Spark in the Park fires up crowd
With the temperatures in the mid-70s, the Chicago skyline as the backdrop and thousands of UIC students enjoying free music, Spark in the Park kicked off the start of the new school year Thursday.
More than 8,000 students flocked to Harrison Field for the free show, which featured performances by Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, Frankie Knuckles, GRiZ and UIC student J. Larroc.
“The event is a great welcoming for freshmen,” said Sabika Haq, freshman in political science.
The exclusive event — for UIC students and employees only — was sponsored by Campus Programs in collaboration with the UIC Pavilion and UIC Radio.
“We really look forward to students having that sense of pride in their school and getting to show off a little to their friends that they get to see this amazing lineup for free,” said Carrie Grogan, associate director of Campus Programs.
“Not many universities can pull something like this off. It really shows the collaboration between our departments.”
Many students arrived early to have a close view of Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper, who performed at Lollapalooza in August.
“I am very proud to be at UIC,” said Kassandra Rodriguez, a freshman in psychology. “I don’t think every school gets to have a big upcoming rapper at their school and a free event for students; I think it’s really nice.”
The lineup drew fans of other musical genres, too.
“I knew Frankie Knuckles was going to be here and being so into electronic music you have to go see him at least once because he is the godfather of Chicago house,” said Kenneth Neumann, a junior in economics.
L-R: crowd at Harrison Field; Kendrick Lamar, GRiZ, Frankie Knuckles, UIC student J. Larroc and Chance The Rapper; students at the show. Photos: Lawrence Lee, Joshua Clark (click on images for larger file size)