Event Recap: Red Bull Music Festival Chicago 2019

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Red Bull Music Festival Chicago Black Monastic

Red Bull Music Festival has become a cultural measuring stick for the cities it looks to examine. Like few other corporate events, it actually seeks out to pinpoint the important cultural figures, events and movements, past, present and future. Having spent the past several weeks in Chicago, the festival wanted to look at the hip-hop, gospel and dance legacy of the city. We were in Chicago for three days from last Sunday to last Wednesday (17-20), getting a glimpse of how the festival looked to showcase the windy city.

The first night we came to Chicago, we took in the endless digging at Gramaphone Records and then celebrated 50 years in the business for the iconic record store later that night at SmartBar / Metro. But there was much more to the festival then just clubbing until 4am on a Sunday night.

We were brought down to the Stony Island Arts Bank to take in modern art from black artists. While the art was a powerful examination of the country’s racist past, consumerism and more, there was one fascinating section for the history of Chicago house and dance music in general. The museum is the current home for Frankie Knuckles entire vinyl collection. The museum has on display certain records like a white label test pressing of “The Whistle Song,” in addition to hand written notes by other stars and DJs to Frankie. The museum keeps the 5,000 records up amongst a collection of books and magazines from black authors.

 


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