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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Heatwave Music Festival Kicks Off In Douglass Park: ‘Everyone Is Just Welcome To Be Themselves’

PHOTOS: Thousands gathered for the first Heatwave Festival this weekend, which featured Tiësto, Galantis and other EDM artists.

Fans react as RL Grime closes out the night during the first day of the inaugural Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 16, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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NORTH LAWNDALE — The first Heatwave Music Festival drew thousands this weekend to Douglass Park.

The three-stage festival focused on EDM artists, bringing in big names, including Above & Beyond and Tiësto, as well as lesser-known DJs. Fans said they had a good time — though the festival, like others in the park, has proven controversial among neighbors.

“Everyone is just so peaceful and loving,” attendee Keenan Artis said. “I can just express myself for who I am without anyone judging me.

“Just seeing the diversity of people here and just everyone accepting everyone, regardless of their skin color, sexuality, and — honestly, it’s beautiful — dancing.”

The festival also featured art installations and reality-altering experiences. It was organized by Auris Presents, the production group behind venues RADIUS, Concord Music Hall and PRYSM.

The festival — and other major events in the park — have drawn criticism from some neighbors, though. Some residents have said they’re fed up with being fenced out of their neighborhood park as it plays host to Heatwave, Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash and Riot Fest during the summer.

Nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition calling on alderpeople to ban large music fests from the park, saying the festivals prevent neighbors from using the park, damage the park and create noise — while private companies that organize the festivals profit.

RELATED: With Much Of Douglass Park Closed To Public For 3 Music Fests, Some Residents Say ‘Almost The Entire Summer Is Ruined

Meanwhile, some attendees said they’re excited for the inaugural Heatwave Fest to grow bigger next year.

“Everyone is just welcome to be themselves,” attendee Flo Lawnicki said. “… “I think it’s gonna be way bigger next year. It’s cool to be one of the first to attend the first year.”

Pascal Sabino contributed to this report.

See photos from the festival here:

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Aaron Taylor (center) head bangs as Dion Timmer performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Festival goers dance as Dion Timmer performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Hagen Haley dances as Blunts and Blondes performs during the second day of the inaugural Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Miguel Paiz relaxes in an inflatable couch during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Sasha Levin dances with a technicolor hula hoop during Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A festival goer’s back is covered in grass during the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Fans react as Galantis performs during the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Katie, Diana and Jessie swap bracelets during the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 16, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Jorge Rodriguez head bangs as Zeds Dead performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Loud Laundry performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Haze Amethyst dances with lights during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Friends mosh during Boombox Cartel’s set on the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 16, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Two Feet performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
People hold stuffed animals during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Sergio Valenzuela reacts as Galantis performs during the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 16, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A person with a stuffed Grogu from The Mandalorian series walks around during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Bill Nelson and Deandre King dance as Above and Beyond performs during the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 16, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The El Campeón kitchen crew prepares tacos and consume during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A person rests during the second day of the inaugural Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Clif the security guard hands out water to thirsty festival goers during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Chicago Police officers stand by during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
People sit near light structures during the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 16, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Tiësto performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Chris and Cole dance as Zeds Dead performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
People carry a large banana prop as Above and Beyond perform during the first day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 16, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Sam Gelski, center, dons a Zeds Dead tattoo as the electronic duo performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Zeds Dead performs during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Fans begin to exit the festival ground as the headliners perform during the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Chicago police officers stand in the intersection of Sacramento Drive and Ogden Avenue after the second day of Heatwave Music Festival at Douglass Park on July 17, 2022.

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