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Update: Aahh! Fest Isn’t Happening This Year

The fledgling hip-hop festival will take its sophomore year off.

Kanye and Common perform at Aahh! Fest 2014.   Photo: Travas Machel

Sad news for Chicago’s most promising new festival: Contrary to statements by Common on this site in March, the rapper’s beloved Aahh! Fest isn’t happening this year.

Reads the statement from a festival representative: “Keeping with our commitment to excellence and the significant undertaking of this event, combined with the incredible but very demanding year we have had, the next festival will be held in September 2016.”

Pressed on the reason for the off year, a spokesperson reiterated that the festival hasn’t been cancelled, and that they’re “putting together the best show that will be held in 2016.”

The news comes weeks after the festival’s community-stage curator Donda’s House sent out an email calling for singers, rappers, poets, and dancers to audition for “Aaah! Fest 2015” at an open mike on July 31. That event went off, but the three remaining auditions were cancelled on August 14 in an email/statement saying the July 31 winners will be honored next year.

The inaugural Aahh! Fest went off in Union Park last fall with a lineup of local vets including Kanye West, Jennifer Hudson, and Twista. The festival earned plaudits for its manageable size and diverse crowd in a market of otherwise homogenous mega-fests—a void that looks to be going unfilled again in 2015.

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