Chosen Few

Wayne Williams performs at a past Chosen Few Picnic in Jackson Park.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Chosen Few Picnic & House Music Festival will be held virtually on July 3, as it was last year, and not live in Jackson Park.

“The health and safety of our attendees continue to be our top priority, and it is not possible for us to execute the very costly and time-consuming process of planning for an event that may not happen given the level of public health uncertainty that still exists," the DJs said in a joint statement.

Reached for comment, DJ Alan King said contingency plans for a socially distant, limited attendance picnic would have been compromised. And the Chosen Few decided that even under those circumstances, guests' health and safety could not be ascertained.

"What we do in that space, and the memories that have been created there, means a lot to us," King said. "So we really don’t want to return until we can present the full Chosen Few Picnic experience again."

The Silver Room Block Party is also cancelled this summer, possibly for good, and the status of the Hyde Park Summer Fest, formerly the Brew Fest, is uncertain. But King said the Chosen Few are committed to having the picnic again in full as soon as possible — hopefully in 2022.

Early-bird tickets to the 2020 picnic will be honored at next year's festival. The Chosen Few are also issuing refunds through May 22.

The Chosen Few began as a collective in 1977 and started having the picnic over Fourth of July in Jackson Park in 1990. Over time, it has turned into a festival extravaganza attended by tens of thousands.

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