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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Chosen Few Picnic Canceled In-Person For 2nd Straight Year; Virtual Event Set For July 3

The "Woodstock of house music," which has drawn crowds of more than 40,000 in recent years, won't be held in Jackson Park this summer. The picnic had never been canceled or rescheduled prior to the pandemic.

A fan throws up the peace sign at the 2019 Chosen Few Picnic in Jackson Park.
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WOODLAWN — The Chosen Few Picnic will not be held in person this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, delaying the 30th anniversary celebration for the “Woodstock of house music” by another year.

It’s the second straight year the Chosen Few DJs decided not to hold the fest. A virtual event will be held July 3, and details on attending will be announced in the coming days.

Citing uncertainty over the status of summer festivals and the health risks posed by large gatherings, “not holding an in-person event in 2021 is the right call and the responsible decision under the circumstances,” the collective said in a statement.

“While we considered holding some version of a socially distant, limited attendance Chosen Few Picnic, we determined that even under those circumstances, the health and safety of our guests could be at risk,” the crew said. “Additionally, we just do not want to return without the full Chosen Few Picnic experience that we’ve all come to know and love.”

“Early bird” general admission tickets purchased in 2020 will be honored at next year’s picnic. To request a full refund, click here. Refund requests must be filed by 11:59 p.m. May 22.

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. The picnic had never been canceled or rescheduled prior to the pandemic, Chosen Few founder Wayne Williams said last year.

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