OAKLAND — The Silver Room Block Party is back with a new look and a new location after a pandemic hiatus.
The formerly free event is now a two-day festival Saturday and Sunday and requires a paid ticket for entry — and the party is moving from downtown Hyde Park to Oakwood Beach.
But Silver Room owner and Block Party organizer Eric Williams said attendees can still expect the family-friendly gathering to be just as lit as the much-anticipated event has been in years past. This year’s theme is Back Together Again, with Williams seeing the party as a “reset.” The event that once drew 40,000 people to 53rd Street expects one-third of that crowd this year, which is fine by him.
“There’s gonna be more space for people to move around, and Oakwood Beach is the perfect place,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
For those planning to slide through, here’s a guide to navigate that fun.
Single-day tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $50. A weekend pass is $90. You can buy both here. Children younger than 13 are free.
What To Bring
You can bring your blankets, beach towels and lawn chairs, but keep the tents, carts and beach umbrellas at home.
Also, no outside food and drinks are allowed, as food vendors will offer a variety of cuisines.
A full list of what items can come inside is here.
With the Block Party moving to Oakwood Beach, 4100 S. Lake Shore Drive, organizers are encouraging partiers to leave their cars at home and use public transit and ride-sharing services instead. The 39 Pershing Bus stops at Pershing Road and Lake Park Avenue, a brief walk from the 41st Street bridge, which leads directly to the festival entrance.
For those who choose to drive, parking will be available at McCormick Place’s 31st St. Lot B and 3050 Moe Drive. Event organizers are working with Ald. Sophia King (4th) on a street closure plan.
What To Check Out
Saturday’s lineup is packed with local and global acts, including funk band Tamarie T. & Thee Elektra Kumpany, Vocalo DJ Collective founder DJ Jesse De La Pena, Reggae Rize with Lady Sol & Friends, SOLOSAM and world-renowned House music collective Body & Soul NYC — who are performing both days.
Also worth checking out: Afro Karaoke, where you get to belt out your favorite R&B song in a concert setting.
Sunday’s lineup brings even more music to the beach, with jazz group Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few, R&B artist Liv Warfield, legendary DJs Ramonski Luv and Sam Chatman and DJ Sadie Woods featuring violinist Edith Yokley. Rapper Joey Purp will close out the festivities.
What To Eat
After all the singing, dancing and general shenanigans, you will have probably worked up an appetite.
To replenish your chicken levels, hit up Harold’s Chicken. In the mood for ribs? I-94 Ribs or Bill’s Grill will be your go-to. Vegan and vegetarians will also have options, including Sakred Foods, Green Bites, SteMartaen and Bronzeville Winery.
For dessert, you can check out Poppin’ Dough’s shaved ice or gourmet popcorn. There’s also Classic Cobbler Baked Goods and Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream. And for those who find themselves a little parched, Jada Juice smoothies and Danie’s Natural Juice Blends’ cold-pressed juices will be available.
What To Buy
Supporting other entrepreneurs is important to Williams, and it’s one of the main reasons he started hosting the block party, he said. It wasn’t that long ago he was selling his wares on the Red Line, so having the opportunity to lift up others is a way of giving back, he said.
Partiers can expect to see a number of retailers at the event, from clothing to jewelry and skincare products — all from small business owners. Keep an eye for list updates here.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: