From reggae to R&B at the African Caribbean International Festival of Life 

Machel Montano

Machel Montano

This weekend the 19th annual African Caribbean International Festival of Life fills Washington Park (55th and S. Cottage Grove) with the music of the African diaspora: reggae, hip-hop, soca, calypso, R&B, gospel, and more. The fest runs Fri 7/1 to Mon 7/4 and features more than 50 acts on two stages, as well as vendors of food, arts, and crafts. Notable performers include Chicagoan and self-styled "pop princess" Demi Lobo on Friday; dancehall veteran Macka Diamond and long-running Haitian "mizik rasin" group Boukman Eksperyans on Saturday; Belizean punta artist Super G and reggae heavyweight Freddie McGregor on Sunday; and soca star Machel Montano on Monday. Festival hours are noon till 10 PM each day. Admission is $15, $10 before 5 PM, $5 for seniors and kids 12 and under, and free for kids under six; a four-day pass costs $30. Advance tickets are available through the fest's website. For more info, call 312-427-0266 or visit

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