 12 and older. One child can enter for free with an adult ticket holder. Weekend passes will be available for the two-day festival. Ticket prices will increase after March 31. Here is the link to purchase tickets. 

Formerly known as the Brew Fest, the Hyde Park Summer Fest gives The TRiiBE a first look at its two-day festival on June 11-12.

“In thinking about the long-term viability of the event and growth, we decided to make this a ticketed event, which allows us to bring top-level national and international talent to Hyde Park and to the South Side,” Swain said. 

Additionally, fest goers will hear from some legendary and local deejays spinning live on the ones and twos, including Chicago house music DJ Terry Hunter, Boolu Master, Jay Illa, Mike P,  Mustafa Rocks, DJ BG, DJ Grilla, Malik Shabazz, Wyld Chyld and Deejay Alicia.

2022 marks the 15th anniversary of Lupe Fiasco’s sophomore album The Cool. It was released in December 2007, and features popular tracks such as “Go Go Gadget Flow,” “Paris, Tokyo,” and “Superstar.” Back in September 2021, he performed the album at Riot Fest to commemorate the anniversary.

“To be able to kick this off again in June, and to experience kind of the first real summertime Chi that we’ve had in two years, we are really excited about it,” Swain said. 

RELATED STORY

The festival got its start back in 2014. When Jeff and Swain started the event, it centered around craft beer. But as the festival grew, they wanted to change the focus to attract a variety of sponsors. The Hyde Park Summer Fest is a celebration of Chicago’s South Side, Swain explained. 

“The interaction just from the community has been great with thousands of views and interactions on our personal pages, the Fest pages, personal phone calls, with people saying that they are going to fly in and make sure that they don’t miss this comeback,” Jeff said. 

In 2020, Jeff and Swain canceled the festival for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They planned to bring it back in September 2021 but wound up canceling it that year too because of the increasing risks of COVID-19 under the delta variant. They made this choice amid controversy around the city of Chicago announcing plans to still host Lollapalooza 2021 as COVID-19 cases were on the rise last summer.

“We just made a decision that it was more important to protect the people’s health who were coming to the fest versus anything else we were doing, and it was completely our decision. We made the decision ourselves to not move forward, and we think it was the best decision to make at that time,” Swain said. He’s the owner of Kimbark Beverage Shoppe and he’s also thrown his name in the race for the Illinois 1st Congressional District seat, in which longtime U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush isn’t seeking re-election. 

Jeff and Swain are working with an external team and the city of Chicago to advise them on COVID-19 protocols and are currently monitoring state and local COVID-19 health and safety protocols. 

On Feb. 28, Chicago lifted its COVID-19 mitigations, including mask and COVID-19 vaccine requirements. However, the mandate will remain in place in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) buildings, hospitals, long-term care facilities, congregate settings such as prisons and shelters, and spaces governed by other guidelines like public transportation and daycares.

RELATED STORY

The Hyde Park Summer Festival is a summertime Chi staple; one of the must-attend events of the year alongside the Silver Room Block Party and the Chosen Few Picnic & House Music Festival. It’s events like these that make Black Chicago a truly magical place in the summer months. 

“In our short months of summertime, we come and show out,” Jeff said while explaining what makes summertime Chi so special. 

When The TRiiBE spoke to Swain, he explained that moving the festival from 53rd Street and Harper Court to Midway Plaisance will allow more space for guests to move around comfortably. At least 50,000 people came out to the festival at its former location on 53rd Street in 2019, he said.

Logistics are still being worked out for entrances and exits to the 2022 festival, but the area will be fenced and have security, Swain said.

Though there is street parking around Midway Plaisance, Swain and Jeff recommend that fest goers take public transportation or use ride-sharing services to get there.

Formerly known as the Brew Fest, the Hyde Park Summer Fest gives The TRiiBE a first look at its two-day festival on June 11-12. Photo courtesy of Hyde Park Summer Fest.

A portion of this year’s ticket sales will be donated to local CPS schools. That amount will be matched by Bowa Gives, the charitable arm of Bowa Construction, a Black-owned general contracting and construction management firm. Those schools have not yet been named. 

At publishing time, sponsors for the festival include Maker’s Mark, the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, Kimbark Beverage Shoppe and PHLI, a lifestyle brand owned by Jeff. 

“It is the community that made this what it is and we are grateful for their support as we continue to grow and celebrate all the richness that is our community,” Swain said. “That’s the bottom line for us. It’s a holistic thing with community, business, and the like, but celebrating the richness that is Chicago and is the South Side.”

For more information about the Hyde Park Summer Fest, visit: hydeparksummerfest.com.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Lupe Fiasco’s show at Riot Fest in 2021. 

is a multimedia producer for The TRiiBE.