The Woodstock of House, a documentary film covering Chicago’s Chosen Few DJs crew and their annual Chosen Few Picnic, is premiering this week.
Directed by Rodrick F Wimberly and Senuwell Smith, the film aims to honor the “triumph of disco music.” In the ’70s, the mainstream media attacked disco – because of its largely Black, Latin, and gay communities, some argue. This gave rise to the birth of house music, as African American teenagers began producing music for underground, gay nightclubs on the south side of Chicago.
The Chosen Few DJs, a collective founded in 1977 by DJ Wayne Williams, is often credited for popularizing what is now known as house music. In 1990, the group threw a “reunion picnic” in a South Side Chicago park. Beginning as a small gathering of friends, it soon became an annual event called The Chosen Few Picnic & House Music Festival. It now attracts over 40,000 from around the world each year. The 2021 in-person edition was done virtually due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Woodstock of House premieres this Thursday, November 11th and Friday, November 12th at 8:00 PM at the Gene Siskel Film Center. It is being screened as part of the 27th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival.