The day-long house gathering returns to Jackson Park on Independence Day to mark its 25th anniversary, and an afterparty at Smart Bar has just been announced.
First thrown in 1990, the picnic has grown from a small-scale local event into a widely known and cherished summertime institution that draws a crowd of some 40,000. It's hosted by the Chosen Few DJs, a group of Windy City house jocks that first started getting together in the late '70s and early '80s: Wayne Williams, Jesse Saunders, Alan King and Tony and Andre Hatchett, along with Terry Hunter and Mike Dunn.
While the Chosen Few DJs have turns on the decks, a handful of guests—including selectors and singers—are brought on board each year. For next month's 25th anniversary festivities, the DJ bill is completed by another local icon, Derrick Carter, as well as Masters At Work (the longtime NYC duo of Louie Vega and Kenny Dope), Stan Zaff, Keith Fobs and Greg Gray. Vocalists Stephanie Mills, Evelyn 'Champagne' King and Cory Daye are also confirmed.
As always, the Chosen Few Picnic is open to all ages, and attendees are allowed to bring food, drink and the usual day-in-the-park gear (like lawn chairs, blankets and tents). The music will start at 8 AM and keep going for 12 hours. The bash at Jackson Park will also be augmented by other events that weekend—the official Saturday-night afterparty, just announced, is set to happen at Smart Bar.