Hyde Park Summer Fest canceled due to rising security costs

Friday, May 17, 2024
Hyde Park Summer Fest canceled due to rising costs
In Chicago music festival news, this year's Hyde Park Summer Fest has been canceled on the South Side due to increased security costs.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The annual Hyde Park Summer Fest has been canceled this year due to an increase in costs to host the South Side event.

It began 10 years ago as a small free neighborhood brew fest on 53rd Street. Over the years, it grew into a hip hop ticked musical festival and moved to the Midway Plaisance.

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With a hot line up, the Hyde Park Summer Fest drew thousands of people from all over.

"We had people who came in from Atlanta, we had people who came in from the East Coast, because it was such a great lineup," Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wallace Goode said. "It was a wonderful outdoor festival, and it was right here in Hyde Park."

As the festival grew, so did the costs. Goode is one of the Hyde Park Summer Fest organizers. This year, Goode and the festival founder made the painful decision to end the popular event.

"We realized that we would have to cut significantly or raise significantly to match the number in the budget line item, and at that point, we decided that it was not worth continuing it that way," Goode said.

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Goode said last year they were forced to raise ticket prices to pay for increased security, something that has become necessary because of mass shootings at large public events.

"We want to make sure security was enhanced including metal detectors, five different kinds of security on site," Goode said.

Hyde Park is also losing another tradition this summer: the annual the Silver Room Block Party on 53rd Street.

Silver Room owner Eric Williams has organized and paid for the free event for 18 years. It also drew thousands of people.

"When it was a couple thousand dollars, it was doable," Williams said. "When it was $10 to $20 thousand, it was doable. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars to put this on, and it just came a point where it just wasn't sustainable."

Williams strongly doubts the Silver Room Block Party will come back. On the other hand, Goode says if a contained and secured venue can be found, so ticket prices can be reduced, the Hyde Park Summer Fest may return next year.