Chicago Marks 40 Years of House Music with Celebratory Exhibitions and Festivals

Chicago Marks 40 Years of House Music with Celebratory Exhibitions and Festivals


On May 1, 2024, Chicago launched a citywide celebration to commemorate four decades of House Music, a genre deeply rooted in the city's Black and queer communities. The celebrations, spread over several months, include a free exhibit at Navy Pier and a series of events culminating in the Chicago House Music Festival at Millennium Park.

DJ Reza of Go Ventures at  Fresh Produce in Van Nuys, CA

Exhibition and Events: "Home of House," an immersive exhibit presented at Navy Pier in collaboration with the Design Museum of Chicago and The Vintage House Show Collective, opened on May 1. This exhibit delves into the rich history of the local artists, clubs, and labels that pioneered this genre. Highlighting the festivities are live performances by notable DJs such as Terry Hunter, Lori Branch, and Momami. The exhibit, accessible whenever Navy Pier is open, will continue until Halloween.

DJ Hazze of the Movement

In a parallel celebration, the Chicago House Music Festival will make its 20th return to Millennium Park next month, further cementing House Music’s status as a global phenomenon that began in Chicago. Mayor Brandon Johnson, in a recent statement, highlighted House Music as a pivotal part of Chicago’s cultural heritage, emphasizing its role in celebrating diversity, innovation, and joy.

Festival Schedule Highlights:

  • May 30: Chicago Cultural Center’s Open House featuring House DJs and visual art exhibitions.
  • May 31: Chicago House Music Conference with panels from genre experts and artists.
  • June 1: Pre-party at Navy Pier showcasing artists like Stacy Kidd and Gene Hunt.
  • June 2: Main festival at Millennium Park with both local and international DJs such as Tony Touch, ANANÉ, and Ash Lauryn.

August Celebrations: The nonprofit organization House Music 40 will host the inaugural House Music Parade and Festival on August 31 in the South Loop, adding a communal parade to the vibrant celebrations.

As Chicago revels in the enduring legacy of House Music, these events not only pay homage to its historical significance but also invite global audiences to partake in the festivities.

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