Hyde Park Summer Fest Canceled Due to Rising Security Costs

The Hyde Park Summer Fest, one of the most popular Southside Summer events, is canceled this year. Event organizers called off the event due to rising security costs. 

The cancellation comes a year after the Summer Fest held its most significant event, featuring notable Hip-hop acts like 2 Chainz, Clipse, and Lil Kim and attracting thousands nationwide to the spacious Midway Plaisance. 

According to event organizers, the cost of hosting an event of that scale became untenable. As the Summer Fest grew from what it used to be, a free celebration on 53rd Street, ticket prices were increased to help pay for security.

“We realized that we would have to cut significantly or raise significantly to match the number in the budget line item, and at that point, we decided that it was not worth continuing it that way,” Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wallace Goode told ABC 7 Chicago.

The Southside recently lost another storied Hyde Park-centric event when the Silver Room Block Party had its final run last Summer.

Last year, founder Eric Williams also cited increased costs and a resource shift as the reason he had to end the Silver Room Block Party. 

“It is with a mix of emotions that we announce this as the final installment of our beloved block party,” Williams said in a statement published on social media last June. 

Two Black Chicago Festivals Are Gone 

During the summer, the city is awash with events and music festivals that cater to mainstream and mainly White audiences. The Hyde Park Summer Fest and Silver Room Block Party, which featured Hip-hop, soul and house artists, were not just events, but cultural touchstones and destination events for Black Chicago, their absence leaving a void in the community.

Despite these setbacks, the African-American community continues to thrive with other notable Black Summer events in the city, including the Chosen Few Picnic & Festival,  African/Caribbean Int’l Fest of Life, the African Festival of the Arts, Bantu Fest, and the Chicago Caribbean Carnival, among others. 


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