In summer 2004, longtime house head Joseph “Pepe” Porter threw a party in his Calumet Heights backyard—and convinced his neighbors on either side to open their yards too. They called it 3 Yards Bangin’, and in the ensuing years it grew (like so many other great Chicago summertime traditions) until it wouldn’t fit in those three backyards. Porter moved the 2015 party, renamed the 3 Yards Bangin’ House Fest, to the blocked-off street outside his old high school, the Chicago Vocational Career Academy on the southeast side, which has continued to host it ever since.
On Saturday, August 17, 3 Yards Bangin’ celebrated its 15th anniversary with a roster of veteran house DJs, including Torin Edmond and Duane Powell. Photographer Sehar Sufi captured the action, to help remind us how neighborhood music festivals make Chicago summers so special. —Leor Galil