Chicago celebrates 40 years of House Music

CHICAGO — The city this year celebrates 40 years of House Music, the post-disco sound that originated in the Black and queer community and grew to an international movement, with a months-long exhibit at Navy Pier, four days of free events culminating with the Chicago House Music Festival at Millennium Park, and a South Loop parade and festival on Labor Day weekend.

‘Home of House’ at Navy Pier

Presented in partnership with the Design Museum of Chicago and The Vintage House Show Collective, the ‘Home of House’ immersive exhibit at Navy Pier kicks off Wednesday and features the history of the home-grown artists, clubs and labels that built the genre.

It’ll include a series of live events paying tribute to the music, including sets by DJs Terry Hunter, Lori Branch and Momami.

The exhibit is free of charge to the public when Navy Pier is open and will be available through Halloween.

Separately, the Chicago House Music Festival returns to Millennium Park next month for the 20th summer season.

“House Music is a global phenomenon born and raised in Chicago 40 years ago, with roots that go back even further,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “Like Blues, Jazz, and Gospel that came before, House is our true cultural heritage as a city—it galvanizes Chicagoans, celebrates our diversity, innovation, and joy and invites the world to join in.”

Chicago House Music Festival

May 30: Chicago Cultural Center’s Open House to feature House DJs spinning throughout the historical building alongside visual art exhibitions and arts programming

May 31: The Chicago House Music Conference hosts panels with House music artists and experts

June 1: The Chicago House Music Festival Pre-Party at Navy Pier features artists Stacy Kidd, Gene Hunt, and more

June 2: The Chicago House Music Festival at Millennium Park features local and international DJs, including Tony Touch, ANANÉ, Ash Lauryn, Karizma, Wayne Williams and Alan King of the Chosen Few DJs, and more.

House Music Parade and Festival

In August, the non-profit House Music 40 will produce the Inaugural House Music Parade and Festival on Saturday, Aug. 31 in the South Loop.

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