Alderman Announces Reggaeton Festival Will Not Move to McKinley Park

Published June 3, 2022

The Mas Flow Reggaeton Fest will not move to Chicago's McKinley Park12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas announced in a post from his office's Facebook account.

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"McKinley Park will not host a music festival," Cardenas wrote. His office solicited and received feedback through this week about the festival's proposed move to McKinley Park from its original venue of Calumet Park on Chicago's Southeast Side.

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As previously reported here in the McKinley Park News, event promoter Fernando Nieto and his Grass Roots Events (GRE) non-profit enterprise had approached the alderman's office about hosting the festival in McKinley Park over the weekend of July 15-17, 2022, bringing an estimated 10,000 reggaeton fans to the park.

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Feedback posted to online forums, including McKinley Park neighborhood Facebook groups and the McKinley Park News, showed residents voicing support for and against the proposal, with the majority of comments advocating against hosting the festival at McKinley Park.

Neighborhood resident Fiona Cook posted an open letter to Cardenas as a petition stating that the Mas Flow Reggaeton Fest should not be presented in McKinley Park.

"When big festivals set up in the city’s public parks, the destruction is inevitable, devastating, and irreparable," Cook wrote. "We don’t want this in McKinley Park."

As of the time of publication of this article, more than 125 people had signed the petition.

"We wanted to create a forum for community residents to share their thoughts and opinions," Cardenas wrote. "Everyone's thoughtful comments are much appreciated."

Of course White people in the neighborhood like Fiona don’t want a reggaeton festival in McKinley. Be it be a wine festival or a country festival people would be for it.
Justin Kerr
I don't think it's a race thing at all, but a community thing, especially for people who -- like Fiona -- dedicate a lot of their time in volunteering to clean up the park. There were plenty of neighborhood Latino residents who also did not want this festival, or this festival jammed in with last-minute scheduling and planning, as seen in the responses to the petition, the community letter sent to the alderman, etc.

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