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Common at AAHH! Fest
Photograph: Joshua Mellin

AAHH! Fest is returning to Union Park in September

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

In 2014, Chicago-based rapper Common quietly put together the inaugural AAHH! Fest, a one-day hip-hop music festival in Union Park that was hosted by comedian Dave Chappelle and featured performances by Lupe Fiasco, De La Soul and Lil Herb. The night was capped off by a surprise performance from Kanye West, who took the stage late in the evening for an unannounced 16-song set. 

After such a strong inaugural showing, it came as a surprise when the event did not return for a second round last September. Now it's clear that AAHH! Fest was just taking a year off—today organizers announced the festival's return to Union Park on September 24 and 25. The festival's first day will host the free Community Showcase, allowing local talent to audition for the chance to perform during the Main Stage event the following evening. The festival's second day will be a ticketed 18+ affair, bringing a lineup of hip-hop and R&B artists to Union Park.

While the lineup for the Main Stage event has yet to be announced, a limited number of tickets are on sale via Groupon at a discounted price of $55–$60. According to the listing, regularly priced tickets will be available at a later date for $75.

It seems likely that Common will turn in another set at this year's event (he founded the festival, after all) but don't expect another surprise appearance from Kanye this year—his Saint Pablo Tour will be in Columbus, Ohio on the evening of AAHH! Fest's Main Stage concert.

We'll be keeping our eye out for AAHH! Fest's complete lineup, but you might as well go ahead and snag tickets—Common has already proved he knows how to throw an end-of-the-summer party.

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