New West Side block party seeing ‘Purple’

Debuting Sunday, Purple Block Party is created by West Siders for their community.

SHARE New West Side block party seeing ‘Purple’
Rapper Jim Jones is among the entertainers slated for the Purple Block Party on Sunday. 

Rapper Jim Jones is among the entertainers slated for the Purple Block Party on Sunday.

Getty Images

A new music festival is coming to the West Side — and it’s for and from West Siders.

The Purple Block Party, comes at the end of a contentious summer in which some locals have said enough is enough of festivals in West Side parks. But, this one promises to be of and for the community, organizers said.

The 12-hour music festival begins at 10 a.m. Sunday in Garfield Park at 100 N. Central Park Avenue. The lineup features Chicago artists from house producer Ron Carroll to headliners Pivot Gang as well as out-of-state artists from Kali to Jim Jones.

Purple Block Party

Purple Block Party

When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Aug. 28

Where: Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Tickets: Adults, $55; kids ages, 16 and under, $25


Organizing it was about “making sure the West Side got a chance to experience that level of fun and positivity” of large festivals, said founder Briahna Gatlin, who grew up in Garfield Park.

“We wanted to bring that experience to the West Side, because,” she said, it’s not something often seen in Garfield Park.

To that end, Gatlin booked a range of artists. Pivot Gang, for instance, although West Side-natives, feature a Chicago style she described as kickback.

Harlem rapper Jim Jones, known for “We Fly High,” was booked for the festival, Gatlin says, because she knew “he has a solid audience on this side of town.”

Kids will have their own section at the party with free snow cones, candy and back-to-school items donated by community partners. Food and drinks will also be for sale.

Artwork from A.J. Tarizian and Lonnie Edwards will be installed throughout the festival grounds. Edwards, a West Side native, designed the festival logo.

For organizers however, it’s about bringing more than just music and some festival componentsto the community. The event will begin with a prayer, yoga and a sound meditation; and there will be restorative justice workshops, organized by the Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative, one of the community groups sponsoring the festival.

Mashaun Hendricks called it a moment to “provide some healing for the West Side,” speaking on behalf of the community group.

“It’s about wanting to see our community improve, to see our quality of life in Garfield Park improve and for people of color,” he said.

Michael Loria is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South and West sides.

The Latest
A CPD officer was in the 2700 block of North Halsted Street when he saw two people running toward him about 3:20 p.m. One person had a gun. The officer fired a shot. The two people fled.
The Bears’ looming property tax bill of close to $11 million leaves team brass looking elsewhere as they work toward breaking ground on a long-coveted dome.
Dozens of refugee students, parents and faculty gather at a Ukrainian Village school to commemorate with songs and prayers for peace Russia’s invasion of their “beautiful country.”
The Cubs open Cactus League play Friday against the White Sox.