Week 1: Planning for Urban Streets Festivals

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Planning through Street Festivals

Can festivals be tools for social change? In this interactive session, learn how the logistics and processes of festival planning critically engage the city around arts, culture, and place-making. Eric Williams - the founder and CEO of Silver Room Block Party, a music festival that brings together talented, independent artists - will provide insight into the uniqueness of community festivals and how street festivals relate to nearby institutions and businesses. Eric will share the story of Silver Room Block Party's history, growth, and values. By the end of the session, you will leave with a greater understanding of this iconic festival and apply festival planning concepts in a short analysis for a festival of your choosing.

View a recording of the session here.


About this Page

This is the landing page for our first week on urban street festivals. Please feel free to explore the tools below and to the right of this post to gain a better understanding of what you can look forward to in this session.

  • Check out Pre-session Content below to familiarize yourself with relevant resources put together by the sessions leaders. These tools will help you form a foundation for the week's session. Take a look through them before the session on Thursday.
  • Let's Talk functions the same as the one found on the FLIP homepage. The only difference is that discussions are catered towards urban street festivals. Give us some insight to your experiences!
  • Quick Thoughts functions similarly to the homepage's Get to Know Your Peers. Answer some quick questions about your exposure to urban street festivals - whether you have or haven't gone to one, let us know!
  • Session documents can be found to the right. There, you'll find documents that we'll use during the sessions.
  • You can find out more about your session leaders under Meet the Team.
  • At the end of the week, head on over to Festival Reflection, where you can share festival images and reflections using principles you learned during your session. Fill this out at the end of session to wrap up your first week of FLIP!

Click here to go back to the FLIP homepage.

Planning through Street Festivals

Can festivals be tools for social change? In this interactive session, learn how the logistics and processes of festival planning critically engage the city around arts, culture, and place-making. Eric Williams - the founder and CEO of Silver Room Block Party, a music festival that brings together talented, independent artists - will provide insight into the uniqueness of community festivals and how street festivals relate to nearby institutions and businesses. Eric will share the story of Silver Room Block Party's history, growth, and values. By the end of the session, you will leave with a greater understanding of this iconic festival and apply festival planning concepts in a short analysis for a festival of your choosing.

View a recording of the session here.


About this Page

This is the landing page for our first week on urban street festivals. Please feel free to explore the tools below and to the right of this post to gain a better understanding of what you can look forward to in this session.

  • Check out Pre-session Content below to familiarize yourself with relevant resources put together by the sessions leaders. These tools will help you form a foundation for the week's session. Take a look through them before the session on Thursday.
  • Let's Talk functions the same as the one found on the FLIP homepage. The only difference is that discussions are catered towards urban street festivals. Give us some insight to your experiences!
  • Quick Thoughts functions similarly to the homepage's Get to Know Your Peers. Answer some quick questions about your exposure to urban street festivals - whether you have or haven't gone to one, let us know!
  • Session documents can be found to the right. There, you'll find documents that we'll use during the sessions.
  • You can find out more about your session leaders under Meet the Team.
  • At the end of the week, head on over to Festival Reflection, where you can share festival images and reflections using principles you learned during your session. Fill this out at the end of session to wrap up your first week of FLIP!

Click here to go back to the FLIP homepage.

Festival Reflection

Connect concepts from this session with a specific festival example! Share your insights for all four prompts.

  1. Choose one of the following: 
    1. a festival photo from your own photo collection
    2. a drawing of a festival that already exists or a festival you’d like to create
    3. a festival photo you found online 

  2. Answer the following questions about your festival. You can provide additional information or a narrative if you like.  
    1. Access: Is the festival in a public or private space, or are there elements of both?  What are the boundaries of the festival and how are they marked?  Is the festival accessible to everyone?
    2. Connection: Does the festival have a theme?  Does the festival have a strong connection to the place it is held in terms of design, culture, language, or food?  Does it attract mostly local people or people from out of town? 
    3. Impact: What is the impact of the festival? Who profits financially from the festival? Is any group negatively impacted by the festival?  

  3. Post your photo or drawing along with your answers.  

  4. Look at other submissions and enjoy!
Thank you for sharing your story with us.

You need to be signed in to share your story.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Edison Park Fest

    by iclifford, 18 days ago

    1. This festival is in public space within Edison Park. The streets and sidewalks are blocked off by police markers with cop cars also blocking the entrances. Everyone is welcomed at this festival.

