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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Give Chicago another hip-hop music festival like Chance's

Chance the Rapper proved that there's no reason that Chicago shouldn't have a hip-hop music festival

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Chance the Rapper has a lot of great ideas for his hometown, and his Magnificent Coloring Day festival at the home of the White Sox in 2016 was among the most impactful. The one-day event not only set an attendance record and brought Kanye West back to the South Side—it also proved that Guaranteed Rate Field can function as a music venue (just as effectively as, if not better than, that other ballpark across town) and that a thoughtfully booked, hip-hop–centric bill can attract attendees from all corners of the city. Although South Side festivals like Mamby on the Beach and Riot Fest include hip-hop acts in their lineups, no major music festival in the city (outside of Common’s sporadic AAHH! Fest) focuses its attention and resources on rap. Magnificent Coloring Day benefited from star power, but its formula should be replicated: The park deserves another festival that packs the bleachers (and field) with kids and assembles performers who swing for the fences.

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