The inaugural Naperville SoulFest, which will be “a true celebration of African-American and Caribbean descending culture,” is coming to Naper Settlement in June.
The outdoor, Bazaar-like event will include dancing performances, a youth zone, beverage pavilion, and live performances by local jazz, R&B, gospel, and reggae artists.
“The purpose of doing Naperville Soulfest is, we are here to bridge the gap in the west suburbs and the Naperville area. Meaning, we want everybody to see how African Americans celebrate and how we all are pretty much the same through music,” said Michael Brown, organizer of Naperville SoulFest.
The stage area will have seats, but people can also bring their own lawn chairs.
The event will also have food trucks and over 65 food and artisan vendors, as well as local health education and social service organizations. Brown said COVID-19 testing will be made available at the event. They’ve also partnered with Edward Hospital to administer COVID-19 vaccines to attendees.
Organizers are asking people to wear masks. They will also have special spots on the event grounds for those who show proof of vaccination and want to sit in a large group together.
Excited for the Community
While some safety precautions are still in place, Brown is excited to provide an event for the community.
“I’m looking forward to people just getting out and having fun and listening to some good music, fellowshipping with each other,” said Brown. “It’s been a whole year and a half since the last concert anybody’s been to, so I’m just looking forward to people enjoying themselves [and] get to know some of the culture of African Americans.”
Brown said they plan to make Naperville SoulFest an annual event. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.
Naperville SoulFest will take place June 5 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Naper Settlement.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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