Summertime Chi, the most magical time of the year, is drawing near, and the Hyde Park Summer Fest plans to usher in that spirit that’s been missed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. 

Formerly known as the Hyde Park Brew Fest, organizers and co-founders Dave Jeff and Jonathan Swain are bringing back their summertime function — after a two-year hiatus — 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 festival takes place June 11-12. 

“After a two-year COVID-19 related hiatus, we are excited for the return of the Hyde Park Summer Fest, which has proven to bring together a diverse group of Chicagoans while creating an economic engine, all while investing in area public high schools,” Swain said in a written statement last month. 

As of publishing time, there were still tickets available, starting at $109, for ages 12 and up. Each fest day will run from 12:00 P.M. to 10:00 p.m. A portion of this year’s ticket sales will be donated to local CPS high schools. That amount will be matched by Bowa Gives, the charitable arm of Bowa Construction, a Black-owned general contracting and construction management firm.

Rapper and actor Busta Rhymes, R&B singer-songwriter Ashanti and Chicago rapper, producer and singer Lupe Fiasco will perform on Saturday, June 11.

Singer-songwriters Jhené Aiko, Lucky Daye, Marsha Ambrosius, Chicago native BJ the Chicago Kid and Grammy Award-winning rapper DJ Jazzy Jeff round out the final list of performers on Sunday, June 12. 

If you copped a ticket to attend the festival, The TRiiBE’s got you covered with what to expect this weekend. Below is a list of details that will help you prepare to vibe and fellowship with other fest-goers.

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WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE?

Fest-goers are encouraged to take public transportation or use ride-sharing services to get there. Lyft is the festival’s transportation partner; a $5-off Lyft discount code will be provided only for Divvy riders attending the event. A Divvy Bike Valet will be available. To access the discount use the code HYDEPARK22 in the Lyft app. The discount is good for three bike rides.  

If you are traveling by car, more details about parking will be shared on the Hyde Park Summer Fest’s website on Monday, June 6.

HOW DO WE ENTER THE FESTIVAL?

The main entrance to the festival is located on 59th Street and Ellis Avenue. Proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests will not be required to attend the festival. 

WHAT PAYMENT ARE THEY ACCEPTING INSIDE THE FESTIVAL?

All major credit cards, ApplePay, and GooglePay will be accepted; however, cash will not be accepted. 

WHAT FOOD VENDORS WILL BE THERE?

There will be various food options available during the Hyde Park Summer Fest. More than 20 food vendors will be present this year, including some of Black Chicago’s favorites such as Harold’s Chicken and Uncle Remus. Others include:

  • Bill’s Grill
  • Bacci Pizza
  • Whadda Jerk
  • Krav Catering
  • Jada’s Juice
  • Nando’s Peri-Peri
  • Cafe Tola
  • Soul Kantina
  • Ooo Wee! It Is!
  • Auntie Vee’s Kitchen Food Truck
  • Pina Tropical 

WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOLIC DRINKS?

There will not be any spirits vendors. However, Maker’s Mark, the presenting sponsor of the Hyde Park Summer Fest, will be present, along with other Beam Suntory brands, the parent company Maker’s Mark. In addition, Blue Moon will be sponsoring the Beer Garden. 

Tickets for the Beer Garden are still available and start at $75 — for ages 21 and up. The Beer Garden ticket gives ticket-holders access to the Beer Garden along with access to the festival.  Beer Garden tickets can be purchased on each festival day for $49. The Beer Garden sampling runs from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Fest-goers will have access to other spirits and beer brands throughout the festival. 

WILL THERE BE RETAILERS?

You can also get your shop on while vibing to the performing artists and DJ sets. Vendors have always been a part of the Hyde Park Summer Fest. 

  • DTLR
  • Candle Wick Care
  • Outliers Apparel
  • Fearlessly Hue and more. 

WHO ELSE IS GOING TO BE THERE?

Nonprofit organizations will be on hand at the Hyde Park Summer Fest and will be there to sell items benefiting their organization, recruit volunteers and conduct health screenings. 

The Obama Foundation: A Chicago-based nonprofit that was founded in 2014. The foundation will oversee the forthcoming Barack Obama Presidential Center that will be built in Jackson Park. The organization also offers programming such as the Leaders Program, My Brother’s Keeper’s Alliance, Fellowship Program and Scholars Program, and more. 

Howard Brown Health: This organization is rooted in LGBTQ+liberation and provides affirming healthcare, and mobilizes for social justice. 

Urban Village Church: Urban Village Church, launched in 2009, is an inclusive church whose mission is to create Jesus-loving affirming communities that ignite the city. 

The Woodlawn 1200: Launched in 2018, the Woodlawn 1200 is an innovative and vibrant economic center located in the Avalon Park neighborhood. The 4,000 square foot multi-purpose facility includes a restaurant, internet cafe, event space, commercial kitchen, rooftop yoga, and gardening. 

WHAT TYPES OF BAGS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE THE FESTIVAL?

  • Any bag made of Clear Plastic, Clear Vinyl or Clear PVC smaller than 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • Drawstring bag (limit one pocket)
  • Clear Bag
  • Small Purse / Small Clutch Bags
  • Waist Pack or Fanny Pack
  • Empty Hydration Pack (limit two pockets)

WHAT TYPES OF BAGS AREN’T ALLOWED INSIDE THE FESTIVAL?

  • All bags must be no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • ANY bag larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • Fabric bags (beach bag, backpack or any multi-pocket bag)
  • Framed backpack

WHAT CAN YOU BRING TO THE FESTIVAL? 

  • Vaccination card (printed and digital)
  • Cell phones
  • Valid Driver’s License/Identification
  • Cash, Credit, Debit & ATM cards
  • Personal size hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen lotion (no aerosol cans)
  • Strollers and child care supplies
  • Point & Shoot Cameras (no interchangeable lenses)
  • Binoculars
  • Beach Towel (one per person)
  • Hats
  • Rain Jacket and Ponchos
  • Paper fans and mini personal fans/misters
  • Sunglasses
  • Earplugs
  • Personal cameras
  • Prescription medication
  • Baby strollers, plastic baby bottles, and milk/formula
  • Empty plastic, water bottles and water pouches 
  • Chairs or lawn chairs

WHAT’S NOT ALLOWED INSIDE: 

  • Illegal weapons/substances/fireworks or combustibles
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Barbeque grills
  • Tents, canopies or umbrellas
  • Aerosol containers, including sunscreen and personal beauty products
  • Metal water bottles
  • Professional audio or professional video recording equipment, including GoPros
  • Outside food or beverages, coolers or picnic baskets
  • Mace or pepper spray
  • Pets or animals (except service animals)
  • Selfie sticks, Go-Pros sticks or tripods or professional camera equipment
  • Glass or metal containers
  • Skateboards, scooters, bikes or personal motor vehicles
  • Drones or aircraft
  • iPads or tablets
  • Hammocks or slacklines
  • Carts or wagons of any kind
  • Blankets or anything larger than a beach towel
  • Large chains or spiked jewelry
  • Laser pointers
  • Unauthorized distribution of solicitation materials (handbills, flyers, samples) of any kind
  • Illegal, unauthorized or unlicensed vendors
is a multimedia producer for The TRiiBE.