Humboldt Park is going to be the center of attention this weekend. For the first time, the Chicago House Music Festival and the Taste of Chicago Humboldt Park will take place in conjunction with one another.

On June 24 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Chicago House Music Festival will turn the Humboldt Park Boathouse Lawn mainstage into a dance party, highlighting the Chicago born genre that revolutionized dance music all around the world. Since it’s also Pride Month, Queen! featuring Robert Owens LIVE will headline the festival. Others in the lineup include DJs Roy Davis Jr., Emmaculate, and DJ Psycho-B.

During the festival, the Taste of Chicago—Humboldt Park will offer more than 20 Chicago food vendors. Some of them include Robinson No.1 Ribs, Mabe’s Sandwich Shop, Gaby’s Funnel Cakes, Delicias Tacos, Tandoor Char House and more.

Flyer of Taste of Chicago in Humboldt Park. Including a list of food vendors & festival line up
2023 Chicago House Music Festival and Taste of Chicago—Humboldt Park.

“House Music would not be here without Black and brown [and] queer folk. We, as a city, always acknowledge and celebrate that,” said David Chavez, program curator for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). “So given that this month is Pride Month, and this is a big weekend for pride, we wanted to highlight and celebrate that.”

Grammy-nominated producer and DJ Emmaculate has been in the DJing scene for decades. In 2017, he released a song as a solo artist, “Do It,” featuring vocalist Kaye Fox. The song was released on Terry Hunter’s T’s Box Records and since then, Emmaculate hasn’t looked back. Throughout his career, he’s shared stages with the likes of Chosen Few DJs founder Wayne Williams and DJ Jazzy Jeff. To further the legacy of House, he is also a partner in a record label with Chosen Few DJ Terry Hunter, called Mirror Ball Recordings. 

“I think house music is a release. House music is music of positive energy. And so it provides a release for people to be able to get away from their stress and troubles. It’s about enjoyment,” he said.

House music is unequivocally the most inclusive genre on the planet. This musical artform is something people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations have enjoyed for decades. Starting in the late 1970s, house music gets its name from the Chicago club, The Warehouse, which started out as a members-only club for gay men. When the club opened in the late ‘70s, a DJ named Frankie Knuckles was invited to play regularly. Known as the “Godfather of House,” Knuckles’ style involved a mixture of soul, rock, punk, and classics from the disco era. The sound of this new exciting genre would echo around the world, immortalizing Knuckles and the legendary Warehouse, which just received landmark status in Chicago for its historical significance.

Robert Owens a house music DJ & producer
Robert Owens, keynote at the 2023 Chicago House Music Conference. Photo courtesy of City of Chicago, DCASE.

On June 23, a day before the festival, the Chicago House Music Conference will take place from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center, located at 78 E. Washington St. House music legend Robert Owens, who is also an original member of the group Fingers Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the conference alongside Chicago historian Sherman “Dilla” Thomas. Six different conversations will take place, relating to business, art, and the culture of House Music. 

Both the festival and conference are free to the public.

“Whether you’re a cultural historian, a house community member, or an artist, there’s something here for you,” Chavez told The TRiiBE.

is a culture correspondent with The TRiiBE.