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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

The Chosen Few Picnic’s 30th Anniversary Celebration Is Still On — For Now

The "Woodstock of house music" is still scheduled for July 4, though the coronavirus has led organizers to pause advance ticket sales.

A fan throws up the peace sign at the 2019 Chosen Few Picnic in Jackson Park.
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WOODLAWN — The 30th annual Chosen Few Picnic in Jackson Park is still planned for July 4, though the DJ crew is “carefully considering alternative dates” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials have not called for the “Woodstock of house music” to be rescheduled or canceled, but advance ticket sales have been paused, according to Chosen Few founder Wayne Williams.

The festival could be pushed back to late August or September if necessary, Williams said. Organizers are following the direction of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th).

“It’s entirely up to what they think is best for the people of Chicago,” Williams said.

The Chosen Few picnic has never been canceled or rescheduled, according to Williams, and the crew has some surprises in store for the 30th anniversary celebration.

“Our people have come to expect what we do talent-wise, with special entertainment or a DJ who graces us with their presence,” Williams said.

Williams founded the DJ collective in 1977. Alongside names like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy, the Chosen Few established Chicago as the birthplace of house music.

Chosen Few DJ Jesse Saunders’ 1984 track “On and On” is considered by many to be the first house music track.

The first Chosen Few Picnic was held in 1990 behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Crew members spun records for a few dozen attendees at the family reunion of DJs Tony and Andre Hatchett, according to the Chicago Reader.

Recent festivals have drawn crowds of more than 40,000.

“Our event is more about the people who come than anything else,” Williams said. “They make our event. That’s who we target and plan on and look out for.”

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