The Chosen Few DJs have officially released the 2016 talent line-up for the 26th Annual House Reunion Picnic which will transition into a two-day international music festival. For the first time, the event will cover two days in Jackson Park, with its traditional picnic format on Saturday, and a special celebration of soul music planned for Sunday.
“For years, guests have been asking for more music and more time, so we’re delighted to expand into a full-blown festival, celebrating so much of what’s great about our city,” says Wayne Williams, founder, The Chosen Few DJs. “Nothing is more Chicago than house music, and we’re excited to showcase this homegrown sound all across the city, from Daley Plaza to Jackson Park to the home of our world champion baseball team, the White Sox.”
Day One of the festival boasts its traditional focus on old-school and contemporary house music, with performances by guest DJs Joe Claussell, Bobby & Steve, Dee Jay Alicia and Chicago’s DjTonyT, plus soulful dance vocalists Monique Bingham and Josh Milan, and house pioneers, Harry Dennis, and Curtis McClain. Sets from the Chosen Few DJs--Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, Tony Hatchett, Alan King, Andre Hatchett, Terry Hunter and Mike Dunn--also are on deck.
Day Two features performances by jazz maestro Roy Ayers, and dance/R&B diva Cheryl Lynn, plus sets by featured guest, DJ Spinna, special morning steppers’ set by DJ Sam Chatman, DJ Mark Flava, and a gospel house set by the Chosen Few DJs. Tributes to legendary artists Prince and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire also are planned during the festival.
“We are honored to host these talented artists, whose incredible contributions to music can be heard and felt on dance floors across the world,” says Terry Hunter, Chosen Few DJ and producer. “House music is inspired by so many musical traditions--from African rhythms to jazz to gospel to disco to R&B and soul--and our lineup reflects those roots,” says Hunter. “They also will be showcasing how the music has moved forward, blending what’s new and hot with the classics.”
Other festival events include: “Chosen Few DJs Day” at the Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins game on Tuesday, June 28; dance party on Daley Plaza on Wednesday, June 29; festival launch party at Promontory Chicago, Thursday, June 30; the inaugural Chosen Few DJs house music symposium at the Stony Island Arts Bank on Friday, July 1 (includes a tour of house legend Frankie Knuckles’ archived vinyl record collection); Day One after party at Room 43 on Saturday, July 2; and festival closing party on Sunday, July 3, venue to be announced.
“I am pleased to welcome the expanded Chosen Few DJS Music Festival back to Jackson Park, home of ‘Chosen Few DJs’ Way’” says Leslie Hairston, alderman of Chicago’s 5th ward. “This event has become one of Chicago’s premier music events and a Fourth of July tradition in its 26 years of bringing people together from around the city and the world. It is fitting that the event is growing to offer even more opportunities for fellowship and fun in one of our city’s most beautiful and historic spaces.”
Tickets and VIP packages range from $25 for single-day early bird General Admission tickets to $1,500 for a two-day, all-access VIP package for four, and will be available for sale on May 10, 2016 at 10 AM via the Chosen Few DJs’ web site and mobile app (iTunes, Google Play).
New this year, the event will use RFID-enabled wristbands and cashless payment technology to enhance the festival-going experience. Special hotel packages from host hotels Hyatt Place Hyde Park, Loews Chicago Downtown and Loews Chicago O’Hare also will be available on the site.
The festival is presented in conjunction with lead sponsor, MillerCoors, PepsiCo, and radio partner, 106.3 WSRB FM Chicago.