Publish Date

Free Teen Talent Festival Taking Place Saturday, September 30 at Union Park

The Chicago Park District, in partnership with the John Walt Foundation, is proud to support youth with interests in performing arts by providing a stage to showcase their talents at the 8th annual installment of the free-to-attend Teens in the Park (T.I.P.) Festival. This year’s event is taking place at Union Park, located at 1501 W. Randolph St., on September 30, 2023 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. After advancing past the summer auditions, the stage is set for 12 performers, ages 14 to 24, to wow a crowd of their peers. For information, visit

This event has it all: music, food, sports, video games and resources for teenagers to engage with organizations and vendors.

“It’s the pleasure and privilege of the Chicago Park District to provide a public platform where young people can celebrate each other’s talents and express themselves artistically,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “Our young people are on social media every day. TIP Fest provides an avenue for Chicago’s youth to connect and interact in-person, while enjoying performances by their peers on the main stage in front of the entire city.”

The Music Schedule:

  • 12:00 pm: Gates open
  • 1:00 pm: Pre-show performances by local bands, dance troupes and DJs
  • 2:00 pm: Welcome remarks
  • 2:15 pm- 4:00 pm: The T.I.P. Fest 2023 lineup includes rappers, dancers, and performers Jabari Zakee, Kayla Desiree, Reverb, Tishja D, Walt the King, Zia Jenaye, Nae, Nae Chick, Queen, Grupo S.E.R., Rayisray, Naomi Gipson, and Jonathon. Each of these local amateur performers auditioned at Chicago Park District sites and advanced to the big stage!

Their performance schedule is as follows:

  • 2:15 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.: Jabar Zakee
  • 2:24 p.m. – 2:26 p.m.: Queen
  • 2:29 p.m. – 2:34 p.m.: Walt the King
  • 2:40 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.: Groupo S.E.R.
  • 2:49 p.m. – 2:54 p.m.: Nae
  • 3:00 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.: Kayla Desiree
  • 3:09 p.m. – 3:14 p.m.: Naomi Gipson
  • 3:18 p.m. – 3:25 p.m.: RayIsRay
  • 3:29 p.m. – 3:34 p.m.: Johnathon
  • 3:38 p.m. – 3:43 p.m.: Zia
  • 3:46 p.m. – 3:51 p.m.: Reverb
  • 3:55 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Tishja D
  • 4:00 pm- 5:00 pm: Following the emerging talent, popular Chicago-born musician HXLLYWOOD and Philadelphia rap group Philly Goats will take the stage to thrill Chicago’s youth. Their sets will open up with DJ Lena Bands.

No event is complete without emcees, and the Chicago Park District and the John Walt Foundation are bringing Chicago’s renowned local talent to host the event. D.J. Hot Rod, D.J. Ca$h Era, Jazstarr, and Donnie the Kid will keep the crowd engaged between acts.

Finally, winners are announced at the conclusion of the last set, at approximately 5:00 p.m.

The Contest

Each amateur performer will compete for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize of $500, $250 and $150 respectively.

Judges include T.I.P. Fest alumni, and representatives from the John Walt Foundation, and the Chicago Park District.

The Experience

The Chicago Park District will provide several amenities to keep teens engaged on the grounds of Union Park. Rollin’ Recreation will arrive with sports equipment so teens can play basketball, soccer, video games, and other competitive team sports.

The Chicago Park District’s effort to engage youth is incomplete without our sister agencies and local youth organizations. The, the Chicago Public Library, Civilian Office of Police Accountability, and the Department of Family Support Services will join to provide resources for teens to connect with jobs, entertainment, and each other. In addition, NASCAR will contribute to the experience by providing two of the NASCAR Chicago Street Race simulators.