    2. The festival does not usually have a theme but has a strong connection to the neighborhood due to the local vendors and schools that advertise at the festival.

    3. The impact of the festival is that those in the neighborhood are able to connect with each other and the local restaurants and vendors are able to make a profit.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The Taste of Glen Ellyn

    by Louiek, 18 days ago

    1. It is held in a public space, in one of two parking lots, the boundaries being the edge of the parking lot. It is free and accessible to everyone.

    2. While it doesn't have a theme it contains food and goods from many locally owned shops. It attracts both people from town, and from out of town who want to experience the town culture.

    3. The festival brings money to groups directly involved, as well as giving publicity to the shops at the festival.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Pride Fest

    by edpedroza, 18 days ago

    Pride Fest

    The festival is in a public space that businesses on the streets generally support. The boundaries are marked by handrails. The festival is accessible for everyone and has easy and nearby transit. The festival had a theme of different sexualities. It attracts people from everywhere. The festival unites everyone in the city and from the surrounding Chicagoland area and makes everyone more confident and happier.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The Chicago Gospel Music Festival

    by Fatima.Vazquez, 18 days ago

    The Chicago Gospel Music Festival is one of my favorites set in Millenium Park and Chicago Cultural Center. The festival combines contemporary as well as traditional music with different vocalists, duos, and choral groups. The annual event is actually free to attend, but annual food vendors set up here too. It is really cool to see so many different people from different backgrounds come an enjoy rising artists and their songs.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Taste of Chicago

    by Amber Rogers, 18 days ago

    Taste of Chicago is in a public space that is in the street and sidewalks where the people attending can easily navigate through the festival. The organizers use gates to block off certain areas. Anyone can attend as well. The festival's overall focus is to bring to everyone's attention to what different types of food people in Chicago create. The festival allows any food stand to express themselves and which sets them aside from the others. I feel like it attracts both people in and out of town. I think the festival allows small or unknown food businesses to showcase... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The Taste of Chicago Festival

    by lluna6 , 18 days ago

    The Taste of Chicago

    The Taste of Chicago Festival takes place in Grand Park, which is a public space. Tents are used as boundaries, all around the festival. The festival is accessible to everyone. The culinary theme of the festival makes it to have a strong connection to the city. The festival reflects the culture of Chicago through food, language and culture. Over 82 different restaurants are admitted to the festival, music and a variety of drinks are served.It attracts local people, residents of the suburbs and people from other states as well. The financial profits go to the local... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Old Town Art Fair

    by cbrasseur, 18 days ago

    1. Access: It is in a public space, taking place down a street, which makes it accessible to everyone. The end of the festival is likely marked by the ending of the street with barriers. Some private aspects can be shown within the tents.

    2. Connection: The festival surrounds itself by the theme of art and creativity. People who show are most likely locals. The cultural aspects of this festival are shown through artwork.

    3. Impact: People are influenced by the culture and art that they see in the many different tents. People who sell their artwork have a financial... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Printer's Row Lit Fest- Chicago, Illinois

    by Emily Breen, 18 days ago

    The festival is in a public space (on Dearborn in between Wells and Polk). The festival is accessible to everyone since it is public and free. The theme is books and literature of all kinds, and it is connected to the neighborhood it is held in (also called Printer's Row) because it was historically home to many printing and publishing businesses. The festival is a way of carrying on this legacy, mostly attracting people from the neighborhood and other neighborhoods in Chicago. The festival helps books and authors to reach wider audiences, and the profit goes to the booksellers and... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Holi Festival

    by mpatel6, 18 days ago


    The Holi festival, in India, is a colorful festival that happens usually from March 28-29 every year. It is in a public space. There isn't necessarily any boundaries to this festival, and it's accessible to everyone. The festival has a theme of "good over evil". The festival does have a strong connection to the place it is held, in all terms. It attracts mostly local people. The impact of the festival is to seek good and not evil.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Odunde Festival, Philadelphia, PA

    by ekouassi16, 19 days ago

    The Odunde Festival is one of the nation's largest festivals celebrating the African diaspora. It is located in Philadelphia and draws in half a million visitors annually. These visitors come from all over Pennsylvania and the nation. It is strategically located in the middle of one of Philly's oldest and historically African American neighborhoods. A 15-block stretch of the neighborhood is blocked off to create space for the festival. The festival is accessible to everyone. The festival acts as a direct connection to tourists and local businesses. On a deeper level, the festival connects people to cultures they had dreamed... Continue reading