Summertime Chi is really about to be in full effect this year. Today, Silver Room owner Eric Williams announced that he’s bringing back his Black Chicago mainstay: The Silver Room Sound System Block Party.

The 17th annual Silver Room Sound System Block Party will span two days on July 16-17 from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day.

Courtesy of The Silver Room.

This year, however, there will be a few changes.

The block party is moving from Hyde Park to Oakwood Beach on South 41st Street and DuSable Lake Shore Drive. And it’s now a ticketed event.

Early-bird tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, April 27. 

When asked about the location change, Williams said the block party has outgrown the Lake Park Avenue and S. 55th Street corridor. In 2019, the year of the last block party before the global COVID-19 pandemic forced its hiatus, more than 40,000 people came out to the event.

“After being off for 2 years, and with more people coming, it wouldn’t be comfortable,” Williams said about the block party’s location in Hyde Park. 

Before Hyde Park, the block party took place in Wicker Park near The Silver Room’s first storefront location at 1442 N. Milwaukee Ave. In 2015, he moved the store to 1506 E. 53rd St. in Hyde Park, and took the block party with him.

As the block party grew in attendees over the years, it became more expensive to put on. Williams said he financed The Silver Room Sound System Block Party with his own money. In the first year he threw the block party, it probably cost him about $800, Williams said in a 2019 TRiiBE article.

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“I don’t think people understand how it worked before. When we first started it, it was small, a couple hundred people. It was actually a block party. There were no porta-potties, no generators. Electricity was coming out of my house. We had extension cords,” Williams told The TRiiBE.

Now the block party requires about 30 generators, with each one costing tens of thousands of dollars.

“The expenses are going up because the number of people has increased,” Williams said. That’s why he’s turning the block party into a ticketed event this year, to help cover the costs of the growing event. “There’s no other way to do it,” he added.

However, he promises that the tickets — whether one-day or two-day — will be super affordable. He’ll be announcing more details about the 2022 block party in the coming weeks.

“It’s been two years obviously because of the pandemic. With everything that’s been happening in society, in culture, it’s important we do this. It brings a lot of joy,” Williams said. “I think this is going to be the best one, in my honest opinion.” 

is the editor-in-chief of The TRiiBE and a 2023-2024 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.