ENGLEWOOD — A South Side music festival is back for its second year, bringing live music, fresh food and art pop-ups to celebrate the final days of summer.
The Englewood Music Festival, a daylong celebration of the neighborhood, will return noon-7 p.m. Sept. 17 at 6300 S. Halsted St. Tickets are free. You can register here.
This year’s festival will welcome R&B duo Kindred the Family Soul, known for their song “Stars,” and rapper Juvenile, the hitmaker behind “Slow Motion.”
Neighbors can expect back-to-school programs and a community resource fair with Englewood organizations.
The Englewood Arts Collective will have installations and educational art pop-ups available for all ages, and Black restaurant owners will sell their food.
Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th), whose office is sponsoring the event, helped create the first Englewood Music Festival last year after noticing a lack of family-fun festivals in Englewood.
About 3,000 neighbors attended last year’s event, she said.
This year will be bigger and better with more live performances and programs, but the goal remains to celebrate the good in Englewood, Coleman said.
“I work extremely hard as not only an alderman but as a true advocate and champion for my community to provide spaces of peace, love, and unity in my neighborhood,” Coleman said. “We needed to have this again. It’ll be a cool day of Englewood excellence.”
Any opportunity to “spread love and bring families together” is crucial, Coleman said.
That need affected every decision about the fest, from the music selection to the community activations, Coleman said.
The music acts had to appeal to all ages to get everyone from the seniors to the “young folks” moving, Coleman said. They also had to have “feel-good” tunes, she said.
The performances had to remind Coleman of a time when music was “about dancing and having a good time, not doing bodily harm to one another,” she said.
Juvenile and Kindred the Family Soul check those boxes, she said.
“When I think about when I was growing up and we had the Juveniles and the Ushers, it was feel-good music,” Coleman said. “I want to relive that time when music was good, encouraging, inspiring and made people want to dance and back it up.”
Neighbors also will be able to learn more about some exciting recent community developments, Coleman said.
Leaders at Grow Greater Englewood will share more information about their elevated nature trail and the $20 million boost in funding they received from the federal government to make it happen.
Neighbors also can get more information about Englewood Connect, a $15 million business incubator that will replace an old firehouse in the community.
The Englewood Music festival is going to be “extra special,” Coleman said.
“The live performances are great, but it’s the programming, the vibe, the energy, and the love that you’ll truly feel,” Coleman said. “We deserve this. There is good in Englewood.”
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: