EAST SIDE — The city’s first Mas Flow Reggaeton Festival will still take place at Calumet Park on the Far Southeast Side, despite concerns from McKinley Park residents that the fest would relocate to the neighborhood’s namesake park.
Organizers announced in March the lineup for the inaugural Mas Flow fest, which promises nearly 40 of reggaeton’s new-school artists and rising talents July 15-17 at Calumet Park, 9801 S. Avenue G.
Concerned residents took to social media after Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said last week organizers approached his office about the possibility of relocating Mas Flow to McKinley Park, The McKinley Park News first reported.
The fest’s proposition received a cold reception from residents, some who rejected the plan in an open letter to the alderman.
Festival founder Fernando Nieto said there are no plans to move the festival from Calumet Park. He said organizers were exploring the possibility of a different venue to address concerns from ticket-holders about transportation to and from Calumet Park on the city’s Far South Side.
“We were exploring other options after patrons had expressed concerns about accessibility,” Nieto told Block Club. “The conversations that were had [with the 12th Ward Office] were very preliminary. But the whole point behind possibly relocating was because we’re taking the concerns of our patrons into consideration. But ultimately we feel very confident in hosting a quality event on the South Side in Cal Park.”
In another statement Friday, Cardenas confirmed Mas Flow wouldn’t be held at McKinley Park.
“Grass Roots Entertainment (GRE) approached our office to inquire about the possibility of moving their upcoming festival to McKinley Park; as a result, we wanted to create a forum for community residents to share their thoughts and opinions,” Cardenas said in a statement. “McKinley Park will not host a music festival. Everyone’s thoughtful comments are much appreciated.”
Nieto said organizers are exploring options to make transportation to Calumet Park easier for attendees, including potentially having shuttle buses or increasing on-site parking.
“Cal Park is still our primary location,” Nieto said. “It’s a beautiful, gorgeous park and it’ll be an amazing backdrop for the event.”
The festival is organized by Grass Root Events, which also puts on the Michelada Fest and the My House Music Festival. Grass Root is a small, independent organization comprised of all Latinos, Nieto said.
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