The Message of Unity at AAHH! FEST

AAHH! Fest returned to Chicago’s Union Park this weekend for it’s second year, bringing together thousands of friends, family, familiar faces, and strangers alike for two days of music, awareness, and Harold’s (duh). There were not teenagers stumbling through the crowd nor people bum rushing the stage for a chance to touch Vic Mensa. This was a family affair. Messages of love and peace flowed in between sets, as did encouragement to vote and take the matters plaguing Chicago communities into their own hands.

Normally there’s nothing more frustrating than when musicians stop the music to address the crowd. Harangues and trains of thought can be irrelevant to the audience – but not this time. Common spoke, as he always does, with a confident serenity when he addressed the crowd – and they listened. Inspiration, compassion, action… We need this. Chicago needs this.

Music festivals inherently create a community – an artistic community of the inspiring and the inspired. As the inspiring draw upon the smoke of creation, the inspired is in turn drawn to them. They engage, we engage. There is not one without the other. We are one. Such a community was never more present at AAHH! Fest. Music testifies. Music unifies. Music can empower us to overcome through respect, understanding, compassion, and power. Let’s move forward. Let’s become who we ought to be. And let’s do it right now.