OAKWOOD BEACH — With the final Silver Room Block Party this weekend, organizers laid out their game plan with neighbors during a virtual community meeting Wednesday.
Founder Eric Williams is ending the popular summertime event after almost 20 years to focus on family and other ventures like Bronzeville Winery, telling Block Club in a recent interview that the planning became too stressful.
By all accounts, last year’s event was a success. Neighbors said there was little impact on traffic, and representatives from the Chicago Police Department’s Wentworth (2nd) District said no incidents were reported.
Partygoers may see a smaller, scaled-down festival this time around. Organizers expect nearly 3,000 attendees for the two-day event, which runs noon-10 p.m. July 29-30 at Oakwood Beach.
Admission is slightly higher than last year, with single-day tickets now $60 and weekend passes $95. Children 13 and under can get in for free.
Here’s what else to expect:
The entry point has changed. Attendees can enter the festival at 39th Street and Lake Michigan. Public transportation is still strongly encouraged and the 39 Pershing Bus stops near the festival entrance. It is unclear if there will be dedicated space for rideshare pickups and drop-offs, but bicycle parking will be outside of the venue as bikes won’t be allowed in.
Attendees will be able to come and go as they please. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications and a private security firm hired by the organizers will have a presence in and around the festival. There will also be a staffed community assistance booth to provide nearby neighbors with up-to-the-minute information about the event.
What To Bring
Folks can bring child strollers, backpacks, blankets, beach towels, personal cameras, empty reusable water bottles, frisbees, binoculars, selfie sticks and lawn chairs.
These items are not allowed: coolers, pets, outside food and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), weapons, explosives, professional audio/visual recording equipment, drones, glass containers, illegal substances, beach umbrellas, tents and canopies.
Smoking is prohibited on park grounds, but there will be a designated smoking areas for those who partake.
What To See
Artists will be performing on three stages: the Sound System Stage, the Block Stage and the Silver Room Stage. A Reggae Dance party featuring Lady Sol and DJ Ringo and Ron Trent will entertain fans on the Sound Room stage Saturday night, while iconic hip-hop beatmaker 9th Wonder and Rich Medina are scheduled to take the stage Sunday.
An array of experiences will be offered as well, from Second City Improv to the 40+ Double Dutch Club. Grammy-award winning poet Malik Yusef will present the Bad Kids Poetry Cypher and partygoers can enjoy a demonstration of the Brazilian martial art known as Gingarte Capoeira.
A full schedule of performances and events can be found on the Silver Room Block Party website.
Looking to get involved? Organizers are still looking for volunteers, sponsors and food vendors. Forms are available here.
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