Sueños Music Festival returning to Grant Park for its second year

By Andres Guerra, Director of Video

Festivalgoers are seen at the Suenos music festival on Sunday, May 29, 2022, at Grant Park in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

The first summer festival at Grant Park this year is already the largest Latino music festival in the Midwest, although it is only in its second year.

SUEÑOS Music Festival, which is Spanish for “dreams” and is celebration of reggaetón music, started in Chicago in 2022. Reggaetón, which originated in Panama in the late 1980s, integrates the influences of Black culture from a variety of Latin American countries.

Lilian Chavarria Vergara is excited to be performing at a festival with roots in Chicago. “It’s going to be an amazing experience, and I feel grateful for the opportunity,” said Vergara, 26, also known as DJ Chava. Vergara, who has lived in Chicago for almost 12 years, will be a performer at SUEÑOS.

As attendees and local artists prepare for SUEÑOS, which attracted tens of thousands of people, many reflected on how important it is to have a festival like it. Chicago is known for its Latino neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Cicero, Little Village and Humboldt Park. Latino’s are the second largest ethnic group in Chicago.

Having lived in Chicago his entire life, Oscar Altamarino, who will attend SUEÑOS for the first time this year. “Being born and raised in Chicago, the only festivals we had available were the mainstream ones: Lollapalooza, Jazz Fest, and whatnot. But as Latinos, we never really have something for us. And it means a lot, especially for the younger generation, because they’ll be able to identify with a huge event that kind-of shuts down the city for a weekend. I think that’s super important.”

Jackelyn Garcia, a sophomore at University of Illinois Chicago who will be attending SUEÑOS, said the festival’s location in Grant Park, the home of Lollapalooza, amplifies how important SUEÑOS is to the Latino community. 

“I feel like if it was in another location, it wouldn’t be seen as an actual festival — not as big as Lolla. And I think SUEÑOS is up there with Lolla because even though it’s one stage, all the artists that they bring out, the lineup compares to what Lolla brings out for their lineup,” Garcia said. 

“Just knowing how big of a Latino presence there is in Chicago, I think the lineups are only going to get stronger as the years go by,” Altamirano said.

Including well-known headliners such as Grupo Firme, Becky G, Wisin y Yandel and Nicky Jam this year, SUEÑOS has definitely established itself in Chicago’s summer bucket list.

SUEÑOS will be in Grant Park May 27 and 28. 

“It means a lot to me and the community to have a festival like SUEÑOS in Chicago. It’s a great opportunity for us to come together and celebrate our heritage, city and culture,” Vergara said.