The 2nd annual Teen in the Park Festival, also known as T.I.P. Fest, held in Chicago was an amazing success. T.I.P. Fest is the largest platform for Chicago’s young artists to share their work and network with other likeminded teens across the city. T.I.P. Fest represents a safe space for teens to gather and also introduce them to different services, programs and resources.
This year, the not-for-profit group Donda’s House, named for Kanye’s West’s mother, partnered with T.I.P. fest to co-produce the festival. Youth between the ages of 14-24 were encouraged to attend this free festival. The backdrop of the lake and the city skyline were fitting on a beautiful Chicago day as the teens danced, jumped double dutch, played basketball or watched the artists perform their sets.
All of the artists who were on the bill are homegrown talent. The bill consisted of Kweku Collins, The Boy Illinois, Jamila Woods, Sir The Baptist and a surprise performance from Katie Got Bandz. As expected from a group of teens, the energy was through the roof and to see them in such a celebratory mood felt great. We asked one of the festivalgoers by the name of Nasir what he liked about the festival and who his favorite act was.”It was a very fun experience and my favorite artist to see was Katie Got Bandz,” he said.
Sir The Baptist had one of the most energetic sets of the day. The combination of gospel and turn up music goes over well with youth, and based on some of the language used, it would be safe to say that this is not your mother’s gospel. Sir the Baptist closed out the festivities with a non stop multicultural performance consisting of trampolines, tubas, drums and confetti. The most encouraging thing about his performance is his sense of history. He spoke of moving back to Mississippi to reverse the migration and learn more about where he came from.