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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Chosen Few Picnic Celebrates 30th Anniversary With 14 Hours Of House Music In Jackson Park Saturday

The "Woodstock of house music" returns after two years online due to the pandemic, with parties held across Chicago all weekend. General admission to the picnic is $60.

A fan throws up the peace sign at the 2019 Chosen Few Picnic in Jackson Park.
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WOODLAWN — The Chosen Few DJs will finally celebrate their annual picnic’s 30th anniversary in person this weekend, as the legendary crew will once again take over Jackson Park after two years of virtual events due to the pandemic.

The Chosen Few — whose members are Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, Tony Hatchett, Alan King, Andre Hatchett, Terry Hunter and Mike Dunn — will headline their namesake picnic 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday in Jackson Park, near Hayes and Richards drives.

Natasha Diggs, DJ Spen, Osunlade, Teddy Douglas, J Star, D Train and Dajae are the Chosen Few Picnic’s guest performers.

General admission tickets are $60. To purchase tickets, click here.

“Early bird” general admission tickets purchased in 2020 will be honored at this year’s picnic, event organizers said last year.

Credit: Instagram
The lineup for the Chosen Few Picnic’s 30th anniversary Saturday in Jackson Park.

Organizers urged attendees not to use southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive to attend the picnic. The drive has only one open lane south of 57th Street and Hayes Drive is not accessible from DuSable Lake Shore Drive due to Obama Presidential Center-related road work.

The drop-off and pick-up point for ride shares will be at 63rd Street and Harper Avenue. To read the event’s full travel advisory, click here.

The picnic’s official pre-party is 3 p.m. Friday at Chemistry Chicago, 5121 S. Harper Ave. in Hyde Park. The Chosen Few DJs, Bruce Bailey of Detroit and Ray Vazquez of New York City will perform.

An after-party takes place 10 p.m. Saturday at Le Nocturne, 4810 N. Broadway in Uptown, with performances by the Chosen Few DJs, Stan Zeff of Atlanta, French DJ Manoo and Yogi of Toronto.

Tickets to the pre- and after-parties start at $20 per event, or $30 for both. To purchase party tickets, click here.

A closing party and meet-and-greet with the Chosen Few DJs will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Epiphany Center For The Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave. in the West Loop. Tickets are $10. To attend, click here.

Wayne Williams founded the Chosen Few 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 was never canceled or rescheduled prior to the pandemic, Williams said.

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