The City of Chicago has announced the full line-up for the 2023 Chicago House Music Festival and Conference taking place on June 23 and June 24, 2023.
The city previously announced that this year’s festival will be taking place on the Humboldt Park Boathouse lawn on June 24, 2023 from 11am to 9pm. The initial line-up announcement featured Roy Davis Jr, Psycho-B, Emmaculate, NoshaLuv and DJ V.
In celebration of Pride month, the city announced the addition of Queen!, Smartbar’s Sunday night residency featuring DJs Michael Serafini and Garrett David and hosts Lucy Stoole and Nico along with pioneering house music vocalist and Chicago legend Robert Owens live. The Chicago line-up also features the addition of Cedeño and J.Star in addition to the previously announced DJs.
New for 2023, the Taste of Chicago Humboldt Park will be presented in conjunction with the Chicago House Music Festival featuring food from vendors and trucks.
On the previous day, Friday June 23 from 5-9pm the Chicago Cultural Center will host the conference portion of the festival, featuring Robert Owens as Keynote Speaker. Panel discussions include one hour talks on the queer roots and safe spaces in Chicago’s house music scene, promotional strategies, activism and more. The Chicago Cultural Center is located at 78 E. Washington.
The Chicago House Music Festival and Conference is organized by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by Chicago Transit Authority and WBEZ.
The full announcement and line-ups are listed below. For more info visit chicagohousemusicfestival.us.
Chicago House Music Conference
Friday, June 23, 5-10pm
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
Queer Roots and Today’s Safe Spaces in Chicago’s House Music Scene
5:30-6:30pm, Chicago Cultural Center’s Millennium Park Room (5th floor)
Chicago’s LGBTQ Party Scene has emerged global music genres, powerful dance movements and iconic safe spaces. The most promising new alt-queer party outposts and party promoters are keeping the music and movements alive. From the 1970’s to present day, Chicago’s Gay House Music events emote the same inclusive spirit and vibe that will allow the genre to flourish for decades to come.
The panelists are party promoters, club owners and audiophiles that are the electronic musical equivalent of Chicago sound perfection. The session will introduce you to current and future influencers in the history of House.
Played & Paid: Strategies for Monetizing Music and Promoting Successful Events
5:30-6:30pm, Washington Room
Join our expert and renowned panel discussion featuring industry leaders as they share valuable insights on making money by creating, performing, selling music, establishing business entities, marketing their creations, and getting booked for events. Whether you’re an aspiring writer, music producer, DJ, event promoter, publicist, musician, or simply interested in the business side of the House music industry, this panel will outline practical strategies and tips to thrive in the competitive landscape.
Activism: The Fight to Preserve House’s History
6:15-7:15pm, Preston Bradley Hall
The endangered status of the building that once housed the legendary Warehouse nightclub illuminated the urgent need to preserve Chicago’s House history. The fight to prevent the Warehouse’s demolition created an intergenerational movement demonstrating what community organizing can accomplish.
This panel will talk to members of the House music community that got the ball rolling in the effort to save the Warehouse, a critical locale in the shaping of House music. Folks young and old felt strongly about its need for preservation and worked with Preservation Chicago, the group that presented the collective 14,000 petition signatures, written, and spoken testimonies for preservation that led to the granting of Preliminary Landmark Recommendations, with unanimous votes from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. The fight is not over, and while we await the final say, we’ll discuss what actions everyone can take to continue preserving and archiving Chicago’s House history.
From House to Afro House to ‘Amapiano’! How South Africa’s Amapiano has become one of the hottest new music genres and why Chicago house is at the heart of it.
6:45-7:45pm, Millennium Park Room (5th Floor)
All roads lead back to Chicago! The infectious sound of Amapiano is rooted in Kwaito, a style of music that mixed house beats with hip-hop in the 1990s. Kwaito took house music, slowed it down, and reprogrammed the music. Fast forward a couple of decades, and Amapiano is born. Keeping the same slowed-down house beats as Kwaito, adding jazzy piano riffs, synths, and percussive basslines, Amapiano has become the new youth movement from South Africa, catching fire all over the US as well. This panel will talk to some of the DJs specializing in the genre, the promoters thriving in the Amapiano dance and party scene, and the Chicago House originators that inspired the Afro-House/Kwaito musical movement.
The Future Sound of House: How has technology provided new opportunities in the preservation of House music, and in what ways has it hindered the artists behind these sounds?
6:45-7:45pm, Washington Room
Love it or hate it, technology is here to stay. As a critical step in the evolution of Electronic Dance Music since the 80s, House Music has evolved with the ever-changing soundscape. Our panelists of artists and producers will discuss the spectrum of embracing and protecting your artistry in the face of change. From sampling to artificial intelligence, how does technology help or hinder the preservation of House Music?
Keynote Fireside Chat with Robert Owens
8-9pm, Preston Bradley Hall
In his own words, Robert Owens has been making house music ‘before house had a name’. One of the most distinctive, coveted and prolific voices in the genre, Robert has an illustrious career that started in late 80’s Chicago and has produced some of the greatest tracks house music has witnessed. Responsible for era-defining classics such as ‘Tears’ alongside Frankie Knuckles & Satoshi Tomiie, ‘Bring Down The Walls’ with Larry Heard as part of Fingers Inc., as well as ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’, Robert has created seminal records which you can comfortably bet will have a place on any house head’s all-time favorites list.
Chicago House Music Festival
Presented in conjunction with Taste of Chicago Humboldt Park
Saturday, June 24, 11am–9pm
Humboldt Park Boathouse Lawn, 1301 N Humboldt Dr.
Presented in conjunction with the Taste of Chicago event in Humboldt Park, the House Music Festival brings a full day of DJs to the mainstage paired with more than 20 Chicago food vendors from across the city.
Chicago House Music Festival lineup (in headlining order)
7pm-9pm: “Queen! For A Day” feat. Robert Owens LIVE, with Michael Serafini and Garret David, Hosted by Lucy Stoole and Nico
6-7pm: DJ Psycho-B
4-5pm: Roy Davis Jr.
3-4pm: DJ V From Chicago
11am-12pm: House Music Workout with Siddiqu from Chicago Fit for Life
Food vendors and trucks participating include: Mabe’s Sandwich Shop, Mindful Baking, African Food Palace, Chillafry, Robinson No.1 Ribs, Catered By Kish, Tacotlan, Roeser’s Bakery, HEALTHY HAVEN COLD-PRESSED JUICES, Chicago Eats, Gaby’s Funnel Cakes, Cooking From The Soul Catering, Chicago’s Doghouse, Tandoor Char House, Mr. Quiles ice cream truck, La Guerita Mexican Snack, Banato, Delicias Tacos, Ms Tittle’s Cupcakes, Soul & Smoke, El Azteca Sanchez, and Mr. Quiles Mexican Food.
Photo via City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.